November Newsletter

Upcoming Board Meeting: Wednesday, December 13th at 2:00PM

We need more parent advocates that are willing to get involved and help our cause!!! 

The article below in the recent news section was from the recent house-passed tax bill. This bill is going to cause problems for constructions costs with charter schools across the country. 

Anyone interested in attending, we accommodate to any parents that want to know more or get involved. These meetings are for anyone who wants to come so please share with fellow charter parents.

Please call Murphy Olmstead at (208) 871-3885 if you're planning to attend.

The meeting will be held at the Idaho Wheat Commission building in downtown Boise near the Capitol. 
Address:
821 W. State Street
Boise, ID 83702


Recent News:

CHARTER SCHOOL GROUPS CRITICIZE HOUSE-PASSED TAX BILL
11/27/2017


National and local charter school groups criticized the tax cut bill the U.S. House passed earlier this month.
They say H.R. 1 will make it more expensive for charter schools to finance building projects. That’s because the bill would ban charter schools from using several tax credits and tax-free bonds to cover construction costs.
In Idaho’s case, three charter schools have started $25 million in projects over the past month. Without tax credits and tax-free bonds, the cost of these projects could double, the Idaho Charter School Network said in a statement Monday.
The Senate version of the tax bill preserves the credits.


Read more https://www.idahoednews.org/kevins-blog/charter-school-groups-criticize-house-passed-tax-bill/ 


Thank you to everyone who came to our Scavenger Hunt!
 

We really enjoyed talking and learning about the charter school parents. We hope everyone had a great time and learned how they can help our cause. A special thank you to Idaho Virtual Academy staff and parents/ students!

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A word from our President!

 Here is a piece written by our President, Tom LeClaire. Keep your eyes out for a chance to read it in the Idaho Statesman as well!

"The Idaho Constitutions says the legislature "is to establish and maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools."  Many legislators and education stake-holders are concerned that our state is not meeting this mandate.  A special legislative committee is considering major changes to Idaho’s public school funding formula, including a shift to a student-based model.   As president of the Coalition of Idaho Charter School Families, I strongly support this committee's efforts. 
    The current public schools funding formula is based on staffing and program allocations set by the Idaho Legislature and the Idaho Department of Education. The state government tells local school boards how to spend approximately 75% of the funding they get.   This funding formula is overly uniform, inflexible, resistant to innovation, and takes accountability away from local school boards. Also, students are more mobile than ever and this staffing and program-based funding does not keep up as students move from a traditional school, a charter school, a chartered online school and back into a traditional school. 
    We can do better than this. A student-based model would give freedom to principals, allow for more innovation for teachers, and bring more accountability to local school boards."

To follow what is happening and what has already happened. Read more about it by following this link --> https://www.idahoednews.org/news/school-funding-formula-committee-begins-drafting-resolution/
   

October Newsletter

Upcoming Board Meeting this week: Thursday, October 26th @ 4:00PM

Anyone interested in attending, we accommodate to any parents that want to know more or get involved with what the Coalition does. Feel free to call if you have interest in attending. 

Please call Murphy Olmstead at (208) 871-3885 if you're planning to attend.

The meeting will be held at the Idaho Wheat Commission building in downtown Boise near the Capitol. 
Address:
821 W. State Street
Boise, ID 83702

 


Recent News:

SCHOOL FUNDING COMMITTEE GRAPPLES WITH BARRIERS TO CHANGE

Clark Corbin 10/16/2017

The Legislature’s public school funding interim committee got another taste Monday of how difficult it will be to transition to an enrollment-based funding model.

Last month, the committee recommended that Idaho abandon the average daily attendance-based funding model and create an enrollment-based model.

The difference might sound like semantics, but budget and policy experts told committee members the change won’t be easy, or necessarily free.

Public school funding is the state’s largest general fund expense. The 2017 Legislature appropriated about $1.7 billion to distribute among Idaho’s public and charter schools.

With about 300,000 students in the system, that’s complicated enough. But policymakers would likely need to repeal or amend several state laws to facilitate the funding change.

State laws addressing or defining average daily attendance calculations, support units, staff allowances, education support programs and more could require retooling.

State officials would also need to define “full-time enrollment” and overload enrollment.

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They also must consider online courses, dual enrollment, fractional enrollment and student mobility issues that arise when students move from one school to another during the same year.

Other questions arise as well.

  • How and when would school officials calculate enrollment?
  • Would school officials validate and reconcile enrollment counts?
  • Would they add in additional weighting factors to financially support at-risk or special needs students?


Read more at https://www.idahoednews.org/news/school-funding-committee-grapples-barriers-change/  

UPCOMING EVENT FOR ALL PARENTS & STUDENTS!
SEE FLYER BELOW

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September Newsletter

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Breaking news: Please everyone take a look at this article discussing Idaho's public school funding formula. There are changes on the horizon for how we fund our students schools K-12. 

We NEED parents to help us make sure that the money follows the child and to help talk to legislatures to keep our schools alive. We are holding a meeting this Thursday, September 28th @4:30PM to talk more about the issues facing our students and ways we can help!

The meeting will be held at the Idaho Wheat Commission building in downtown Boise near the Capitol. 
Address:
821 W. State Street
Boise, ID 83702


Please call Murphy Olmstead at (208) 871-3885 if you're planning to attend.

via IdahoEdNews.org 

SLOWLY, A SCHOOL FUNDING FORMULA REWRITE TAKES SOME SHAPE

Kevin Richert 09/22/2017

It took more than a year, but the work of the Legislature’s school funding formula committee began to take shape Friday.

