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Posts Tagged Basic Education Finance Task Force

LIVE BLOG: BEFTF

4:40-5pm
Amendments to Draft Proposal, (page numbers below refer to this draft proposal, votes in italics)

Levy authority, insert on page 17 – Rep. Jarrett (withdrawn)

  • Excess levies will be limited to 30 percent based on a statewide per-pupil base funding amount
  • Until the new finance model is fully implemented, districts can raise local levies up to the higher of
    • 30 percent of the projected per-pupil amount for the new Program of Basic Education for that school year, or
    • 24 percent of the projected per-pupil amount of the new Program of Basic Education at full implementation

>>There were concerns from some TF members that the amendment would cut local levy dollars. Reps. Jarrett and Hunter said the intent was that the base for levies would be larger, and even at a reduced rate districts would be able to raise more levy dollars than they can today.<<

Local levy authority and equalization, insert on page 17 – Rep. Hunter (Amendment adopted)

  • “Local levies, along with local effort assistance for property-poor districts should continue to be a feature of overall funding for public schools. A technical team should develop a new local levy and equalization system that equalizes to a per-student figure rather than a percent of a district’s levy base with a rational basis for both excess levies and equalization.”

>>Sup. Kowalkowski offered a friendly amendment that the base for levies and equalization be “rational.”<<

(Members present, FYI – Anderson, Kowalkowski, Bergeson, Grimm, Jarrett [voting for Sen. Tom], Hunter, Sullivan, Priest, Haigh, Hartmann)

5pm-5:05pm
Discussion on the Final Proposal, as amended (Adopted as amended)

>>Dr. Bergeson advocated for the inclusion of assessments, EALRs, etc. in the accountability narrative of the report.<<

5:05pm-5:15pm
Final housekeeping and acknowledgements

– Dissenting opinions on the text will be due by December 19, 2008
– Task Force members will have opportunities to review narrative text

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LIVE BLOG: BEFTF

4pm-4:15pm
Amendments to Draft Proposal, (page numbers below refer to this draft proposal, votes in italics)

Phase-in of new funding formula, new section – Reps. Priest and Hunter (Amendment adopted)

  • “Development of the funding formulas for the new Program of Education and the supporting compensation, personnel, and accountability systems should begin immediately and then phased-in over a six-year period, starting in the 2011-12 school year. The phase-in plan should be flexible to ensure that the Legislature is committed to full and timely implementation.”
  • Within six-year phase-in, the funding priorities should be:
  1. Cover the fundamental costs of operating a district with enhanced allocations for maintenance, supplies and operating costs, and adequate salary allocations for staff
  2. Expand enhanced learning opportunities for underachieving and ELL students, as well as full-day kindergarten
  3. As soon as a quality program can be defined and delivery system developed, early learning expansion should occur
  4. Class size reduction should start in the early grades
  5. Core 24 will be implemented per the SBE’s detailed implementation plan [amended]
  • Inclusion of six-year phase-in timetable “obligates the Legislature to demonstrate an educational, rather than purely financial, rationale for future modifications”

>>Dr. Bergeson asked about how CORE 24 fits into this. Rep. Priest said he didn’t care and would accept language specifically referencing CORE 24. Sup. Kowalkowski shared his enthusiasm for the language of the amendment. Dr. Bergeson asked about the role of assessments, EALRs and standards, and the lack of language on these topics.<<

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LIVE BLOG: BEFTF

(Members present, FYI – Anderson, Kowalkowski, Hyde, Bergeson, Grimm, Jarrett [voting for Sen. Tom], Hunter, Sullivan, Priest, Haigh, Hartmann)

2:50pm-4pm
Amendments to Draft Proposal, (page numbers below refer to this draft proposal, votes in italics)

Middle school instructional hours, page 7 – Dr. Hyde (Amendment adopted)

  • Model schools are K-6 for elementary and 7-8 for middle schools, however districts can configure middle schools per local preference
  • Allocation model will adjust to accommodate 1,000 or 1,080 hours instructional hours per year to sixth grade students

Central office administration, insert on page 9 – Rep. Jarrett (deferred to allow language revision)

  • Staffing allocation for central office administration based on 6 percent XX percent [to be calculated by Ms. Priddy and Mr. Rarick] of core allocation for compensation in the Basic Education Instructional Program
  • Allocations are meant to be sufficient for districts to maintain current classified and administrator staffing in the General Apportionment program from all sources

>>Continued confusion among some TF members on what this language is saying and whether it adequately meets districts’ needs. Ben Rarick, Office of Program Research, offered further explanation of the amendment. Rep. Hunter said the amendment attempts to respond to the concerns of Dr. Bergeson, Dr. Hyde and Ms. Priddy that the 6 percent does not provide enough funding for current central office staffing.

