Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Dorn Unveils Own Plan for McCleary/1351

Tell me what you think.  From the OSPI press release:

The State is currently under a court order to produce a complete plan showing how it intends to achieve full state funding of K-12 basic education without the use of local funding. Superintendent Randy Dorn has introduced a plan makes two significant modifications to current law regarding full funding: 1), It reduces class size in grades 4 through 12, but not as much as voter-approved Initiative 1351; and 2), It extends the timeline for achieving full funding from 2018 to 2021. The extension is a realistic timeline to hire more teachers and build more classrooms to accommodate the new class-size limits.

Below is a summary of the complete plan:

The State must:

- Complete the funding of House Bill 2776. In their McCleary decision, the State Supreme Court requires the State to fund HB 2776, which includes statewide full-day kindergarten; lower K–3 class size; materials, supplies, and operating costs; and transportation. The House and Senate budgets proposals would make significant progress to get this done.

- Reduce class size in grades 4–12. The Dorn plan recommends reducing class size to 24 in grades 4–6 and 27 in grades 7–12.

- Hire additional support staff. The Supreme Court also cites need to fund the “prototypical school model,” as defined in HB 2261. The model includes increasing the number of para-educators, librarians, school nurses, guidance counselors, office and technology support, custodians, and classified staff to keep students safe.

- Fund more teachers, more classrooms. As class sizes decrease, we must ensure we have high-quality teachers prepared to enter the profession — and space for them to work. This is the biggest obstacle to meeting the 2018 deadline.

 - Reform the compensation system. The state must fund the salaries and benefits for all staff who provide basic education. Eliminating the use of levy funding should lead to a system of statewide collective bargaining, rather than local bargaining, and include regional cost-of-living adjustments. In addition, we should provide K–12 health insurance through a statewide benefit program similar to the plan now used by state employees.

- Reform the levy system. Legislation is needed to clearly define the appropriate uses of local levy funds and redefine supplemental contracts. The cost of providing an equitable high-quality basic education to all students is a state responsibility. Passing off this obligation to districts puts a burden on local taxpayers that is unfair and inequitable to districts, making it more difficult to close achievement gaps. This goes beyond being an educational issue. It is a civil rights issue.

- Review & update education provisions regularly. HB 2261 established the Quality Education Council (QEC) to direct the implementation of the prototypical school model. The QEC established several workgroups, including the Compensation Technical Working Group. It should create two new workgroups: one to design a better process to recruit and retain teachers, and the other to monitor the evolving definition of “basic education.”


dan dempsey said...

2021 ??? Huh???

So violating young citizens constitutional rights has not been really objectionable in the past so what is an additional 3 years.

Quality is the responsibility of senior management (W. Edwards Deming)

In the education arena, senior management is never held accountable for quality.

Patrick said...

The state has known that it has to have more classrooms for half a decade! There's no way they should get another three years to comply! I have an idea: If there aren't enough classrooms, put the legislature in portables and bus the students to meet in the capitol building!

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, I found the 3 year extension to be aggravating.

I wonder if Dorn worked with legislators on this.

Ed said...

So, hiring more local levy funded "support staff" is the answer that has escaped great minds for a generation?

Good grief Randy, what planet do you live on?

dan dempsey said...

Let us not forget the significant sums being poured into Common Core and SBAC testing, which have in my opinion nothing to do with improving educational opportunities and instruction for students.

No Vendor Left Behind trumps kids' constitutional rights. Follow the money not the constitution.

Ann D said...

The logistics involved in increasing the number of classrooms in Seattle Schools appears insurmountable even if this should pass.

The class sizes are already supposed to be capped at 23 or so for elementary grades based on the teacher's contact but it is common to have 28 kids in a kindergarten class.

In 2013 SPS was even trying to increase class sizes.

We can't cover every square inch of blacktop on school properties with portable classrooms. where are all these new schools going to be situated -- especially now that Seattle is experimenting with preschool placements beyond what was being offered?

Patrick said...

Ann D. -- We need more school buildings. The state should be helping, as enrollment has increased substantially. We shouldn't have to pay for enough buildings for our students just out of levy money.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Ann D. Yes, it is ridiculous to think that state will build the number of schools needed for the initiative. And they shouldn't. What happens in 10 years if there is a decline in the birth rate? A class size of around 26 is totally reasonable in 3rd grade and above. Be prepared for miles of portables. Those in favor of more recess may get it, but the where will the students play?

HP Gal

Lynn said...

Seattle Public Schools has increased K-3 class sizes for the coming school year.

From the 2015-16 Weighted Staffing Standards:
Elementary General Education
Teacher Funding Ratio
Kindergarten 1:26
First 1:26
Second 1:26
Third 1:26
Fourth 1:28
Fifth 1:28

From the 2014-15 Weighted Staffing Standards:
K 1:23
1 1:23
2 1:25
3 1:25
4 1:28
5 1:28

Melissa Westbrook said...

26 kids in kindergarten or first grade is too much. Hard to believe the district is going this direction.

TechyMom said...

This looks like a step in the right direction. The class sizes are still too high, but better than what we have. There are other states with maximum class sizes of 18 or 20. Washington is a very wealthy state. We should be a leader in this space, not just approaching average.

The 3 year delay is annoying, but not surprising given that the legislature has been doing nothing for about that long. My kid will be a senior when this is done. McCleary was filed before she was in K. sigh.

As to the state building new schools in Seattle, they absolutely should be. The growth isn't due to a baby boom (although there has been one). Seattle is the fastest growing big city in America. Growing cities need to grow infrastructure, including schools. If the birth rate slows, we'll still need more schools for the long term.

Ann D said...

Note the required adult-child ratios in Washington State for childcare of elementary age (ages 5-12) children is 1:15, maximum group size of 30.
WAC 170-295-2090

Yeah for total incongruency with educational environments.