Welcome to GO’s School Board Watch for Wednesday, June 28, 2017.
This is the last regular Board meeting for the 2016-17 school year. As such, there is a lot of business coming before the Board. For the sake of keeping this a reasonable length, I will try to keep summaries at a minimum except with regards to budget.
This week’s agenda includes:
- Board policy updates
- Tribute to Interim Supt. Devin Dillon
- Educator effectiveness
- Single plans for student achievement
- Student Equity Credit Recovery and Prevention Program
- Office of Equity
- Measure G1 commission recommendations
- Measure N commission report
- 2016-17 budget crisis postmortem report
- Temporary District borrowing from Alameda County
- Final reading/adoption of 2017-18 budget
- Final reading/adoption of 2017-18 LCAP
- State-level policy endorsements
1). Professional Culture
- Financial Reserve Policy: This is a first reading of this policy by the full Board. It has been reviewed previously by the budget subcommittee. Financial reserves protect school districts from financial instability by maintaining a sufficient level of funds to prevent service disruption in the event of unexpected costs or revenue loss. The state requires a 2% minimum reserve – previous Board policy set the reserve at 3%. This year, the District will not meet either minimum reserve.
- This significantly expanded Board policy on financial reserves will require that the District maintain a reserve equivalent to three months operating costs (in alignment with best practices for financial management.) The policy also outlines processes for monitoring reserve levels, specifies how and when those reserve funds may be used, and requires that plans be immediately put in place to restore the reserve within 1-3 years if the funds are used.
- General Obligation Bonds: Updated to reflect new laws State Bill 1029, Assembly Bill 2116, and Assembly Bill 2738. These laws define the requirements that must be met before a district can issue general obligation bonds and how those funds may be used.
- Food Service Operations/Cafeteria Fund: Updated in alignment with new federal and state guidance on meal programs. New policy mandates that students receiving free/reduced-price meals and students with delinquent meal charges not be overtly identified.
- Work-Based Learning: Updated to require Board approval for new work-based learning plans and to be in alignment with Assembly Bill 2063.
- Suicide Prevention: Revised to reflect Assembly Bill 2246 which requires districts serving grades 7-12 to adopt policy on suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention by the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.
- Athletic Competition: Updated in alignment with the California Association of Schools Board’s recommended model.
The Board will recognize Interim Superintendent Devin Dillon’s contributions to the District and leadership in helping guide OUSD through an unexpected transition during a difficult time for the District.
Accepted in 2016, the California Department of Education Educator Effectiveness grant for $3.5 million is used to fund a variety of teacher supports including, the Teacher Growth and Development System (TGDS), the Leadership Growth and Development System (LGDS), and New Teacher Support and Induction (NTSI). When the grant was accepted by the Board in August 2016, they inadvertently left out the part of the document that defined how they would spend the money. This document will remedy that omission.
In 2016-17, OUSD spent Educator Effectiveness funds on six full-time TGDS specialists and four full-time Peer Assistance Review Consulting (PARC) teachers, in addition to approximately $850,000 in operating expenses (which include stipends and subs for teachers, etc.). In 2017-18, TGDS staff funded by the grant will be reduced to one full-time coordinator, while adding three School Improvement Coaches and one New Teacher Support coordinator. The District has not budgeted any operating expenses for 2017-18 under the Educator Effectiveness grant.
2). Quality Schools Development
Single Plans for Student Achievement define how school sites will use allocated funding to improve student achievement. The plans identify progress to goals for the current year as well as targets for next year. The Board will be voting to approve these plans for all OUSD schools.
The OUSD Office of Postsecondary Readiness has identified that OUSD does not have enough opportunities to support the amount of students who need to recover missing credits. The Board will vote whether to approve a resolution that would form an implementation group in 2017-18 tasked with the design of the Credit Recovery and Prevention Program to go into effect in 2018-19.
The Board will vote whether to approve an additional $500,000 in funding for the Office of Equity. These funds would support the further development of the African American girl, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Latino/a programs and necessitate a shift in funding from the current proposed budget
3). Budget and Fiscal Management
In May, following confusion over the timeline for allocating Measure G1 funds, the Boardvoted to distribute 50% of the funds in 2017-18, to be used for middle school language and arts programs. The Board will vote whether to approve the Measure G1 Commission’s recommendations for school-by-school allocations based on enrollment.
