Whereas the School Committee, Administration, and the public value data-informed decision-making; and
Whereas the School Committee and Administration will be discussing budget needs for the 2019-2020 school year;
That the School Committee and Administration consider data provided by School Committee Members, the Administration, and Members of the Public related to:
Patterns of student achievement and student programming Patterns of past Cambridge Public School budgets, budget increases and budget reductions
Patterns of staffing and spending in other Massachusetts districts
FY20 Budget & Enrollment Forecast
Chief Financial Officer
7c. CPS District Plan:
Whereas, free public schools available to all students without exception are foundational to our democracy and are required by the state constitution; and
Whereas, all of our students, no matter where they live, deserve high-quality public schools that teach the whole child and provide them with a rich school experience that addresses their academic, social and emotional needs;
Whereas, the state's foundation budget formula, which determines state aid to each district, has been woefully out of date for years, thereby underfunding our districts by more than $1 billion a year for essential educational services; and
Whereas, an updated foundation budget formula would bring districts across the state additional state aid each year, allowing them to move closer to providing all students with the education to which they are entitled as residents of the Commonwealth; and
Whereas, the Legislature failed to pass any foundation budget legislation in the last session, leaving districts, educators and students without the funds necessary to support the schools our students deserve in every district in the state;
THEREFORE, be it resolved that the School Committee for the Cambridge Public Schools urges the Legislature to approve and fully fund a new foundation budget formula.
WHY? In 2014, the MA state legislature convened a bipartisan Foundation Budget Review Commission (FBCR). In 2015, the commission found that public schools in MA are underfunded. A subsequent study was conducted with respect to the items the commission deemed under-funded showing public schools in Massachusetts are in a funding crisis. FBCR found underfunding was worst in the following areas: 1. Special Education 2. Low Income Students 3. English Language Learners 4. Healthcare
ThatWhereas the Committee and administration are beginning to prepare the FY20 budget; The Committee requests that the administration consider the budget priorities articulated by members of the Committee during the January 15, 2019, Regular School Committee Meeting.
Whereas, the School Committee is mindful of the importance of providing students with career opportunities and our obligation to do so, and
That School Committee is awaiting a plan to implement order C18-041 (see attached) relative to being transparent about Chapter 74 vocational programs available to students, especially from the Shore Occupational Learning and Vocational Educational Division (SOLVED), and
That, to educate parents and students, the School Committee shall require that the on-going practice of explaining vocational educational opportunities to all eighth-grade classes by our Rindge School of Technical Arts continues, and That an evening parent meeting be held for all eight grade parents for similar purposes of explaining the opportunities of Chapter 74 programs and the rights available for their children to attend high quality vocational education programs available in house, within the SOLVED collaborative and within other vocational schools.
That Whereas Cambridge supported the passage of the LOOK bill; and
Whereas the opportunity for all students to develop bilingualism and bi-literacy is an effective way to promote high achievement, intercultural facility and employment for students in immersion programs, those from bilingual households, and any other students engaged in language study; That the school district establish a task force including ESL, bilingual and world language educators and students to explore ways to support and expand language instruction in the district; and To establish a multi-tiered local seal of bi-literacy in addition to providing district students with the opportunity to earn the state seal of bi-literacy; Further, that the work be done in alignment with the Language Opportunity Coalition's work in this area.
That Whereas the Committee and administration value data-informed budget decision-making, the Committee requests that the administration consider Committee Member Dexter's memo on achievement and budget data for FY20 when preparing the FY20 Proposed Budget.
Whereas the School Committee's primary responsibility is student achievement; and
Whereas the district has several goals of increasing student achievement and addressing disparities in educational outcomes; Be it resolved that the School Committee will use the Curriculum and Achievement Sub-Committee to work CPS Administration on the following: 1.) Creating a uniformed, standardized way of ensuring that all students are transitioning from grade to grade with the necessary skills to begin the following school year at grade level. 2.) Create the standardized interventions necessary to assure all kids will be on grade level for the following school year. 3.) To create a reporting protocol to parents/caregivers that effectively communicates where students currently stand in their academic progress to ensure grade level competency for the following school year.
The School Committee expresses its deepest sympathy to Susan Richards and her family upon the passing of Susan's father, Bob Richards, who made an enormous contribution to the Cambridge Public Schools as a high school physics teacher, athletic coach, administrator, and community activist for the cause of social justice.
At the conclusion of the Regular Meeting, the School Committee may entertain a motion to enter into Executive Session for the purposes of discussing litigation/arbitration and collective bargaining strategy (AFSCME, Council 93, Local 1611) as an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the litigation/arbitration and bargaining positions of the Cambridge School Committee.
No votes will be taken in executive session except a vote to adjourn from the executive session.