>>Chair Grimm cautioned that central office administration may currently be underfunded, and this amendment may maintain that underfunding. Dr. Bergeson said this would not provide funding for central office staff funded by local dollars. Rep. Hunter said he agrees those staff members should be included, and the current language does not reflect that.<<

[Rep. Anderson asked about what lies ahead. Chair Grimm’s answer: three amendments and final vote.]

180 day school year, page 7 – Rep. Hunter, redux (Amendment adopted)

  • 180 day minimum school year in all grades; 180 half-day minimum school year for kindergarten
  • SBE may authorize waivers if:
    • Necessary to provide specialized instructional program
    • Total number of waivers statewide may not impact more than 2 percent of the overall student population
    • Not for the purposes of professional development or teacher-parent/guardian conferences

>>TF members were conflicted on the 2 percent cap on waivers, and not allowing teacher-parent/guardian conferences be counted in the 180 days. Rep. Hunter pushed back that conferences can come out of LIDs. Dr. Hyde said LIDs are for staff development. Rep. Hunter said the TF needs to decide whether conferences come out of kid time or staff time. Rep. Haigh asked if the days were for students or for teachers.<<

NERCs (technical change), page A-4 – Dr. Bergeson (Amendment adopted)

  • “$310 per student for central office administration,” instead of “$210”

Fiscal accounting and budgeting data system, page 17 – Rep. Jarrett (Amendment adopted)

  • State system does not mandate a single software; the state will provide funding for necessary software (system is at no cost to districts)

>>Dr. Bergeson shared her concerns that the language of the amendment does not explicitly allow for multiple software programs. Rep. Anderson offered another explanation of the intent of the language — to not prescribe one, universal software program to all districts, but require all districts to report specific data. Then we had more back and forth among TF members over the value of inserting language specifically prohibiting a singular software program.<<

(Members present, FYI – Anderson, Kowalkowski, Bergeson, Grimm, Jarrett [voting for Sen. Tom], Hunter, Sullivan, Priest, Haigh, Hartmann)

Central office administration, insert on page 9 -redux (2) (Amendment adopted)

  • Provide a staffing allocation for central office administration, based on a percentage of the core allocation for compensation in the Basic Education Instructional Program, not including the Categorical Programs
  • Applies to classified staff and certificated administrators

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LIVE BLOG: BEFTF

2:10pm-2:35pm
Amendments to Draft Proposal, (page numbers below refer to this draft proposal, votes in italics)

Definition of basic education, page 6 – Rep. Jarrett and Sen. Tom (Amendment adopted)

  • “Evolving program of instruction that must provide students with the opportunity to become responsible and respectful global citizens, to contribute to their economic well-being and that of their families and communities, to explore and understand different perspectives, and to enjoy productive and satisfying lives.”
  • Lists specific skills:
    • Read with comprehension, write effectively, and communicate successfully
    • Know and apply key concepts of mathematics; social, physical and life sciences; civics and history; geography; arts; and health and fitness
    • Think analytically, logically and creatively
    • Understand the importance of work and finance
  • Opportunity to complete graduation requirements of 24 credits; any changes to graduation requirements proposed by the SBE that have fiscal impact must be approved by the Legislature
  • State must make available resources to districts to enable them to provide the program of education; “districts may find it appropriate to modify the model program to fit the unique circumstances of their population”
  • State must provide resources for districts to supply supplemental instruction to underachieving students, ELLs, and students with disabilities
  • Includes early learning for some at-risk children
  • “Supplemental instruction to learn in English for English language learners,” instead of “transitional bilingual instruction for English language learners”
  • Distribution formula is an optimal, long-term goal; technicalities of implementation will require a staggered, well-planned strategy over the next three biennium at minimum (and formula proposed today may need to be modified throughout implementation)
  • Includes transportation and students in institutions and residential facilities

>>Dr. Hyde offered a friendly amendment to add children in institutions and residential facilities, which was accepted. Sup. Kowalkowski and Dr. Hyde also suggested transportation be added, which was accepted.<<

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LIVE BLOG: BEFTF

(Members present, FYI – Kowalkowski, Hyde, Chow, Bergeson, Grimm, Hunter, Sullivan, Priest, Haigh)

1:05pm-2:10pm
Amendments to Draft Proposal, (page numbers below refer to this draft proposal, votes in italics)

Principal allocations, page 8 – Dr. Bergeson, redux (Amendment adopted)

