GO Board Watch: May 24, 2017

This week’s Board meeting, and future meetings, will be held at La Escuelita – 1050 2nd Ave, Oakland, CA 94606.

This week’s agenda includes:

  • Tributes and Recognitions
  • Linked Learning Pathways
  • COVA Charter Renewal Denial
  • Update on Enrollment
  • Sexual Harassment policy update
  • Pregnant/Married/Parenting Students policy update
  • Measure G1 funds allocation
  • Governor’s budget May revision
  • Third Interim Financial Report
  • Budgetary Increases/Decreases/Transfers
  • Uniform Complaint Procedures policy update

Check out the full agenda.

1).  Professional Culture 

Recognition of District Golden Employee – Arvella Hayden

Congratulations to Arvella Hayden, a kindergarten teacher at Lafayette Elementary, who “has been an OUSD teacher for over fifty-two years, inspiring multiple generations of Oakland students. She is well known for her gentle and loving nature, her commitment to making learning fun for our youngest students, and her unwavering dedication to students.”

2).  Quality Schools Development

National Champion Urban Debate Winners – Skyline High School

Congratulations to Christine Harris and Malachi Ambrose, both seniors at Skyline High School, on winning the Urban Debate League National Championship.

Measure N – Linked Learning Pathways

The Board will hear a presentation on the Measure N funded Linked Learning Pathways. Linked Learning Pathways connect high school curricula to real world skills and careers. The goals are to reduce the drop-out rate, prepare students for work and learning opportunities, and expand support services for job training programs.

Currently, 71.4% of OUSD 10th graders are in one of OUSD’s 33 Linked Learning Pathways programs. The goal is for 90% of 10th grade students to be in a pathway in the 2017-18 school year.

Conservatory of Vocal and Instrumental Arts (K-8) Charter Renewal Denial

The Board will vote on the District’s recommendation to deny a charter renewal for the Conservatory of Vocal and Instrumental Arts (COVA).

In making a recommendation to deny the charter renewal, the OUSD staff documented a range of concerns stating, “The charter school has not met the standards and expectations set forth in the OUSD Charter Renewal Standards, which are based on the standards and criteria set forth in the Charter Schools Act, Education Code §47605(b)(5) including but not limited to: (1) an analysis of the extent to which the school has met its measurable pupil outcomes and an evaluation of its educational program; (2) an analysis of the effectiveness and viability of the school; (3) a review of the school’s performance and operations to evaluate the extent to which the school has been faithful to the terms of its charter; and (4) an evaluation of whether the petitioners have presented a “reasonably comprehensive” description of the 15 elements related to the school’s operation.” Full text of the District’s recommendation to deny can be found here.

For example, OUSD staff notes that from 2013-14 to 2015-16, COVA had five complaints made against it in total. In 2016-17 alone, there were 17 complaints made against COVA. Some of those complaints include: physical/verbal aggressions and traumatizing behavior towards students, parents, and staff; retaliation/intimidation of staff; and lack of satisfactory facilities and textbooks.

If the Board votes to approve the District’s recommendation to deny the renewal, COVA will have the option of appealing for renewal from the Alameda County Office of Education.

Enrollment Improvements Program Year Two

The Board will hear updates on the District’s efforts to stabilize and increase enrollment, as well as plans for future operational and policy improvements.

This year, the District launched Oakland School Finder, Oakland’s first on-line system for enrolling students for district-run schools. Additionally, OUSD opened a second in-person enrollment center and began an enrollment access study that will be released in June, 2017.

For next year, the District plans a host of activities to continue to build out the capacity of online enrollment and to make changes to OUSD’s enrollment policies. Some of these policy changes could include: prioritizing Oakland residents, prioritizing OUSD 8th graders, and/or prioritizing higher performing feeder schools for students from low performing schools.

