As the discussion surrounding the allocation of 5B monies to Charters has continued over the past few weeks, it has been easy to see why there has been confusion. First, EVERY piece of literature put out by the District stated that Charters would receive 10%, or $56M from the bond proceeds. Not one piece that I saw contained an asterik clarifying that the share was dependent upon Full Time Enrollment (FTE) such as “* FTE dependent”. Personally, it makes sense to proportionally distribute the funding based on FTE, but it certainly appears that there are people who strongly believe that they were told that Charters would get a flat 10%, and I can see their point. I wasn’t in those meetings, but the anecdotal evidence is that there was certainly a high degree of confusion in this regards, and not just from EVERY piece of written literature and media.
Because of what I consider to be this justified confusion, I would have thought I would have seen a somewhat different tone in the Facebook responses surrounding this topic. I would have expected to have seen some potentially empathetic or conciliatory responses such as: “Now that you bring this up, we see how there might have been some confusion.” or “Maybe we should have included something to clarify this in our literature.” or “We’re sorry we created this confusion, we’ll learn from this and strive to do better the next time.” or even “At the (add a date here) meeting of the Charter school consortium, we very clearly discussed that Charters would be receiving a prorated share of the Bond proceeds.” Unfortunately, I didn’t see those responses in the Facebook discussion on this topic. At https://www.facebook.com/groups/1236337263132884/permalink/1758767880889817/ you can go back and see if you agree or disagree with my opinion on this.
By the time the Board meeting was held this past Thursday questions regarding Bond proceed allocation appeared to shift to understanding how the FTE numbers were arrived at and the calculation of the prorated share. Those questions seem legitimate to me since using CDE numbers at https://www.cde.state.co.us/cdereval/pupilcurrent it appears that Charter students make up 10.7% of the District’s student counts. These numbers appear to match up with the student count numbers contained on page 20 of the District’s Office Statement to Bond investors that can be seen in this letter to the Board https://www.boarddocs.com/co/jeffco/Board.nsf/files/B9T4N972FC2D/$file/c19119O.pdf, which I would think would be the official, audited numbers. Those numbers show 9,052 Charter school students out of a total of 84,631 total students in the District, or 10.7% by my calculations. I will state that the District may do some additional calculations on these numbers to convert to FTE since some students only attend ½ time, but I think that is what, in the interest of full transparency, people want to see – how exactly the Charter proration was calculated. And, I think it should be simple enough to provide this detail.
Yet, at Thursday’s Board meeting, when the District had an opportunity to put all of these questions to rest, they didn’t.
At the 5:17 point of the Board meeting Livestream Kathleen went into a discussion of the history of past Bond proceed sharing with Charters and then went on to discuss that there are a variety of ways to count students, that the audited student numbers are what the District uses and that Golden View’s numbers are subtracted. Yet, she failed in the most important part of any explanation – showing the actual numbers and formula that the District uses and the source of those numbers. That means that questions remain.
We can only wonder why there is such an unwillingness to show the numbers and calculations.
Is Jason Glass and the District trying to hide something? It seems that it would just be so simple to show the numbers, explain them and let everyone go away satisfied. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened and the questions remain and people are left to wonder why.
To me, it seems that this entire issue has been extremely poorly handled by Glass and the District staff.
Therefore, in the interest of full transparency, let’s see the full accounting of the formula for and source of the student count numbers used to calculate the Charters’ share of Bond proceeds!