School board meeting presentation


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A soon-to-be teacher's first visit to her local school board

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School board meeting presentation

  1. 1. + A Glimpse into Public School Governance Spotsylvania County School Board Meeting Courtney Carbaugh EDCI 506-01
  2. 2. + The Meeting  Attendance:   More than 100 attendees at start of meeting – mostly parents in attendance for student marching band performance 25-50 attendees after completion of marching band performance – even mix of teachers, administrators, and parents  Date: October 14, 2013  Type: Regular Meeting  Location: Spotsylvania County School Board Office, 8020 River Stone Drive, Fredericksburg, Virginia
  3. 3. + Major Agenda Items • Fine Arts Display • Superintendent’s Award • Recognition of Chancellor High School by Rappahannock Choral Society • Pledge of Allegiance • Spotsylvania High School Marching Knights Performance Opening Items & Instructional Highlights Action Items • Recommendation for New Student Information System Product • Budget Amendment#6 – Approval of FY 2013 Carryover Funds Recognition and Awards Comments • Public Comments • Board Member Comments • Superintendent’s Report
  4. 4. + Advocating for Teacher $alary The public comment portion of the meeting turned out to be nothing short of inspiring! No fewer than 8 teachers stood as representatives of educators in their schools to share stories about the impact of low teacher salaries and the lack of step increases and cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) over the last few years in Spotsylvania County.
  5. 5. “I rent out part of my home and teach 2 classes at Germanna.” “One SEA member works 3 jobs.” “I can’t afford to live where I work.” + “I make $130 more per month after earning my M.Ed.…which is less than half of what is needed to make my student loan payment for that degree.” “We fight for our students. Is there someone willing to stand for us??” “I am more than just a teacher.” “What is a teacher worth?” “49% of SEA members at my school have a second job.” “I’m not one to speak in public, but I am stepping out of my comfort zone for this issue.” “44% of “No one has started talking about a plan yet…a plan equals hope.” “My 2 teenage sons work to contribute to the household.” SEA members at my school have a second job.”
  6. 6. + Teacher $alary: The School Board Role and Response  Response was generally positive and supportive • • • • Commiseration over “embarrassing” salary situation Current teacher on the board offered that her role as school board member is her second job Salary is a priority this year Comments are appreciated – “positive and touching”  But…ultimately budget for teacher salary has to be approved by the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors. • • • Teachers were encouraged to repeat these comments at the Board of Supervisor Town Halls Board asked teachers to keep the conversation going through the budget process Superintendent: We will try to stay responsive to those needs
  7. 7. + Reality of the School Board Roles & Responsibilities According to the text…  “School-board members are responsible for all aspects of employee relations[.]”  “The board must keep the school district solvent and get the most our of every dollar.” In reality… One aspect of employee relations is retention of employees, which includes options like bonuses and salary increases. The school board has no autonomy to utilize these options.  The board is given a budget to manage, but again they have very little autonomy (if any) to prescribe funds as they see fit.  The teachers that spoke seemed frustrated and discouraged to have the proverbial buck passed from the school board to the Board of Supervisors.  Gutek, G.L., Levine, D.U., Ornstein, A.C., & Vocke, D.E. (2011). Foundations of Education (12th ed.). California: Wadsworth.  In their fiscal role, the school board served as little more than a sounding board in this situation. This will be reflected again later in the approval process for a budget amendment for employee bonuses.
  8. 8. + Spotsylvania Enters the 21st Century: Recommendation for a New Student Information System The Recommendation Process Workgroup formed earlier to establish needs and review options Workgroup presentation of research process and recommendation School Board to vote on approval of Edupoint recommendation Why does the county need a new student information system? Currently the county is one of only three Virginia districts still using an old DOS system, which does not offer real-time information. The county seeks to increase end-users to include parents and teachers. It has also become difficult to find tech staff to manage the program because this kind of programming isn’t really taught anymore.
  9. 9. + Spotsylvania Enters the 21st Century: Recommendation for a New Student Information System Why should the school board approve the recommended Edupoint student information system?  Real-time data  Would allow for combining of several programs currently in operation under one system  District can control data that parents see (like grades)  Offers a mobile view  Would be ready for use by the first day of school 2014  Projected cost savings of $350,804 over the next 5 years by way of retired programs and consolidated applications under this system
  10. 10. + The School Board Likes (Approved 6-0) Questions before approval:  Compliant with “need-to-know” privacy guidelines?   Legality of not issuing request for proposal (RFP)?   Yes, customizable access and secure system. Approved by legal counsel because similar districts have procured this product. Training before September for teachers?  This “School boards set the general rules about what is done in the schools, who does it, and how. The shift to school-based management has changed the what, who, and how, permitting greater involvement of teachers, school-based administrators, and parent groups in day-to-day school operation and direction.” (p. 220) Yes, hopefully beginning in July.   Grades can be entered directly by teachers  Administrators could track behavioral issues  Parents can have immediate access to all of that information Why is this the best product of those reviewed?     Met all established needs User-friendly Company’s history with other districts of similar size and make-up Customizable programming architecture
  11. 11. + Better than a Jelly-of-the-Month Club Membership: Budget Carryover Becomes Possible Bonus $2.2 million budget carryover funds from FY12 – Superintendent led initiative to find a way to ensure this surplus went to teachers Must be used for one-time cost only (no COLA or step increases) Allows for $900 bonus to be paid to all school system employees – payable by December 20 Tax applied at the FY12 rate Should more than cover even the highest employee healthcare contribution increases
  12. 12. + Budget Carryover Approval: Who’s The Boss? • Approved! (6-0) • “Even though we are charged with operating the schools […], we are hamstrung by the Board of Supervisors.” School Board County Finance Committee • Must review before going to Board of Supervisors • Approved • Will not even look at a school budget amendment unless it has been approved by School Board • Awaiting approval Board of Supervisors It was noted several times by both the board members and presenting budget staff that Dr. Scott Baker, the Superintendent, should be commended for his efforts in leading this initiative. This effort aligns with the textbook’s description of superintendent as “chief executive officer of the school system” responsible for administrative management including budgeting (p. 222). It is also a politically savvy move that should allow him to build some support among his teacher and taxpayer stakeholders.
  13. 13. + Lasting Impressions Teachers must advocate for their students and themselves!!