Nesdec Final 4 3 09

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NESDEC Final Report presentation to the Franklin County Public Education Study Group, April 3, 2009

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Nesdec Final 4 3 09

  1. 1. Franklin County Public Schools 2020 Executive Summary April, 2009 New England School Development Council
  2. 2. Project Team <ul><li>Joseph M. Cronin, Ed.D., Team Leader </li></ul><ul><li>Arthur L. Bettencourt, Ed.D., Assistant Executive Director </li></ul><ul><li>Donald G. Kennedy, Ed.D., Data Collection </li></ul><ul><li>Richard F. Sulc, M.B.A., Financial </li></ul><ul><li>John R. Sullivan, Jr., Ed.D., Executive Director </li></ul>
  3. 3. Issues <ul><li>Local Schools </li></ul><ul><li>State Leader Concerns </li></ul>
  4. 4. Local School Issues <ul><li>Declining Enrollments </li></ul><ul><li>Declining State Aid </li></ul><ul><li>School Choice </li></ul><ul><li>Too many state mandates, required reports </li></ul>
  5. 5. State Leader Concerns <ul><li>Delays in School Budget Approvals </li></ul><ul><li>Cost Overruns </li></ul><ul><li>Too Many Small School Districts </li></ul><ul><li>Doubtful Capacity to Improve Educational Performance </li></ul>
  6. 6. Franklin County Studies 2007-2009 <ul><li>Public Management Associates </li></ul><ul><li>Hurwitz Associates Focus Groups </li></ul><ul><li>NESDEC Interim Report </li></ul><ul><li>NESDEC 2020 Vision </li></ul>
  7. 7. Public Management Associates <ul><li>Recommended an educational collaborative </li></ul><ul><li>Projected savings of $1.2 million per year </li></ul>
  8. 8. Hurwitz Associates Focus Groups <ul><li>Found strong support for teachers, small schools </li></ul><ul><li>Some willingness to look at consolidations </li></ul>
  9. 9. NESDEC Interim Report <ul><li>Declining enrollment set to end </li></ul><ul><li>Reinvent magnet high schools </li></ul>
  10. 10. NESDEC 2020 Vision <ul><li>Review of local finances vs. state average </li></ul><ul><li>Several new models for discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Link Franklin County to readiness vision </li></ul>
  11. 11. State Readiness Plan Governor Patrick’s Task Force on Education <ul><li>Early Childhood Programs, Ages 3, 4, 5 </li></ul><ul><li>Longer school day and year </li></ul><ul><li>Readiness Centers, Passports P-16 </li></ul><ul><li>Grades 13 and 14 free of charge (Community College) </li></ul><ul><li>Early Colleges </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual High Schools </li></ul>
  12. 12. Franklin County Economic Plan <ul><li>Growth will be in virtual offices, polymer </li></ul><ul><li>New energy/health/telecom employers need more skills, some college </li></ul><ul><li>75-85% graduation rates: only 8,000 of 10,000 pupils will earn a diploma </li></ul>
  13. 13. Research on School/District Size <ul><li>High schools of 400-800 enjoy good graduation rates, attendance, family support </li></ul><ul><li>School districts of 3000-5000 most economical, efficient </li></ul><ul><li>Elementary schools – bus rides, topography limit closures </li></ul>
  14. 14. Other States <ul><li>Maine – Governor’s proposal: from 260 to 80 school districts </li></ul><ul><li>Arkansas – minimum number of students </li></ul><ul><li>Nebraska – eliminate elementary districts </li></ul><ul><li>NY State – extra funds for reorganized districts </li></ul>
  15. 15. Problems Facing Small Districts <ul><li>Turnover of school superintendents </li></ul><ul><li>School choice </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer state grants </li></ul><ul><li>Special education, regular transportation costly </li></ul><ul><li>Health costs, purchasing more expensive: </li></ul>
  16. 16. Franklin County School Expenditures <ul><li>Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Three Areas Exceeding State Averages </li></ul><ul><li>Administrative Overhead </li></ul><ul><li>Expenses Below State Average </li></ul>
  17. 17. Expenditures Overview <ul><li>Total expenditures $133,388,207 in 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>$20 million in Title programs, Special Ed, food services </li></ul><ul><li>Franklin County per pupil costs 10% higher than state average </li></ul><ul><li>Yet below state average in Out-of-District expenditures, $7 million less </li></ul>
