Sunday, March 16, 2008

Weighted Staffing Standards Continued

(revised to include the day of the Finance Committee meeting -- Thursday)

There's been interesting discussion about the Weighted Staffing Standards and their impact on school budgets and staffing on this blog, in some CPPS e-mail strings, and with parents and teachers around the city.

I also got responses from Carla Santorno, Steve Sundquist and Sherry Carr to my e-mail raising concerns about how the Weighted Staffing Standards is playing out, and the rumor that there were attempts at silencing parents with concerns about the process (which, happily, turned out to be false, see Weighted Staffing Standards: The Reality).

Sherry Carr made a good suggestion to encourage people to attend the Finance Committee meeting this week at which school budgets will be discussed.
  • Attend the Finance Committee at the Stanford Center, 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm on Thursday to listen to the discussion among Board and staff members about school budgets.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Harium's blog also has a new thread for people who have witnessed large staff cuts at their school as a result of the change in formula to post them there.

Anonymous said...

What day is the Finance Committee meeting this week? Thank you.

Beth Bakeman said...

Sorry -- I omitted that important piece of information. It's Thursday. And I've corrected the article as well.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

The many districts serving diverse populations manage their budgets using a combo of Weighted Staffing Standards in FTE's and layer additional supports for special programs or programs for higher needs students including special education, English as a second language, free and reduced.... and school improvement plans for underperforming schools.

Because school budgets all over the country have tanked... budgeting has become more process driven and not necessarily student- centered.

What really will come into play is the district's issues surrounding equity. This budgeting move is a step to deal with equity and foreshadows future possibilities:
- Schools, high schools included, may be required to all offer same basic courses and same level of instructional integrity for equity between schools. (Curriculum pacing guides and tighter curriculum controls- more centralized which is not all bad.)
- Schools with unique programs may cut programs to make their schools look more alike to the schools without such programs.
- This Weighted Staffing standards may not be easily done using a school of choice configuration because of equity. (Attending your neighborhood school may be the outcome.)
- If school of choice is not affected for the majority, it may be a diminished opportunity for those higher needs students who will be required to attend schools with existing resources... equity plays here again.

A prediction: This budget move is one step in a series of steps to level the playing fields forcing equity among schools and thus triggering an end to school of choice!

Sometimes School Choice thrives for all the wrong reasons.

Beth Bakeman said...

From a CPPS e-mail today:

"WSS will not explicitly be on today’s [SPS Finance Committee] Agenda. Rather, today’s meeting will be focused on reviewing the first draft of the 2008/09 budget, eg, overall revenues, costs, etc. WSS may indeed come up as a part of that discussion, but not as a specific Agenda item.

WSS has been discussed in detail in a previous meeting(s), and Director Sundquist has offered to give the topic another hearing if parents and community members are interested."

Anonymous said...

Our school used WSS as an excuse to cut special education funding. We lost a half time instructional assistant. "They don't serve that many students you know."