  • Allocate 1 1.2 principals per elementary, 1.5 1.3 per middle and 2 1.8 per high school, instead of 1 per school
  • Presumes these mirror current staffing

(Members present, FYI – Anderson, Kowalkowski, Hyde, Chow, Bergeson, Grimm, Jarrett [voting for Sen. Tom], Hunter, Sullivan, Priest, Haigh)

Central office administration, page 8 – Dr. Bergeson, redux (Amendment rejected, 5-5 – Yeas: Kowalkowski, Hyde, Chow, Bergeson, Grimm; Nays: Anderson, Priest, Sullivan, Hunter, Jarrett)

  • Change prototype school allocations to 1 certificated administrator, 4 central office classified, 1 technology and 1 service worker [meant to replace 6 percent administrative funding mechanism]

>>Rep. Hunter pushed back on this amendment, and offered an alternate: “Provide a staffing allocation for Central Office Administration based on 6 percent of the core allocation for the Basic Education Instructional Program.” His amendment also included language that the intent of the Task Force is to provide allocations that maintain current classified staffing ratios. Dr. Bergeson responded that she still feels discrete numbers are preferred.<<

Tribal schools, new section – Rep. Jarrett (Amendment rejected, 4-4)

  • “Legislature should evaluate making basic education funding directly available to tribal schools that adhere to substantially similar responsibilities and accountability requirements as do school districts.”
  • Idea is to make tribal school districts

>>Dr. Bergeson mentioned that tribal schools currently receive federal funds, and operate under agreements with local districts.<<

(Members present, FYI – Anderson, Kowalkowski, Hyde, Chow, Bergeson, Grimm, Jarrett [voting for Sen. Tom], Hunter, Sullivan, Priest, Haigh, Hartmann)

Intent of Task Force, new section included in narrative – Sup. Kowalkowski (Amendment adopted)

  • Recognize current financial situation facing the state, however K-12 funding should not be cut
  • Current K-12 system is underfunded, and to cut K-12 education “would be contrary to the paramount duty” of the state

>>Rep. Sullivan said he reads this as saying no cuts should be made to any part of K-12 funding; however, he believes some programs, including “pet” programs, could be cut. Rep. Sullivan would like to see some revision to this language. Rep. Anderson thought this language would be better placed in the narrative section of the report. Then there was some confusion over the impact of specifically referencing I-728 and levy equalization in the language, which seemed to have been removed from the amendment.<<

180 day school year, page 7 – Rep. Hunter (deferred to allow language revision)

  • Require minimum 180 day school year unless a district receives a waiver from the State Board of Education
  • SBE may authorize waivers if:
    • necessary to provide a special instructional program for high school students, or
    • districts demonstrate sufficient justification for a waiver, the waiver does not apply to all high schools in a district and waivers do not impact more than 2 percent of students statewide

>>Dr. Bergeson asked Mary Jean Ryan, chair of the SBE, to come forward and clarify current waiver process. Rep. Hunter clarified that waivers are only available to high schools because previous TF discussions indicated some high school students would benefit from a non-traditional school year (e.g. 4-day week to reduce extended travel time for students). After some back-and-forth, Rep. Hunter said he is worried about kids getting P.E. credit for playing football in the afternoon.<<

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LIVE BLOG: BEFTF

11:10am-12pm
Amendments to Draft Proposal, (page numbers below refer to this draft proposal, votes in italics)

CQEW – Dr. Hyde (Amendment adopted)

  • Creation of a CQEW, made up of 12 people appointed by the governor (legislators, educators and public at large) BEFTF recommends oversight/implementation group
  • Provide yearly evaluations to governor and Legislature on implementation of recommendations
  • Provide recommendations to the governor and Legislature

>>In her explanation of her amendment, Dr. Hyde said task forces would also be created, and work with bodies like the State Board of Education and Professional Educator Standards Board to address issues like data and compensation. These task forces would report back to the CQEW.

>>Rep. Hunter said he is having staff draft language that would eliminate many of the boards and commissions currently in existence, and doesn’t see the need for another. He would rather see these responsibilities given to one of the existing bodies. Dr. Hyde doesn’t want to pile the work on to what the SBE is already doing; she wants it to be front and center for the new group.

>>Dr. Bergeson said she didn’t like the Full Funding Coalition’s CQEW, which allowed for lowered expectations with lower funding. Dr. Hyde said that is not a part of her amendment. Rep. Anderson said commissions cannot implement anything, so it falls on bodies like OSPI to implement recommendations. And he seemed to acknowledge a need for a commission like the one proposed by Dr. Hyde.

