Scripps Ranch Schools Committee (SRSC)
For those planning summer vacations for 2016, the San Diego Unified School Board adopted Monday, Aug. 29, 2016 as the start date for the 2016–2017 school year. School ends on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Please note the start date for this coming school year is Tuesday, Sept. 8.
Testing at Schools
At our last Schools Committee meeting of the year the principals said the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBAC) went well. As the tests were given on computers, some teachers reported technical glitches that seemed related to software compatibility with the equipment. Principals reported the problems to the district and collaborated with each other to avoid issues.
There was no information provided by the district as to when to expect the test results. However, school districts receive final results eight weeks after the final tests are administered and then have 20 days to send results to parents. Thus, the expectation is that results will arrive to parents no earlier than mid-August.
Area superintendent Fabiola Bagula reported on the district’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) efforts on diversity and early intervention. The district believes it is important that the teaching staff and principals be more reflective of the diversity within the district and is working with teacher programs in local colleges on a teacher pipeline with greater diversity. Many at the meeting, including those whose ethnicity is considered a district target, felt that the quality of the teacher is the most important factor.
Fabiola also presented information on the district’s efforts to provide teachers with professional development targeted on early intervention for the youngest students. She noted that a student’s reading level at 3rd grade is predictive of future success in school.
While the district average for reading proficiency of students in 1st and 3rd grades are 44% and 52%, respectively, Scripps Ranch students had significantly better rates of 82% and 81%, respectively. It was pointed out that some elementary school foundations pay for “push-in/pull-out” intervention services to support students who need extra help.
Education was the big winner in the governor’s May revision of the state’s budget due to state law under the voter-approved Proposition 98 of 1989. That guarantees not only that K–14 education receive “a fair share” of the state’s budget but also that education funding is the first to be restored during an improving economy, such as we have now.
While this is good news for education, the fact that all additional revenue in the forecast is proposed to go to education and the voter-approved Prop 2 state “Rainy Day Fund” has created “envy” by other areas of the state budget that have not received additional funding since the recession. As of press time the state legislature was considering state budget proposals that could shift some of the education funds directed at K–12 schools toward other purposes, such as childcare for low-income families and preschool.
Also as of press time the district was expected to receive significantly more funding due to the revised state budget. However, the additional money still leaves the district facing a shortfall of $35 million in the 2015–2016 school year. That is because the district must factor in the more than $62 million of increased costs due to the tentative agreements for the district’s employee bargaining units approved by the school board.
The Schools Committee meets on the third Wednesday of the month—during the school year—at 4:30 pm in the Marshall Middle School community room. However, the next meeting will be on the fourth Wednesday—Sept. 23—due to MMS’s Back-to-School Night. All meetings are open to the public and everyone is invited. For questions, email Jaylene Farry at [email protected]
Tamara Hurley, Legislative Analyst