Academic Improvement Workshop Recap 9/22
Just over a million dollars. That’s the budget the Board has to address academic improvement in our D-rated district, and was the subject of an academic improvement workshop preceding the regular business meeting on 9/22.
The new audio system was in place for the workshop. The board members and superintendent were mic’ed up and the workshop was our first public meeting recorded on the new system.
The Board was presented with a list of previously discussed potential allocations totaling $153,005 during budget hearings. They are as follows:
Student Tutors (Formerly AVID) $10,000
Professional Development $3,885
Performance Pay (Estimated) $60,000
Heartland STEM Scholars Program $9,120
Virtual School (Estimated) $40,000
Science Labs $30,000
District administration brought these additional allocations totaling $402,016 before the Board for discussion:
IEP Substitutes $27,000
Data Systems Support $63,008
Professional Development for Science $15,000
Ed Options Academy $139,300
Academic Deans (2) $157,708
$555,021 is a lot of money. State funding has been more “generous” this year than in years past. We’re being told that funding should look favorable next year, but a lot can happen in a year. It’s of the utmost importance that the money we have in our hand is spent in the most effective ways possible. The objective is academic growth and achievement for close to 7,200 students through out the county. The Board’s job is the align the resources to achieve these goals.
The discussion among board members was vigorous and meaningful. Basquin expressed concern about spending trends and his desire to work on whittling down the deficit created from spending more than our revenues the past several years.
My concerns centered around the projected effectiveness of the presented strategies and if we, as a District, are investing our resources into managing the symptoms of low academic performance rather than directing resources to address the causes like truancy, virtually non-existent parental involvement, poverty and language barriers. (I’ll elaborate more on this concept in my next post.)
Thank you so much for taking time to read my blog. I appreciate your engagement and I’m humbled to serve Hendry County.