>>Sup. Kowalkowski asked Rep. Hunter why, in the absence of the proposed commission, education is in the state it is. Rep. Hunter said there are only so many people out there who understand education finance, and he would rather not dilute talent by spreading those people among a larger pool of boards/commissions. Rep. Hunter said convening a group like the TF annually was unnecessary, as funding needs won’t differ all that much year to year (but could see it needed every 6 years). Rep. Haigh advocated for a commission of some sort because the issue is so weighty and more work needs to be done. She added that legislators have too much else going on, and there is value in having a group continue to work/focus on the issue.

>>Dr. Hyde said she would be willing to place the responsibility with another entity, but isn’t sure which board/commission/agency it should fall to. Rep. Jarrett said the focus needs to stay on the Legislature, where legislators can lead the charge on issues they are passionate about. He also did not see the value in creating another entity that will issue more reports no one has the time to read. Rep. Sullivan said OSPI is the entity that can provide third-party evaluations and recommendations, and perhaps more funding needs to be directed there to empower that office to do so. Rep. Anderson said that from conversations he’s had with stakeholders, he thinks that if they fix the system, they need to leave it alone for a little while to see how the new system performs.

>>Dr. Bergeson suggested an amendment to Dr. Hyde’s amendment: BEFTF recommends an oversight/implementation group to monitor implementation of the BEFTF’s recommendations; the group will sunset in 6 years (added at request of Rep. Hunter). Rep. Jarrett asked if the Legislature could appoint a current body to perform this function, and Dr. Bergeson said she would not preclude the Legislature from doing so.<<

Facilities maintenance, insert on page 9 – Chair Grimm (Amendment rejected, 5-5 – Yeas: Kowalkowski, Hyde, Chow, Bergeson, Grimm; Nays: Anderson, Priest, Sullivan, Hunter, Jarrett)

  • Requires district investment of facilities maintenance resources into facilities maintenance
  • OSPI will establish a reserve account for facilities maintenance funds to track allocations compared to district expenditures
  • OSPI will recover resources not expended or reserved for facilities maintenance [use it or lose it]
  • NERC amount of $97/student for facilities maintenance and custodial costs, and $215/student for central office administration

>>Rep. Jarrett said he is resistant to this amendment because the TF was attempting to create an allocation model, and this amendment creates categorical funding. Rep. Sullivan asked if there was a limit on how long funds could be reserved. Chair Grimm said there was not a limit, but the funds could only be spent on facilities maintenance. Sup. Kowalkowski voiced his support for this amendment. Rep. Hunter said this is one area where he does not think he is smarter than the people who run schools, and administrators will know how much needs to be spent on facilities maintenance.<<

One hour break for lunch…

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LIVE BLOG: BEFTF

(Members present, FYI – Anderson, Kowalkowski, Hyde, Chow, Bergeson, Grimm, Jarrett [voting for Sen. Tom], Hunter, Sullivan, Priest, Haigh)

10:25am-10:50am
Amendments to Draft Proposal, (page numbers below refer to this draft proposal, votes in italics)

Collective bargaining, pages 13-14 – Reps. Priest and Sullivan (Amendment adopted – Yeas: Anderson, Priest, Sullivan, Bergeson, Jarrett, Hunter; Nays: Kowalkowski, Hyde, Chow, Grimm)

  • Implementation of a SAM with salary increases based on demonstrated performance, measured by an objective assessment and aligned with the teacher certification system
  • Additional bonuses available for assignment as a mentor or evaluator, and a master teacher in hard-to-serve schools
  • Data from labor market surveys will inform regional wage differences
  • No additional changes to collective bargaining

>>Reps. Priest and Sullivan said changes to collective bargaining are unnecessary. By making the SAM more reflective of labor markets and based on skills and knowledge, better “rails” are put in place to guide local contract negotiations.

>>Dr. Hyde said all of the superintendents she speaks to ask for statewide bargaining of salaries; they don’t like negotiating with the people they have to lead. Rep. Sullivan said he didn’t want to speak for superintendents, and Dr. Hyde knows better than he does what superintendents are facing, but doesn’t see the need if the state sets the SAM and limits supplemental pay to Time.

>>Dr. Bergeson shared that she is now a fan of statewide bargaining and thought with this amendment the state will be dealing with this issue in 5-10 years. Rep. Anderson said he didn’t know of anyone having success with “serving two masters,” but then ended up indicating he doesn’t support statewide bargaining. He added that the issue Dr. Hyde mentioned is, with all due respect, a cultural problem, and threatening behavior is not adult behavior. Dr. Hyde countered that because people are so passionate, some do end up with hurt feelings.