Measure N is a parcel tax passed in 2014. Measure N funds are used to reduce the high school dropout rate and increase college eligibility and enrollment. The Measure N commission will present their assessment of Measure N adoption in Oakland public high schools and their recommended per student funding awards.
OUSD stakeholder (including principals) have requested that the District commit to conducting a postmortem report that details the root causes of the the budget crisis and strategies to be employed for addressing the root causes of budget crises going forward. If the Board approves the resolution, the report will be available for approval by the Board by August 2017.
The Board will hear a second presentation from Interim Supt. Devin Dillon on the LCAP plan and budget. Here is our summary of the first reading of the 2017-2020 Local Control Accountability Plan. This Wednesday’s presentation includes a breakdown of base services and services for low-income, foster, and english learner students by LCAP goal, as well as LCAP spending by goal. Interim Supt. Dillon will stress the importance of using the LCAP to guide district strategy and prioritization.
The Board will hear a final reading of the proposed 2017-18 budget and vote on adoption. Here are some key observations on how the proposed budget has changed since the version read last week. You can read our key observations of the first reading here:
- Overall revenue has increased by about $30 million, due to issuing general bonds for construction. (slide 4)
- Total budgeted expenses have dropped by about $16 million. This is due to $26.9 million less in construction related expenses, a $1.3 million cut to child development, and an increase of $12.5 million in general fund expenses. (slide 5)
- The $12.5 million increase in general fund expenses includes: $4.4 million more for services, about $6 million more in salaries, and an increase of $2 million for books and supplies. (slide 8)
- Unrestricted general fund revenue from the state increased by $5 million in one-time funds. These funds will be placed in the financial reserve. Local revenue increased by $400,000. (slide 10 and 14).
- Each year, the District has the option of using the previous or current year’s average daily attendance (ADA) to determine LCFF funding. In 2016-17, the District chose to use 2015-16 ADA. What was not factored into this calculation is students that have transferred from district to charter schools since the previous year cannot be used in calculating ADA for the previous year. The Financial Crisis and Management Team discovered this error and it will cost the District $3.6 million in LCFF revenue for 2016-17. It is unclear how this revenue loss will be covered. (footnote slide 13)
- In the previous version, the presentation only showed the additional $9.5 million in proposed cuts to central office. In this latest version, it adds the $9.5 million in proposed cuts to the $8 million in cuts for 2017-18 approved in January – for a total of $17.3 million in net cuts from central office for 2017-18. (slide 20) A breakdown of cuts to central, along with explanatory notes, can be found on slides 33-35.
- In the previous version, the District was projected to end the 2017-18 school year with $11 million in the reserve, meeting the 2% state minimum. In this version, the District is projected to meet the Board mandated 3% reserve minimum, due to the addition of $5.1 million in one-state funding. This projection assumes no program overages or unanticipated costs/loss of revenue. (slide 22)
- In 2017-18, schools will receive $5.3 million less in direct funding than in 2016-17. This is the result of: 1) $1.8 million in staffing adjustments that were not made in 2016-17 to account for lower enrollment, 2) moving $1.6 million in Measure G funds from school sites to central management, and 3) $1.9 million cut in federal 21st century after-school programming funds.
4). Board Development and Strategy
The Board has recognized, in response to the 2016-17 budget crisis, that they need to practice closer oversight of District finances. They have identified one challenge in providing adequate financial oversight as the lack of staff that are responsible for training and supporting the Board in the area of Budget and Finance Policy Governance. As such, the Board is requesting that the Audit and Finance committee revise and publish job descriptions for an Auditor and/or Legislative Analyst, and that those positions be filled by the second meeting of the new school year.
The Board will vote on whether to endorse three state-level legislative items regarding charter schools:
- Assembly Bill 1478: would require charter schools to comply with the same conflict of interest requirements as school districts.
- Senate Bill 808: would require all charter school petitions to be approved by the governing board of the school district in which the charter school is located, prohibit a charter school from locating outside of its authorizer’s district boundaries, and limit the current charter appeal process to claims of procedural violations.
- Senate Bill 765: would require school districts considering selling or leasing surplus property designed for instruction to make a written offer to sell or lease the property to any charter school that has applied for facilities.
- No informational or action items presented.