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Nov. 12, 2012 Board Work Session

Review/Discuss Budget Process for FY2013-14: Assumptions and Staffing Formulas

Chief Financial Officer Nicole Conley Abram presented the data and assumptions that will be used to prepare budgeted revenue and expenditure projections, including staffing formulas, for FY 2014.

Ms. Conley Abram made the following key points in her presentation:

  • The budget assumptions have changed little between this year and last.
  • The administration advises that the board consider including the expenditures associated with the one-time compensation adjustment to provide the equivalent of a 3 percent increase in the base budget assumption when developing the FY14 preliminary budget.
  • The administration is assuming no change in the current tax rate in these budget assumptions.

The board is scheduled to take action on this item at the Nov. 19 regular meeting.

Overview and Project Plan for Student-Based Funding System and School Resources Use Analysis Targeted to Begin in SY2014-15

Ms. Conley Abram and Jonathan Travers, Director of Education Resource Strategies (ERS), provided an update on the potential transition to a student-based funding model targeted to begin in the 2014-15 school year.

On Sept. 24, the board approved the following budget parameter:

To move down the path of (1) increasing school level autonomy, effectiveness and innovation; (2) ensuring that funds follow students based on their individual needs; and (3) decreasing disparities in per-pupil funding, the district will work in a phased approach, with experts and the community, to implement a revised funding model, considering at least, in part, student weights, as a basis for resource allocations, targeted to begin in the 2014-15 school year.

The administration will continue to update the board as work continues on development of the potential student-based funding model.

Preliminary Scenarios for the Development of AAFRs: Dual Language Program Expansion and Extension, Responsive Education Solutions Continued at Lanier and Travis High Schools, Campus-Initiated In-District Charter at Travis Heights Elementary, Any Given Child Fine Arts Program, School for Young Men and Garcia and Pearce Middle Schools Program Design, District 1

On Sept. 10, 2012, the Board of Trustees reviewed and discussed the prioritization of the preliminary AAFRs for 2013-14. On Oct. 8, 2012, the board sorted the AAFRs into the following four categories.

Category “A”

The following AAFRs, which have the greatest potential of moving forward in 2013-14,are likely to be scheduled for board action on Dec. 17: 

  • Dual language program expansion and extension;
  • Continuation of Responsive Education Solutions programs at Lanier and Travis high schools to increase graduation rates;
  • School for young men;
  • Campus-initiated in-district charter at Travis Heights Elementary; and
  • Any Given Child fine arts program.

Category “B”

The following AAFR, which has the greatest potential for moving forward in 2014-15, is likely to be scheduled for board action on Dec. 17:

  • Garcia and Pearce middle school program design, District 1.

Category “C”

The following AAFRs are in development and engaged in the vetting process:

  • Academic Programming and Facility Support for Eastside Memorial Vertical Team; and
  • South High School (land only, 2008 Bond Program).

Category “D"

The following AAFRs will be referred to the Citizens’ Bond Advisory Committee as potential projects for consideration in the next bond program:

  • Rosedale School and Clifton Career Development School renovations
  • Fine arts program facility additions and renovations
  • Parity and equity in career and technical education
  • Secondary athletic program and facility improvements; and
  • School for Young Men.

Of the six potential AAFRs scheduled for action in December, the administration seeks additional board guidance on the School for Young Men and District 1 Middle Schools. For the other four in categories A and B, the Administration has provided draft recommendations, which are ready to be considered for Board action on Dec. 17.

Of  the four AAFRs ready for board action in December, the following two would not. require additional expenditures from the district’s operating budget:

  • Continuation of Responsive Education Solutions programs at Lanier and Travis high schools to increase graduation rates; and
  • Campus-initiated in-district charter at Travis Heights Elementary

The following potential AAFRs would require additional expenditures from a new revenue stream, such as a Tax Ratification Election, or new grant funding, to support the new programming:

  • Dual language program expansion and extension; and
  • Any Given Child fine arts program.

The following potential AAFRs need further board discussion and direction:

  • School for young men; and
  • Garcia and Pearce middle school program design, District 1.

The administration will continue to work with planning committees to vet the potential AAFRs with parents, community members, and staff.

Proposed Changes to District Policies on Grading, Academic Achievement and Class Ranking

The board discussed two related, proposed changes to district policy regarding the state law requiring that student performance on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) End-of-Course (EOC) exams determine 15 percent of a student's final course grade.  The proposed policy change to Policy EIA(Local) - Academic Achievement, Grading/Progress Reports to Parents addresses the use of the EOC score in the student's final course grade and to determine credit, as well as the impact of EOC retakes and the use of EOC scores for students who receive special education services.

While the EOC score would count as 15 percent of the student's final grade for the course under EIA(Local), another policy change, to Policy EIC(LOCAL)-Academic Achievement, Class Ranking, would not use the EOC score to calculate the GPA or the class rank.

The proposed policy changes are scheduled for board action on Nov. 19, 2012.