>>Rep. Hunter said he didn’t think statewide bargaining would work. Sup. Kowalkowski added that he thought the stakeholders (WEA, etc.) should have a seat at the table, and maybe another task force should be created to deal with this specific issue. Chair Grimm said, as the author of the original language, he will offer a dissenting opinion on this to explain the logic behind it. He also brought up the pull between practical and unpopular decisions, and chided a few legislators on their unwillingness to pursue that which they think cannot be done in the Legislature. Rep. Sullivan said that was not his concern in drafting this amendment. Seattle School Board Member Cheryl Chow said she would join Chair Grimm in that dissenting opinion. Dr. Hyde said she would vote against this amendment, in part, because she sees value in having oversight groups (that would include WEA, WASA, etc.) looking at this issue among others.<<

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LIVE BLOG: BEFTF

(Members present, FYI – Anderson, Kowalkowski, Hyde, Chow, Bergeson, Grimm, Sullivan, Priest)

9:20am-10:25am
Amendments to Draft Proposal, (page numbers below refer to this draft proposal, votes in italics)

Staffing ratios for CTE, AP, IB and Lab Sciences, insert on page 8 – Reps. Priest and Sullivan (Amendment adopted)

  • Staffing ratio of 18:1 or 19:1 for CTE Exploratory AP, IB and Lab Sciences
  • Staffing ratio of 15:1 or 16:1 for CTE Preparatory Programs

>>Rep. Skip Priest explained these staffing ratios are higher than in the original legislative proposal, and reflect current staffing ratios. Superintendent Jim Kowalkowski and Dr. Bette Hyde suggested the 10 percent of all course offerings allotment for these courses is too low. Rep. Priest said they were estimates, and could be altered.<<

ProCert stipend, page 11 – Dr. Bergeson (Amendment adopted)

  • Provide a $1,000 stipend to teachers to offset the cost of obtaining Professional Certification

>>Dr. Bergeson said this is meant as a one-time payment to those pursuing ProCert.<<

Professional development coordinator, page A-4 – Dr. Bergeson (Amendment adopted)

  • Add .75 professional development coordinator to each prototypical school

Supplemental pay, page 12 – Reps. Sullivan and Priest (Amendment adopted)

  • Require supplemental pay to specify minimum amount of additional time required, its purpose and the amount of the contract; instead of setting base salary rate
  • Information must be reported in a common format to OSPI

>>Rep. Pat Sullivan said the purpose was to improve transparency to the award of supplemental pay. Chair Dan Grimm asked if current law allowed for non-disclosure of contracts. Dr. Hyde said that information is public. Rep. Sullivan said it has been difficult for legislative members to obtain information about the contracts. Dr. Hyde agreed with that. Some discussion on wisdom of allowing districts to continue to set rates for supplemental pay (concerns over inflated pay to attract teachers).<<

(Members present, FYI – Anderson, Kowalkowski, Hyde, Chow, Bergeson, Grimm, Jarrett [will vote for Sen. Tom], Hunter, Sullivan, Priest)

I-732, page 17 – Reps. Priest and Sullivan (Amendment adopted)

  • Modify text to “Keep I-732 as is;” instead of “Fold I-732 funds into basic education”

>>Rep. Priest said this came from a suggestion from staff, and means to maintain I-732 funding but not put in place as an automatic cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Chair Grimm suggested the Task Force instead leave I-732 alone. Dr. Hyde thought the TF intended to protect the I-732 COLA, putting it into basic education. Rep. Ross Hunter said the courts ruled I-732 is not basic education. He added that if the TF put I-732 into basic education, it would be saying that is the constitutional obligation of the Legislature to provide annual COLAs. Instead, he thought the constitutional obligation of the Legislature is to educate children. Rep. Hunter added that he wants to give teachers a COLA every year; he just does not see it as a constitutional obligation. Dr. Hyde said her interpretation was to fold I-732 into basic education and award COLAs based on regional labor markets. Chair Grimm said his interpretation was to eliminate I-732 and apply a regional COLA to the salary allocation model (SAM). Rep. Glenn Anderson said there wasn’t enough data yet to apply COLAs to the new SAM. Sup. Kowalkowski asked if any other state employees receive automatic COLAs. Chair Grimm said generally no, although COLAs to pensions are protected and/or automatic.<<

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LIVE BLOG: BEFTF

9:10 a.m.–9:20 a.m.
Presentation on 2008 National Board Certified Teachers
Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards released numbers for 2008:

  • 919 teachers in Washington, rank 3rd
  • 2,726 total National Board Certified teachers in Washington, rank 8th
  • 5 percent of WA teachers are National Board Certified, rank 7th
  • 191 districts (of 295) have at least one National Board Certified teacher

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