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Board of Education District and Community Relations Committee Meeting - Jan 7, 2014
|Meeting Date & Time:||Tuesday, January 7, 2014, 5:45 PM|
|Where:||eCADEMY Virtual High School library, 5300 Cutler NE, Albuquerque|
|Meeting Posted On:||12/19/2013, 4:50 PM|
|Agenda Posted On:||01/03/2014, 5:42 PM|
|Add event to your calendar:||
District and Community Relations Committee Meeting
Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
eCADEMY Virtual High School library, 5300 Cutler NE, Albuquerque
Albuquerque, New Mexico
District and Community Relations Chair Analee Maestas, Welcome/Introductions
Presentation on Budget Outlook for FY15 (Discussion)
Legislative Agenda (Discussion)
Round Robin Discussion/Questions
Closing from Chair Analee Maestas
Next District and Community Relations Committee Meeting
Tuesday, January 22, 2014, at 5:00p.m., in the Delayo-Martin Community Room of the Alice and Bruce King Educational Complex
Minutes of District and Community Relations Committee Meeting
Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education
A District and Community Relations Committee meeting of the Board of Education of Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) was held Tuesday, January 7, 2014, beginning at 5:45 p.m., in the eCADEMY Virtual High School library, 5300 Cutler NE, Albuquerque.
I. District and Community Relations Chair Analee Maestas, Welcome/Introductions
Principal Wells welcomed legislators, administrators and guests and explained the importance of the service that eCADEMY provides to APS students. Dr. Analee Maestas invited attendees to introduce themselves.
- Albuquerque Public Schools board members present: Dr. Analee Maestas, Kathy Korte, Lorenzo Garcia, Martin Esquivel, Steven Michael Quezada, Dr. David Peercy, and Dr. Don Duran.
- Albuquerque Public Schools leadership present: Winston Brooks, Shelly Green, Brad Winter, Don Moya, Ruben Hendrickson, Carrie Robin Menapace, Eddie Soto, Monica Armenta, Kata Sandoval, Brenda Yager, and Kris Meurer
- New Mexico State legislators present: Senator Michael Padilla, Representative Elizabeth Thomson, Representative Monica Youngblood, Representative James Smith, Representative Rick Miera, Representative Miguel Garcia, Representative Mimi Stewart, and Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino.
Mr. Brooks expressed gratitude for APS board members’ dedication as student, parent, community, and educator advocates, their passion about education and willingness to share their expertise, which covers many areas. He also explained the purpose of the new Office of Innovation led by Kata Sandoval, which will continue progress made to give students alternatives and increase enrollment with students from outside of the district with projects such as the IB Programme at Sandia High School, the new College and Career High School in partnership with Community College of New Mexico (CNM) and eCADEMY virtual school opportunities.
Mr. Brooks explained that APS is improving partnerships with charter schools, especially in the need to be placed in public buildings, by including charter schools in the Capital Master Plan. He also reiterated that school districts need to be under the authority of the local school board instead of funding and policy decisions made at the state level. This can be achieved by placing funding above the line in the state budget because placing the funding below the line will not necessarily benefit districts. The funding formula does not reflect the funding that is available because the funding is expected to go below the line.
Class size waivers are not continuing and will reflect a six million dollar cost to APS. Mr. Brooks expressed concern for the lack of wage increases for school employees for five years, except for the one percent increase across the board last year. This is driven by the need to be competitive in attracting and retaining quality employees. Another area of concern is the need to cover the 12 million dollar cost of employees’ health insurance.
II. Presentation on Budget Outlook for FY15 (Discussion)
Don Moya reviewed the budget process and the budget results of the past, present and future. He stated that cost involved to open the doors is $26.8 million (M):
- $5.3 Compensation increases ($5.3M per 1 percent)
- $7.0 Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio (PTR) waiver expires (need to hire approximately 100 to 120 teachers)
- $11.6 Medical insurance Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 request (hold plan design and premiums harmless)
- $3.4 APS Expected Operational Impact for 6 month Impact - 10 percent premium increase
- $3.1 0.75 percent Education Retirement Board (ERB) contribution increase
- $1.0 Utilities increase (electricity, Telecom, water/sewage)
- $2.0 Contingency/allowance for unknown
- $4.0 Enrollment decrease 700 students
- $2.2 Enrollment drop about 35 less teachers
- $5.4 Teacher training and experience (T&E) factor decrease
- $5.0 Projected decline in salaries due to less experienced teachers
- $2.8 Special Education decrease (related services/enrollment).
Other considerations that will affect APS fiscally are funding continuing programs and funding for legislation filed during the 2014 legislative session. Costs currently covered by sources that may not be available in the future are being evaluated for possible addition to the list of costs “to open the doors” of APS. These costs include nursing personnel, Special Education interventions, and reading intervention teachers.
