I'm a bit perplexed.
One item is the district asking OSPI for a waiver for Cleveland High to be exempt from the 150-hour state requirement. It is now an ALE (alternative learning experience) school versus a traditional school. Under OSPI an ALE school does not meet the 150-hour requirement and so only gets 90% of funding that traditional schools receive. The district wants Cleveland to get that extra 10% (about 300k) for this year. What's perplexing is that they explain how they created Cleveland two years ago with a block schedule. They knew the block schedule would mean less class time and yet they went ahead. Now, they are unhappy they don't get full funding.
OSPI recognizes that block schedules cannot meet the 150 hour/credit requirement, and therefore is willing to grant waivers for schools doing a block schedule. Traditionally waivers must be submitted by May 1st for the upcoming year. We therefore assumed that OSPI would not consider a waiver request now; however, when contacted, OSPI told us that they are willing to consider this waiver though it is late, because they recognize that a block schedule cannot meet the 150-hour requirement.
And, as you see from the above, the district knew this, didn't get their request to OSPI on-time but OSPI said okay since they knew the school couldn't meet the 150-hour requirement.
And, of course, this is an intro and action all rolled into one because hey, yet another "gotta have it now" action. Even though the district knew this was a problem and just let it slip by earlier in the year.
Right at the end, there is this:
Upon approval of this motion, the 150 hour/credit application will be submitted to the state. If approved, Cleveland will move from an ALE classification to a traditional school classification and they will begin receiving full funding. There should be no other impact to the school or school community.
Well, that's interesting because that means we have a school that is classified for funding as "traditional" and yet for enrollment is an "option" school. That's a little bit confusing, no? But being clear and coherent is not something the district takes into consideration much so it's not surprising they would do this.
I wonder if Cleveland would no longer have to meet the district's ALE policy (referenced later in the Board agenda) so I wonder how significantly the learning experience would change at Cleveland. I would assume the tours this year would sound much different than the ones last year. Reading further, I see:
Because hours are the only element of Cleveland that constitutes their ALE status, and because the loss of funding for Cleveland is upwards of $300,000 per year, we believe that we should remove the ALE status and receive full funding for the school. We will be investigating the remaining ALE schools to determine if they are in a similar situation.
Here's our Board's Legislative agenda this year:
The 2012 proposed legislative agenda is focused on two main areas:
- General fund: Acting immediately to ensure that the legislators do not walk away from the reforms realized in the prior two legislative sessions; fully funding basic education, legislating for innovation, and funding the supports necessary to ensure that students can meet new, higher graduation requirements; and
- Capital fund: Authorizing funding to enable us to complete building repairs necessary to accommodate our increasing enrollment as well as authorizing funds to begin work on a new skill center program.
The agenda does note this:
Support legislation, such as HB 1815 or an equivalent, to allow Seattle Public Schools to fully collect operating levy funds previously authorized by Seattle voters, such as the $7 million that Seattle will not be able to collect this year.
I'm a little unclear on what they are referencing here, anyone?
Approval of the Series 2000 and 3000 Board policies is also up for a final vote. Speak now or they are a done deal for the foreseeable future.
This there is this curious settlement between the district and a roofing firm for $518k (the district is getting this money). So the district had a roof put in Bailey Gatzert in 1988. Apparently:
It is a standing seam metal roof, which incorporates phenolic foam as an insulator. A significant number of such roofs around the country have experienced problems, resulting in substantial repair expenses to the owners.
which raises the question of why the district authorized this roof with this particular kind of construction. Anyway, its useful life is 20 years and it was in operation 23 years. In 2010, the district had a new roof put in for $1.1M.
The lawyers are getting about 33% of that $518k so the district gets $345k. As you can see, that comes nowhere close to covering the costs for the new roof but I suspect since it took the district so long to file a claim (almost at the end of the roof's useful life), they were not entitled to the cost of a new roof.