District staff should be admonished for their handling of changes to Alternative Pathways BFO

Robert Greenawalt  Fri, Jun 9, 2017 at 6:05 AM
To: Jeffco Schools Board of Education <board@jeffco.k12.co.us>, suharmon@jeffco.k12.co.us, alasell@jeffco.k12.co.us, crupert@jeffco.k12.co.us, romitche@jeffco.k12.co.us, ajsteven@jeffco.k12.co.us
The District staff should be admonished for their changes to and their handling of the Alternative Pathways BFO you approved at last Thursday’s meeting. What transpired was a blatant attempt to conceal changes from the Wheat Ridge and GT communities.

First, the changes went beyond merely clarifying the dates on the original BFO (another example of poor staff work) and certainly did NOT clarify the wording as Terry Elliott wanted you to believe. The changes went far beyond that. In fact, the new wording was clearly INTENDED to hide the impact to Wheat Ridge. Take a look (below) and compare the wording yourself. Which text is clearer in the impact regarding this BFO to Wheat Ridge? The original or the now, ‘clearer’ final? Clearly, the date needed to be changed, but the rest seemed pretty straight forward to me, particularly when read in conjunction with the document’s Summary (see below). There was only one purpose in changing that wording – to obfuscate the impact on Wheat Ridge.

Second, hiding these changes in the May 4th Board Docs was deceptive in nature and violated all Board stated intentions of transparency. Why would the District Staff even expect someone to look in the May 4th meeting documents when ALL other changed financial documents were listed with the June 1st documents? They wouldn’t. The location of the change was not known until Kathleen happened to mention it during the meeting itself. This was a BLATANT, and unfortunately successful, attempt to prevent public review and comment on the changes at the June 1st meeting.

Finally, a reasonable person would expect a changed document to be resigned and dated with the date of the changes. This was not done as the document remains dated on April 14, 2017. Once again, this removes the transparency surrounding the changes made to this document.

Think about what transpired here from the public’s perception.

If you truly care about being transparent and honest with the school community, as you claim, you need to ensure that the District staff are admonished for their handling of this. Also, you should issue a public apology for the manner in which the changes to the BFO were made, as this is clearly in direct contradiction of your stated transparency objectives and clearly deceptive in nature and purpose.

 

Robert Greenawalt

Original BFO Explanation

Currently 4 high schools receive $50,000 for funding IB programs as an alternative pathway in their school and another high school (Wheat Ridge HS) receives $150,000 for GT center program pathway. Other schools are offering alternative pathways or are looking to expand their offerings, yet lack sufficient funding to support such initiatives. By increasing the SBB Alternative Education Pathway Factor a we can increase significantly resources for all schools and create greater equity for students throughout the district. IB high schools would receive the increased Alternative Pathway factor in lieu of the IB factor and WRHS would see a transfer of $50,000 of their GT center funding to their alternative pathway funding for the 2019-18 school year.

Changed BFO Explanation

Currently 4 high schools receive $50,000 for funding IB programs as an alternative pathway in their school and another high school (Wheat Ridge HS) receives $150,000 for GT center program pathway. Other schools are offering alternative pathways or are looking to expand their offerings, yet lack sufficient funding to support such initiatives. By increasing the SBB Alternative Education Pathway Factor a we can increase significantly resources for all schools and create greater equity for students throughout the district. Designated boundary/neighborhood high schools not currently receiving an IB ($50,000) or GT ($150,000) factor will be allocated an additional $50,000 for the 2017-2018 school year. Beginning in 2018 2019 there will no longer be an IB factor and all designated boundary/neighborhood high schools will receive $115,000 in Alternative Pathway dollars.

BFO Summary

To increase and bring equity to the SBB Alternative Pathway factor for all district managed neighborhood high schools. The increase is $50,000 for 12 high schools (17 artic area high schools less Alameda, Dakota Ridge, Lakewood, Stanley Lake, and Wheat Ridge high schools).