A simple question for board members…

Our group has identified two alternatives for the 2012-13 budget that would save our music programs:

Alternative #1: Avoid NEW positions.

Alternative #2: Add furlough days.

We know that several Board Members were not aware of certain specifics / effects of the budget. This is not a surprise and we cannot blame them given the date that the budget was delivered and the superficial level of explanation provided by the District.

Here is some background information that will assist us in framing simple questions for the School Board this Monday:

In the 2012-13 budget, there are 32.5 new Intervention teachers (note the description says ½ committed to student time and other to collaboration). There are 19.9 new Technology Instructional Assistants and one new Administrator for Elementary Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. ***That is $4,750,000 of NEW positions with no track record of proven achievement.***

Intervention (a.k.a. RTI / “Response to Intervention”) was a new activity funded by federal stimulus dollars which have since dried up. There were no targets for improved results put in place when these programs were started and there has been no report of effectiveness-per-dollar since.

According to the 2009 Five Year Financial Report, the District has ‘purposefully spent down’ $40M in ending fund balance on literacy coaches and the collaboration (a.k.a. PLC / “Professional Learning Community”) strategy. Again, there were no targets for measuring success/value-per-dollar and no evidence or reports to justify continued expenditure.

Simple Question for Alternative #1 – Avoid NEW Positions.

“Dear Board Member, When you voted, did you know your vote FOR the budget was a vote for NEW positions at the expense of mitigating the damage to proven programs?”

Simple Question for Alternative #2 – Add Furlough days.

“Dear Board Member, When you voted, did you know that the extra furlough days had not been negotiated for with specific intent to avoid damage to proven programs?”

Simple follow-up Question:

“Dear Board Member, Now that you know these specifics, do you still feel the same way about your vote?”

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