Pre-filed legislation with fiscal impact such as reading intervention teachers and increasing employer contributions to Retiree Health Care Authority are being evaluated for fiscal impact. Additional legislation with fiscal impact will be added to the costs “to open the doors” of APS as the legislation is found germane to the session.
FY 2014 funding below the line distribution has not been equal and is beginning to cause dis-equalization. Applications for below the line funding were not made available until after school started, which means that if APS was to try to obtain the funding, teachers would have to disrupt their classrooms and possibly move to another school. APS received little or no funding for the following below the line programs: interventions in D and F schools, workforce readiness, early college startup, early reading and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education (STEM). Funding for FY 2015 needs to go above the line non-categorically so that APS has enough funding to “open the doors.” This provides local school board the decision making capability to disperse funding in the way that is best for the community. Reports of increased funding available for education are not true because in actuality education funding is barely above levels in 2008. APS has ongoing sustainability studies to evaluate where savings can be captured to support continued improvement as seen in the increase in graduation rates and consistent improvement on national testing results seen in the recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
III. Legislative Agenda (Discussion)
Carrie Robin Menapace, legislative liaison and policy analyst, reviewed the APS legislative agenda for the upcoming 2013 Legislative Session and requested support from legislators and the community to adequately fund education, stop unfunded mandates, and support education employees.
Topics discussed regarding this agenda item included:
- Need for the care that health care clinics and social workers provide to students and families
- Concern regarding the growing cost of testing developed by the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED), which includes printing and stipends for teachers to grade the tests
- Concern about technology needed for testing and addressing the growing gap of students who have and do not have access to technology
- Importance of awareness of support for all levels of employees, many who are at poverty level wages
- Support for partnership with the City of Albuquerque to provide on the job experiences for students with the realization that APS needs to improve its career and technical education programs
- APS’ cash balance has improved but is not high enough, which can lower bond ratings and leave the district vulnerable in the case of a catastrophic incident.
IV. Round Robin Discussion/Questions
Topics discussed during this section of the meeting included:
- Legislators expressed gratitude for keeping them up-to-date on education issues
- Concern about the unexpected decrease in the need for special education services
- Awareness of many initiatives meant to decrease the special education students such as interventions in early education
- Reduction of special education services provided is conflicting with the requirements of maintenance of effort (MOE)
- Concern that some students were receiving more services than are necessary
- Families leaving districts without services to access APS services
- Rewarding teachers with professional development in place of giving raises
- Professional development focus has been training teachers on Teachscape, which was not provided by NMPED
- Necessity to use operational funds to give teachers training in Teachscape
- Teachers need training on white boards and Promethean boards
- Importance of higher education to provide appropriate training so that teachers start working with the skills needed
- Concerns about efficacy of Teachscape because some teachers have not been able to sign on to the software
IV. Round Robin Discussion/Questions (Cont’d)
- Importance of listening to the community to be aware of the needs for schools, such as professional development, access to social workers, and after-school programs
- Potential two-tier diploma system
- Teacher constraints to contacting legislators to give their opinion include time and education of the political process
- Upcoming education committee sessions to gather input from education professionals
- Importance of elected officials’ experience in education to make valid decisions for constituents
- Concerns about standardized testing
- Legislators meeting with teachers hearing similar concerns, issues and views that have been reflected at this meeting
- Support for building community schools
- Concern about legislators who support the governor’s agenda even when they know the issues will not pass through the legislative process
- Support for local board governance
- Importance of teachers making a difference in the lives of students and in their communities
- Importance of supporting teachers as they inspire students on the path of lifelong learning
- Effects of poverty on student achievement and the capability of school districts to overcome these deficits which is especially overwhelming due to the number of students in poverty
- Concern that federal cuts are contributing to the increased poverty, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and unemployment benefits
- Concern that Bernalillo County doesn’t have representation on the appropriation committees
- Request for support from legislators on proposed legislation to replace the secretary of education with a statewide elected school board and superintendent that have been educators
- Request for support for state-mandated Hispanic history education to build student awareness and pride for accomplishment of Hispanics
- Importance of choices in educational experiences for children
- Concern for legislators halting industries such as movies and film
- Concern for decreased funding for ROTC program instructors
- Bond rating goes up, which saves money on funding
- Conflicts of rural and urban issues in New Mexico
- Cost more for employees to live in urban districts.
V. Closing from Chair Analee Maestas
Dr. Analee Maestas expressed gratitude for all who contributed to this meeting by sharing their passion for education and educators. She stated that many people are concerned about the same issues discussed at this meeting, but don’t know what they can do to affect changes. Dr. Maestas proposed a “call to action” for constituents to become informed about education issues and to work together to make progress.
VI. Next District and Community Relations Committee Meeting
Dr. Maestas announced that the next District and Community Relations Committee Meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 22, 2014, at 5:00 p.m., in the Delayo Martin Community Room of the Alice and Bruce King Educational Complex.
The meeting adjourned at 7:32 p.m.