Sexual Harassment Policy

OUSD has been working in collaboration with Alliance for Girls (AFG) to update the District’s sexual harassment policy. The Board will be voting on the District’s recommended policy changes. The District hopes will bring the issue to the forefront and reaffirm the District’s commitment to maintaining a school environment that is safe and free from harassment and discrimination.

Some of the policy updates include a detailed and transparent outline of the investigatory process, inclusion of restorative processes in eliminating harassment and repairing harms, and creating a school site designee. The full policy proposal can be found here.

Pregnant/Married/Parenting Students Policy

In response to recent legislation AB 302 regarding lactation accommodations, OUSD will update its policy to be in compliance. The legislation requires that school districts provide access to a secure and private room (other than a bathroom) for students to express and store breast milk or nurse infants. The updated policy can be read here.

3).  Budget and Fiscal Management

Measure G1 – First Year Funds – Allocation Option

In November, Oakland voters passed Measure G1 which provides funding for middle school arts and salary increases for teachers. The Board of Education will be voting on how the Measure G1 funds will be allocated. The Measure G1 oversight committee has recommended that the 50% of the funds dedicated to middle school arts be distributed in 2017-18 for middle school arts. The other half of the funding, to be used for teacher salary increases, would be distributed in 2018-19, after the tax revenue has been collected. This decision was made in the context of the funds being previously loaded into school site budgets before staff realized that the timeline for collecting taxes did not align to their distribution plans.

Governor’s Budget May Revision

The Board will hear a presentation from School Services of California on the May Revise of the Governor’s budget. Here are some of the key take-aways:

  • The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) Gap Funding increased from $744 million in the January budget to $1.4 billion in the May revision, bringing LCFF funding to 97% of full implementation.
  • This will mean an additional $170 dollars per student, which would result in $6 million in one-time funds for OUSD. However, the Governor has proposed not releasing these funds until May 2019.
  • Meanwhile, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) adopted an employer contribution rate of 15.53% for 2017-18, almost 2% higher than the current-year rate of 13.88%. This will result in significant increased costs for districts across the state.
  • The California State Teacher’s Retirement System (CalSTRS) will also be increasing employer contribution rates by nearly 2%.

Third Interim Financial Report

The Board will hear a presentation on the OUSD budget update as of April 30, 2017.

OUSD is expected to end the year with an unrestricted general fund balance of $8.4 million, which is approximately $2.8 million short of the state law required 2% reserve. The OUSD Board requires a 3% reserve – OUSD will have half that. As a result, the District will have to replenish the reserve for economic uncertainty by at least that amount.

Two programs that OUSD has been watching closely is Early Childhood Education and Special Education.

  • There was a $550 thousand increase in the amount of funds transferred from General Fund to Early Childhood Education (ECE).
  • There was a $522 thousand reduction in the amount transferred into Special Education.

Since the second interim financial report released in March, unrestricted revenues have increased by $300 thousand, while unrestricted expenses have increased by $3.1 million.

Budget Increases/Decreases/Transfers

The most significant change in the Budgetary Increases/Decreases/ and Transfers is the increase of unrestricted general fund expenditures by $3.6 million. The increased expenditures fall under “Services & Other Operating Costs.”

4).  Board Development and Strategy

Tribute to Darius Aikens – Student Board Member

Many who have watched the board meetings over the last two years have had the pleasure of hearing Darius Aikens’ insightful comments as a student director on the OUSD Board. In addition to serving two-terms as a student director on the OUSD Board, Darius serves as the youth chapter president of the Oakland NAACP Imani Youth Council and an ambassador for Oakland Promise, all while going to school full-time and holding a part-time job. Darius will be graduating this spring and will attend UCLA in the fall.

We are so grateful for all that Darius has done for education in Oakland and look forward to watching his extraordinary leadership continue to grow and develop in the years to come.

Uniform Complaint Procedures

The Board will vote on proposed amendments to the board policy on Uniform Complaint Procedures. These amendments would bring the policy into compliance with state law by allowing people to file a Uniform Complaint for an expanded set of issues.

5).  Other

  • No informational or action items presented.
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