Board Response – Do not approve the Alternative Pathway BFO as written – Jun 19, 2017

Jeffco Schools Board of Education <board@jeffco.k12.co.us> Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 10:57 AM
To: , Stevens Amanda J <Amanda.Stevens@jeffco.k12.co.us>, Lasell Ali <Ali.Lasell@jeffco.k12.co.us>, Harmon Susan <Susan.Harmon@jeffco.k12.co.us>, Mitchell Ron <Ron.Mitchell@jeffco.k12.co.us>, Rupert Charles B <Charles.Rupert@jeffco.k12.co.us>

The Board of Education appreciates your passionate engagement in our schools and the budgeting process.  I have shared your comments with relevant department staffs to consider your suggestions and insight for future budgeting processes.  I would like to address a few points from your letter to ensure clarity in practices for our district.

In your note of May 29, you state “there is no accountability for the already allocated $65,000,” I would disagree with this statement.  In addition to creating pathways which further the school’s mission and/or supports the school’s improvement plan, every school has a School Accountability Committee charged with providing insight and guidance on the spending of school budgets as well as the need for all high schools to meet the expectations of their communities.  Some schools, like Conifer High School, offer rich career technical education programs such as Construction Technology, while other schools, like Jefferson High School, offer programs for college preparation such as Ascent, all designed to meet the needs and desires of the students served locally.  Your note implies that Wheat Ridge, Alameda, Dakota Ridge, Lakewood, and Standley Lake are experiencing an “effective reduction in Alternative Pathways funding.”  This is inaccurate as these schools have been provided additional funds for the specific alternative pathways (GT and IB) while other programs, such as Project Lead the Way offered at Bear Creek High School, have not received allocations beyond the $65,000 funding level.  The increase brings greater opportunity to all students served in Jeffco Schools.  Additionally, you raised concerns with the wording of the BFO sheet provided with this request.  That document has been updated to more clearly reflect intentions and we appreciate you raising this concern to our attention.

In regard to your note of June 9, I would disagree with your assertions that there is an attempt to hide information from the community.  The Wheat Ridge GT funding matter was clearly communicated on February 9 and the district is continuing the work to secure sustainable funding that is aligned with the practices used for other similar programming in the district.  These conversations are on-going and will be resolved as planned by the end of October.  Additionally, we remain committed to full transparency, as offered during the public meeting at Wheat Ridge High School in May. Board members expect the same at the follow-up meeting in September where questions raised during the May meeting will be addressed. Finally, the revised wording you noted clearly states that “all designated boundary/neighborhood high schools will receive $115,000 in Alternative Pathway dollars” and as you know, Wheat Ridge High School is a designated/neighborhood high school and thus will receive the Alternative Pathway dollars noted.

To close, staff has incorporated, to the two columns of data you shared in your May 29 note, additional information reviewed by staff and thought you would find it of interest.  Table one provides the data based on the FRL by high school and table two provides the data based on GT enrollment as a percentage of the student count.

As always, thank you for your continued engagement with Jeffco Public Schools.

Sincerely,

Amanda Stevens

Secretary, Jeffco Public Schools Board of Education

c-17-849, 855

 

Attachment: Table 1 and Table 2