  18. 18. Three Areas Exceeding State Averages <ul><li>Health Insurance/Retirement: $3.5 million </li></ul><ul><li>Other Teaching Costs (Assistants, Therapists, Etc.): $3.1 million </li></ul><ul><li>Transportation, Food, Other Pupil Services: $2.3 million </li></ul>
  19. 19. Administrative Overhead <ul><li>Principals, Assistants: $1.2 million </li></ul><ul><li>Central Office, Superintendents, Directors: $1.1 million </li></ul><ul><li>Total $15 million vs. $13 million state average </li></ul>
  20. 20. Expenses Below State Average <ul><li>Guidance and Counseling </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Development </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom teachers, specialists </li></ul>
  21. 21. Ingredients of a Readiness School System <ul><li>Full day access to Early Education </li></ul><ul><li>Upgrade graduation rate towards 100% </li></ul><ul><li>Early college/dual enrolment </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual high school, online courses </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on Readiness services, Passport, Center </li></ul><ul><li>Computer, financial, global literacy for all </li></ul>
  22. 22. Local Control <ul><li>Under-utilized school councils: </li></ul><ul><li>Can interview principal, teacher candidates </li></ul><ul><li>Should review pupil achievement, school improvement plan </li></ul><ul><li>Examine the school budget </li></ul><ul><li>Raise funds for enrichment, art, music, afterschool </li></ul><ul><li>Recruit volunteers, mentors </li></ul>
  23. 23. Governance Models
  24. 24. Model #1 <ul><li>One county school committee and superintendent, academic, technical, business manager </li></ul><ul><li>Specialists in curriculum areas, transportation, food service, special ed </li></ul><ul><li>Headcount Savings of 24 positions </li></ul><ul><li>Savings - $2.79 Million </li></ul>
  25. 25. Model #2 <ul><li>Three districts: East County, West, Technical School </li></ul><ul><li>Headcount Savings 13 Positions </li></ul><ul><li>Savings of $1.7 Million </li></ul>
  26. 26. Model #3 <ul><li>Six K-12 districts, each with a high school </li></ul><ul><li>Headcount Savings 5Positions </li></ul><ul><li>Savings $ 852 Thousand </li></ul><ul><li>Other variations, options include: </li></ul><ul><li>Leverett, Shutesbury to join with Amherst, Pelham </li></ul><ul><li>Orange, Mahar to join with Athol, Petersham </li></ul>
  27. 27. Greenfield Community College <ul><li>Expand early entrance to college options </li></ul><ul><li>Open up access to online courses </li></ul><ul><li>Transfer options to four year colleges </li></ul><ul><li>Continue GED, lifelong learning programs </li></ul>
  28. 28. State Leadership Options <ul><li>Raise state aid from 30% to 45-55% of costs </li></ul><ul><li>Full funding of transportation formulas </li></ul><ul><li>Restore incentives for regional school districts </li></ul><ul><li>Restore summer school remediation </li></ul><ul><li>Fund state share of collaboratives </li></ul><ul><li>Require schools to join Group Insurance commission or equivalent program </li></ul>
  29. 29. State Leadership Options – Cont. <ul><li>Cap school choice </li></ul><ul><li>Cushion charter schools </li></ul><ul><li>Extend Broadband Access </li></ul><ul><li>Expand early college, dual enrolment options </li></ul><ul><li>Finance a Pioneer Valley Readiness Center </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce number of state required reports </li></ul>
  30. 30. Local Action <ul><li>Join a collaborative, share purchases </li></ul><ul><li>Create a 501 C 3 foundation to seek grants, gifts </li></ul><ul><li>Study Readiness priorities, become a model </li></ul><ul><li>Agree to magnetize high schools </li></ul>
  31. 31. Next Steps For The State <ul><li>Restore the regional incentives </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthen the School Council duties, powers </li></ul><ul><li>Allow forgiveness of School Building Assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Consider making Franklin County the umbrella school committee </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage discussion of models and of Readiness </li></ul>
  32. 32. Franklin County School Districts

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