Monday, March 15, 2010

Don't miss: Budget meeting, March 16

This from a reader:
I know that everyone is focusing on the acceptance letters right now--- but it is also a critical time in the budget process for next year. Can you please let everyone know that there is a full school board meeting tomorrow, Tuesday March 16th at 6pm at 555 Franklin that will be focused on the budget cuts. Everyone should try and come!

8 comments:

  1. I attended this tonight. There were not many people there, which was unfortunate. I believe the commissioners are really working not to increase class size and by no means is this a done deal. At some schools, it is also not possible to increase class size due to capacity. They talked about some ideas like charging for public transport; as I understand it, they were also considering cutting some special support services in favor of not increasing class sizes. One suggestion was to let each school decide, but I am not sure if that is practical. Some schools like Monroe were well represented, who stand to lose a high percentage of teachers. The schools losing teachers will not be equitable because of seniority as I understood it. John Muir would lose over half its teachers and others like Dianne Feinstein also stood to lose a big percentage - I didn't capture it all.

    One stat that blew me away was that the average resources spent on every student in the SFUSD is about $4800 - far less than some public elementary schools on the east coast that are closer to $15,000 and far below ~$30,000 for private schools (tuition plus the gap). So to be cutting ~15% from this low number is almost unbelievable. CA is already nearly the lowest spending per student of all 50 states.

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  2. Dianne Feinstein is losing a lot of staff because it's a new school with new staff for the most part (and their first year they were under-capacity, so some of their teachers are even newer). Otherwise, the District's layoff notices inequitably target the south east side and the elementary schools. The specifics were addressed at the March 1st budget meeting, which looked at the overall impact vs. the impact on hard-to-staff and high-needs schools.

    This may be a factor of seniority, but it's not aligned with the District's stated goals and objectives. It's also what LAUSD is being sued about right now.

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  3. So let me see if I get this. The "Hard to Staff" schools got first pick of new teachers, and therefore, if they are in turnaround mode, got lots of younger, dynamic staff members. At least that was the story at places like Webster and Revere. These outstanding newcomers are now being fired because of lack of seniority? Am I misinformed, or is this completely insane?

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  4. For those who attended, what did you all think of that group that is advocating for a 20% across-the-board cut in the District administration? Did it seem doable as an alternative to teacher layoffs or not? Rachel talked about it on her blog, but didn't get into any details. I'd be in favor of any cuts that didn't increase class size. We just can't do that to our kids!

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  5. 8:21 - yes, no, and yes.

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  6. 8:21pm:

    Yes, that's exactly it. The District looked at the hard to staff schools specifically at their 1 March budget meeting?

    El Dorado will lose 67% of their staff.
    Malcolm X - just lauded in the Chronicle for their new principal - will lose 58%.

    The list continues as such. The schools that have been given extra opportunities to hire and have hired the staff they want through their own interview process (at my school, that would be two interviews with teacher teams, a principal interview, a model lesson and a collaborative debrief) are now going to lose that staff.

    So that SFUSD commitment to going "Beyond the Talk" is just more talk, yes.

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  7. 8:21pm:

    Yes, that's exactly it. The District looked at the hard to staff schools specifically at their 1 March budget meeting?

    El Dorado will lose 67% of their staff.
    Malcolm X - just lauded in the Chronicle for their new principal - will lose 58%.

    The list continues as such. The schools that have been given extra opportunities to hire and have hired the staff they want through their own interview process (at my school, that would be two interviews with teacher teams, a principal interview, a model lesson and a collaborative debrief) are now going to lose that staff.

    So that SFUSD commitment to going "Beyond the Talk" is just more talk, yes.

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  8. Oops - so sorry for the double post!

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