BOARD WATCH: This year’s priorities, distance learning policy proposal, and budget updates

For more, click here for the full agenda.

Note: You can watch the Zoom meeting by clicking on this link at 5:30pm, by calling (669) 900-9128, then entering the Webinar ID 852 4484 8093, then pressing “#”.  To learn more on how you can participate at these meetings and make a public comment click here.

Click here to watch a livestream of the meeting tonight at 5:30pm

Every school year, the Superintendent and the Board of Education propose their top priorities for the year. The Superintendent and Board’s priorities are typically aligned and contain a list of associated metrics and deliverables. The following have been set for 2020-21:

#1 Thriving Students: Providing high quality instruction in a distance learning/blended learning and assessing and addressing learning and access gaps as a result of unfinished learning. Key deliverables include:

  • Ensuring access to wifi and a device for every student
  • Developing a Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan (see below)

#2 Thriving Schools: Launching the reimagination of safe, healthy, and welcoming learning environments and increasing access to high quality and nutritious food throughout OUSD. Deliverables include:

  • Develop a District Safety Plan (police-free) for all Schools and begin year 1 implementation
  • Increase participation rates in the school meal program

#3 Thriving District: Providing quality, accessible and fiscally sustainable school options in every neighborhood, creating conditions to improve employee wellness, and improving the central department service to school sites. Some deliverables are:

  • Recommend Blueprint for Quality Schools Cohort Proposals
  • Develop a 2020-23 Strategic Plan

They have also set several performance goals aligned to Learning Continuity and attendance Plan 2020-21 (see below, slide 6):

Item #20-1597

Given the awareness of inequities that have widened during the pandemic, Director James Harris is proposing a Distance Learning Policy (BP6007) that directs the Superintendent or designee to develop a Distance Learning Master Plan with input from stakeholders to

ensure adequate resources and sufficient support for all students and staff so that all students can learn grade-level content. The proposed policy lays out the following criteria shall be implemented while creating the plan:

  1. Input from key stakeholders such as teachers and other instructional staff, principals students, and families 
  2. Opportunities for and drawbacks to all components of the educational experience, including career technical education programs, alternative education programs, and student internships
  3. Ongoing costs given the need for regular replacement of devices 
  4. The social-emotional wellness of students, families, and staff 
  5. Facilities capacity 
  6. The need to monitor and evaluate impact of distance learning in order to refine 
  7. Needs of students who need additional and/or intensive support 

Item #20-1580

On June 24th, the Board approved the Proposed Adopted Budget for the  2020-21 school year with $711,881,481 in revenue and $788,931,165 in expenditures. When this budget was approved, there were still many assumptions that had to be made given the unknowns (i.e. state budget revisions). 

Tonight, the District will present revisions to the budget (45-day budget revise). Two major things to note from these revisions: 1) Because the state opted not to make their proposed 10% cuts to education, OUSD is able to restore $16.5M in planned cuts. However, while OUSD will receive about $30 million more in state funding than expected, they’re planning on holding about $13 million in reserve (aside from the state-mandated 2% reserve). That’s because the state has chosen to defer payments to schools, meaning that OUSD’s cash flow “will continue to be of significant concern and the requirement to borrow cash will remain for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 fiscal years due to the deferrals” 2) About $40M came from the LLMF Cares Act Funds, which is money that must be used on COVID-19 supports such as the acceleration of learning for students, technology, food, and other academic supports. 

The updated budget totals to $636,884,533 in revenue and $624,287,632 in expenditures. An official and state-mandated update will take place in December when the District presents its First Interim Report for 2020-21.

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