February Briefing: PreK Partnerships under SB 1882, Legislative Update, and More!

Trustee Solis on Partnerships.jpg

WHAT IS A BOARD BRIEFING?

At a board briefing, our Dallas ISD School Board discusses items they will need to vote on in upcoming meetings. They also hear reports from the Superintendent & the Dallas ISD Administration on ways in which the district is meeting student needs. Below is a summary of the 6-hour briefing on February 14, 2019.

WHAT DID THE BOARD DISCUSS AT THE JANUARY BRIEFING?

#1 SB 1882 Pre-K Partnerships (powerpoint AVAILABLE IN ‘BOARD DOCS’)

Admin Presentation:

Admin proposes 10 current PreK Partners to DISD operate under SB 1882 parameters. First five partners to consider for approval: Bryan’s House, Child Care Group, Good Street Learning Center, Heavenly Learning Center, and Mi Escuelita.

Stays same under current SB 1882 Partnership: DISD Teachers, DISD Students, Partner site.

Changes under SB 1882 Partnership:

  • Partner could refuse teacher placement. Teacher would still remain DISD employee.

  • Curriculum could be different if the partner chose to make a change.

  • Partner will report student performance metrics to DISD/Board for accountability.

  • Additional funds. DISD would receive funds from State, DISD would keep 10% of those funds and distribute 90% of those funds to partners.

Board Discussion:

  • Trustee Foreman: Can this policy change to include other types of partnerships outside of PreK? Only PreK now. Worried about PreK students matriculating outside of DISD for Kindergarten.

  • Pinkerton: Concerned about representation of who is in control at partner site.

  • Blackburn: Is money only difference? Funding is a great advantage for improving care for kids over time.

  • Henry: What determines the 90%-10% split of funds? How does the district manage relationships with partner? 90-10% split is based on a different partnership model we have now. Contract will determine district’s relationship with partner.

  • Micciche: “We are sending our [DISD] employees to improve their [partner] programs.”

  • Marshall: Benefits to PreK programs? Students in DISD PreK outperform those who are not in DISD PreK, improvement in quality of education, access to quality PreK where there otherwise may not have been, and improving enrollment.

  • Solis: Does increased funding encourage new PreK partners for DISD? Yes. “Responsibility of our district to do as much as we can. We are in a position to re-engineer how our society works. We need a partnership like this because our kids and our community need to break out of poverty [via quality early childhood].”

#2 student outcome goals #1 and #3 (link to document)

Admin Presentation:

The District presented goal progress measures for two of the four district goals - #1 and #3. Below is the data shared with the board:

Goal 3.png

Takeaways: Students and staff surpassed goal progress measures for both goals 1 and 3. However, growth for all students compared to growth for African American students still has a gap – it is something the district is working to address.

Board Discussion:

  • Marshall: Let’s set higher goals! Proud of progress.

  • Henry: Thank you for focusing on African-American population.

#3 legislative agenda (no document to link)

Admin Presentation:

Superintendent Hinojosa shared an update on public school finance. At the state level, Public School Finance is now an “emergency item,” meaning that legislation can be passed within the first 60 days of the session. Bills focused on school finance should be filed within the next 10 days (before end of February).

Ideas being discussed for bills include: Increase basic allotment; Recapture funds being spent on public education; Fully funding PreK; Funds for strategic compensation.

Board Discussion:

  • Marshall: Thank you for advocating for better funding on behalf of DISD and TX students.

  • Micciche: Concerned about tax cap and funding schools.

#3 BOARD GOVERNANCE TOPICS (LINK TO DOCUMENT 1, DOCUMENT 2)

Admin Presentation:

The board had to complete a self-evaluation and sign off they are not engaged in day to day administrative and operational issues.

The policy for a Citizen Advisory Committee was brought forth for recommended changes. This committee may be established by Board to assist Board, Superintendent, and District with:

  • developing educational programs and initiatives

  • gathering community input

  • improving transparency

  • bringing professional perspectives and experiences in areas where needed

The question brought for discussion was: Should Trustee appointments be residents from Trustee’s single-member district?

Additional information and policy change recommendations came from Trustee Pinkerton, Blackburn, and Foreman focused on: Need checks and balances for Board president. Proposed changes to board policy:

  • Officer may be removed from office by vote of a majority of the board. – as opposed to super majority.

  • Board shall approve committees as the board may deem necessary. Standing committees shall include, Audit Committee, Superintendent’s Evaluation Committee, and Policy Chair.

Board Discussion;

  • Solis: Policy doesn’t clearly state who has the power to create committees. I would propose giving the president power to vote, alongside other board members, when in a committee.

  • Marshall, Solis: Agree with changing from 6 to 5 board member approval for removing trustee from office.