GO Board Watch: May 25, 2016

Budgets, Enrollment, Measure N, Possible Parcel Tax, and Staffing Update

Welcome to GO’s School Board Watch for Wednesday, May 25, 2016. This week’s packed agenda includes:

  • The third interim budget report and a report on Governor Jerry Brown’s May budget revisions
  • A general update on Measure N implementation and goals, as well as a discussion of the fiscal guidelines proposed by the Measure N Commission
  • A 2016-17 teacher and principal staffing update
  • Updates on pupil enrollment improvements, a November 2016 OUSD parcel tax, local business hiring, transportation challenges, and the Marcus Foster Educational Leadership Center

Check out the full agenda at this link.

Third Interim Budget Report and Governor’s May Revise

The board heard reports on both the third interim budget and on revisions made last month to the state budget. The third interim budget refines the district’s 2015-16 budget projections to include revenue and expenditure adjustments through April 30, 2016.

According to the third interim executive summary:

  • The district is projected to have a positive unrestricted fund balance of $17.6 M, which is an increase of approximately $1.7 million from the second interim report
  • The general fund projected unrestricted revenues are expected to increase by a net of approximately $1.9 million, due to $1 million net adjustments in prior year revenues and $0.9 million of LCFF revenues from an increase in average daily attendance (ADA)
  • Expenditures and uses are expected to increase by approximately $2.1 million, due to an increase of $1.2 million in the contribution to programs for exceptional children (PEC) and $.9 million in one time audit findings

The board’s update on the Governor’s May Revise process suggests that the district will see slightly increased funding from the initial January estimates, up to $18 million from $16.7 million; however, the report also recommends that the district begin preparing for slower budget growth, given that the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) will soon be funded at over 95% of its intended levels.

See the third interim budget report and the report on the Governor’s May Revise for more information.

Measure N Update and Fiscal Guidelines

The district’s Measure N update shares student outcome goals for Measure N implementation, a snapshot of where each school is in the planning process, proposed implementation timelines, and specific updates from schools including Bunche Academy, Leadership Public Schools, and Fremont.

In addition to this update, the Measure N Commission submitted suggested guidelines for the use of Measure N funds.  Unanimously approved by the Measure N Commission, these guidelines help provide an additional level of guidance to schools as they implement career pathways in their schools.

As part of these guidelines, schools will be allowed to rollover funds from year-to-year in order to promote thoughtful implementation and avoid having to face a “use it or lose it” situation; however, if schools do choose to rollover a portion of their annual allocation, they will have to provide a written justification for doing so.

Additionally, schools receiving funds must submit the follow annually to the commission:

  • Quarterly Updates to Commission on Action Plan (3 per year)
  • Annual Report on Single Plan for Student Achievement Implementation (by March)
  • Annual Update to the Single Plan for Student Achievement (by May)
  • A detailed fiscal accounting of how all Measure N funds were expended for the previous fiscal year (by November)

See the Superintendent’s Report (pages 4 to 16) and the Measure N Commission Recommendations for more information.

2016-17 Staffing Update

During the Superintendent’s Report, district staff presented a report on the state of teacher and principal staffing for 2016-17.

The staffing report states that OUSD currently employs 4731 overall employees. Of which, 2332 are teachers and 131 are principals and assistant principals. As of May 2016, there are 301 identified classroom teacher vacancies. For those vacancies, 82 teachers have been hired, leaving 219 identified current vacancies. There are also 15 current principal vacancies as of May 2016. There have been 14 “selected candidates” leaving one current vacancies.

It is important to note that this report is a snapshot. Retirements and resignations will continue to be identified as the school year ends and throughout the summer.

Find that full presentation (pages 36 to 48) within the Superintendent’s Report.

Pupil Enrollment Improvements

The board received a report on improvements to the district’s enrollment system. The report breaks down those improvements into the following four areas:

  • Online School Finder: OUSD has received feedback from parents on a beta design and will work to implement that feedback by the end of the school year. The system will officially launch in December of this year, in time for the options process.
  • Technology Upgrades: While the online school finder will allow parents to apply to schools, the district is looking to fully upgrade its school application system by August 2017.
  • OUSD Enrollment Process: The district will open two new enrollment centers at Lakeview and in East Oakland by November of this year to provide direct support to enrolling parents.
  • Citywide Enrollment: The district plans to pursue an enrollment system that encompasses both district and charter options. They plan to begin a joint planning process with charter operators in January 2017 with an anticipated November 2017 launch date.

Read the full presentation.

Parcel Tax Survey Results

The board heard the results of a poll commissioned by the district to explore the possibility of a November 2016 parcel tax. The contracted polling firm conducted 601 interviews with likely voters and received the following results:

  • 32% of Oaklanders surveyed believe that OUSD is doing either an excellent or good job, the highest rate since 1994. At only 18%, the rate of Oaklanders who believe OUSD is doing a poor job is also at its lowest rate since 1994.
  • 34% of Oaklanders believe that the quality of education in OUSD has increased in the last 2-3 years, the highest rate since 2001.
  • Over 70% of Oaklanders surveyed would support a parcel tax measure for OUSD, with this number increasing for a parcel tax with a ten-year sunset.

Read the full results of the poll.

Transportation Updates

The board heard an update on the district’s transportation costs. Overall, the district spends $10.3 million on transportation with $6.7 million going to transportation for students with special needs. The report also notes that about $5 million of the district’s overall transportation costs are unfunded.

The report notes a number of challenges with transportation. Primarily, First Student, the company providing transportation to OUSD students with special needs, has opted to terminate its contract with the district effective August 18th. The company has offered to rescind their termination if the district revises the contract to increase payment by $1 million for the 2016-17 school year, another 14% in the 2017-18 school year, and to increase based on the CPI after 2018.

Read the full update.

OUSD Local Business Utilization

The Board heard an update on the implementation of their local business utilization policy. According to the report, 52% of bond expenditures were made to local business contractors. The presentation also includes key definitions of for the program, such as what counts as a local business, and success stories from local contractors, including the facilities project at Greenleaf elementary school.

Find the full presentation within the Superintendent’s Report (pages 17 to 35).

Marcus Foster Education Leadership Campus and Dewey Academy

The board received the planning process for the Marcus Foster Education Leadership Campus and Dewey Academy. According to the presentation, the district faces significant challenges including two potentially historic sites (the Ethel Moore building and 1025 2nd Ave) that may prove difficult to approve for demolition. The staff presentation outlines a number of new options for both the Marcus Foster and Dewey sites, should the current plan prove impossible.

Read the full presentation.

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