GO Board Watch: January 25, 2017

Welcome to GO’s School Board Watch for Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Board will be continuing their conversation about the District’s 2017-18 budget and how to best adjust to the program overages and other issues that have come to light in the past few weeks. Additionally, this week’s agenda includes: 

  • Plans to make OUSD websites more accessible for people with disabilities
  • Update on the Equity Pledge
  • Oakland Promise Board Policy
  • Facilities arrangements for charter schools in 2017-18
  • Renewal of two charter schools
  • A presentation on OUSD’s science programs
  • A new policy on Lease-Leaseback Projects
  • The Governor’s 2017-18 budget
  • Establishing a commission for Measure G1 oversight

Check out the full agenda.

1).  Professional Culture 

Improvement of accessibility to OUSD websites for students and adults with disabilities

In response to a complaint to the Office for Civil Rights, the District has resolved to do the following:

  • Ensure all online content/functionality going forward is accessible to people with disabilities
  • Audit all current online content/functionality for accessibility to people with disabilities
  • Create a corrective plan to address identified accessibility issues
  • Train all appropriate staff in creating accessible content
  • Post a notice on the website with contact information for the webmaster in case of accessibility issues

It will cost $50-75,000 and take 18 months to implement.

2).  Quality Schools Development

Equity Pledge Update

The Board will hear a presentation from the Superintendent on completed Equity Pledge work and plans for next year.

2016 – Completed

2017 – Planned

  • Citywide teacher recruiting event and website
  • Pilot equitable teaching practices modules for new teachers
  • Common district-charter SPF that includes comparable measures

The District has created an Equity Pledge Committee that includes people from 30 different organizations and holds monthly meetings with 20-50 people. Beginning in February, the District will add engagements at existing school and community forums.

Oakland Promise Board Policy

The Board will hear a first reading of a policy that would commit the District to working with the City of Oakland to support Oakland Promise – a series of programs intended to increase college enrollment and completion. The policy identifies the Oakland Promise programs Kindergarten2College and Future Centers as District funding priorities.

The Kindergarten2College program starts college savings accounts for all incoming kindergarten students. Future Centers provide OUSD students with support in applying to colleges and obtaining internships.

Charter Facilities

For 2017-18, 16 charter schools applied for single sites through Proposition 39, which requires that school districts make facilities available to eligible charter schools operating within their district. The District is presenting details on the possible facilities offers.

Charter Petitions

Arise High School (9-12) and American Indian Public Charter School II (K-8) are both applying for charter renewals.

OUSD Science

The Board will hear a brief presentation on OUSD’s science programs.

3).  Budget and Fiscal Management

2017-18 Budget Prioritization

The Board will hear the completion of a budget presentation that began at a special Board meeting last week (1/18/17) and then vote on the direction of budget priorities the Superintendent has recommended. The final budget for 2017-18 will be approved in June, but important decisions must be made well in advance of the final budget deadline.

For a detailed breakdown of the most recent budget proposal, read our piece here. In short, the most recent budget proposal will reduce the central office budget by $8.5 million and will reduce school site budgets by $5.5 million, but that is due to declining enrollment. The previous proposed cuts to site budgets and the possibility of school consolidations for fall 2017 have been removed from consideration. 

Budget reductions would total $14 million, a significant difference from the $21.6 million in reductions that the Superintendent recommended on 1/11/17. The Board has also declined to move forward with any school consolidations for the 2017-18 school year, but is asking the District to provide more information about how to move forward with possible consolidations for the 2018-19 school year.

The budget presentation this Wednesday (1/25/17) will breakdown how those cuts to central office will be distributed. $4 million will come from cutting positions, $4 million from services (including AC Transit for students), and $500,000 from supplies.

Governor’s 2017-18 Budget

Related to next year’s budget, the Governor has cautioned that uncertainty regarding federal funding and lower than projected economic growth and tax revenues are serious causes for concern. Bottom line, 2017-18 LCFF growth will remain essentially flat from 2016-17 and will only cover Cost of Living Adjustments, an expected average increase in per-pupil funding of $132 per ADA.

While Proposition 55 passed and will extend the income tax created by Proposition 30, the benefits of Proposition 55 are more than offset by lower projected economic forecasts and tax revenue.

Lease-Leaseback Building Project Policy

Lease-Leaseback is a project delivery method available to school districts under California law. School districts can lease property to a company, without accepting bids, for $1 per year. As part of the agreement, the company is required to improve the land or construct a building. The school district then sub-leases the property back from the company and those lease payments constitute payment for the building. Once the sub-lease is paid off, the land and building revert back to the school district. For more information on lease-leaseback building projects, click here.

The Board will be voting to approve a new policy that requires a competitive bidding process and a “Best Value” assessment in the selection of construction companies for lease-leaseback projects.

Measure G1 Commission

The Board will be voting to approve the creation of a Measure G1 Commission. The Commission would consist of five people selected for their knowledge and expertise, especially regarding middle school education. They will be responsible for oversight on G1 resource allocations, review annual independent audits, and submit policy and regulation recommendations to the Board.

Measure G1 is a parcel tax passed by more than two-thirds of voters in November. It will provide funding for middle school arts, music, languages, and other programs, as well as a District-wide teacher salary increase.

4).  Board Development and Strategy

  • No informational or action items presented.

5).  Other

  • No informational or action items presented.
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