Lawmakers agreed to pursuing an enrollment-based funding model — a nuanced but significant shift from the long-standing status quo.

The premise is that an enrollment-based model is more student-based. In other words, the state’s K-12 dollars should more easily follow kids through the K-12 system.
So what does all this mean? And what did lawmakers discuss Friday? Here’s a primer.

What are we doing now, and why? Idaho’s school funding metric is “average daily attendance.” School districts and charter schools tally up the average number of kids in their classrooms. The state then transfers that number into classroom “support units” and divvies up tax dollars by unit.

Idaho has used an ADA metric for years, hoping it will give schools incentive to keep a close eye on day-to-day student attendance. The “support unit” model also provides rural schools with more money per student — since small districts still need to hire teachers and maintain classrooms for smaller numbers of students.

And enrollment-based funding? The math is simple enough. Now, districts and charters would tally up the number of kids they have enrolled. Then, the state would send out money per student.

What’s the advantage of enrollment-based funding? There are several, committee members say.

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An enrollment-based model syncs up better with “mastery-based” learning — a move that allows students to move through the school system based on subject knowledge, not classroom seat time. Under an enrollment-based model, schools won’t be penalized if students take offsite career-technical courses. And schools can get partial funding for a student who spends a period or two on campus — such as, for example, a home-schooler who comes to high school for orchestra or choir.

So, it’s that simple? Maybe, maybe not.

States can always use line items to earmark money — and Idaho has line items that cover everything from classroom technology to hiring IT staff.

But the more money the state puts into line items, the less money it has to put into the per-student funding base. And members of the funding formula committee are hoping to streamline the budget, reducing line items and giving schools additional local control.

Have other states made a similar move? A few years ago, California ditched a restrictive K-12 budget that was replete with line items. Now the nation’s largest state distributes K-12 dollars per student.

Dollars vary by grade level: Schools get $6,947 per student in fourth through sixth grade, for example, and $8,505 per high school student. Schools get additional funding for students in poverty, foster children and students with limited English skills.

To read the entire article follow this link https://www.idahoednews.org/news/slowly-school-funding-formula-rewrite-takes-shape/ 

The next Committee meeting will be on Monday, October 16th. To learn where it will be held at and what time please go to this link to find out more!

https://legislature.idaho.gov/calendar/

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August Newsletter

 

Don't miss out! Information Session this Friday!

See below

 

Recent Articles:

 

A Massachusetts Teachers Union Votes to Kill a Successful Charter School, as Families Scramble for Answers

         
           Near the start of the Haverhill School Committee meeting last month, Devan Ferreira stepped to the mic to ask a few questions about the future of the school attended by two — and soon three, she hopes — of her children.

Ferreira’s kids attend a rare kind of school allowed by Massachusetts law called a Horace Mann charter, which is overseen by the local school district. Like other charter schools of its type, Silver Hill Horace Mann Charter School is unionized, and when the school’s charter is up for renewal, the local teachers union — the Haverhill Education Association — must sign off.

A decade ago, Silver Hill was a regular Haverhill public school, performing so poorly it was slated for state takeover. The principal who was brought in to turn the school around petitioned successfully to make it an in-district charter school so the staff could decide for themselves what students needed. Within three years, it was one of the most successful schools in the district. Its teachers were proud to vote yes the first time the charter came up for renewal in 2013 — and voted overwhelmingly in favor of applying for a second renewal last fall.

But earlier this year, a new union president from another school did something unprecedented — at least in Haverhill, a city of 61,000 in the northeasternmost corner of the state. After consulting with the union’s lawyer, Lisa Begley decided to extend the vote to teachers in Haverhill’s other schools. The union then circulated materials arguing — inaccurately, in the eyes of the school’s leadership — that Silver Hill’s success came at the expense of the other schools.

In June, the union voted against renewing the charter, sending the Silver Hill community into shock. Massachusetts requires schools that are closing to let parents know what happens next within 10 days, but Ferreira and her neighbors had gone weeks without answers by the time they decided to raise their concerns at the July 27 district board meeting.

“We are parents, we are planners, we are homeowners, we are participating voters here in Haverhill, and to leave more than 400 families without answers for what their school will look like,” Ferreira, one of the leaders of a foundation that raises funds for the school’s operations, said during the televised meeting. “It’s not OK that it’s taken the whole summer for this to get going.”

Superintendent James Scully snapped at her. School would start in September as usual, he said, and nothing would change in the coming year — but he couldn’t make promises about the future.

Legally, nothing can change for a little while, Ferreira pointed out, because the school’s charter doesn’t expire until the end of the coming school year. It’s what happens after that the parents are worried about.

Scully barked again, repeating himself. Mayor James Fiorentini jumped in, proposing a meeting between the superintendent and Silver Hill parents. After some contentious back-and-forth with Fiorentini, Scully said he’d sit down with the parents if the mayor would agree to attend.

“We’re not going to change anything,” he said for a third time, “but I’m not going to make guarantees.”

Scully did not return calls seeking comment for this story, but it’s not hard to imagine why he would be on the defensive. If he does what the parents are asking and keeps the features that make Silver Hill unique and successful, he won’t satisfy the union, which wants the school to revert to a neighborhood school. If he makes the sweeping changes the union argued were the reason for rejecting the charter, he will be dismantling a successful school.

The parents and Silver Hill’s founder wish that instead, the district would put its energy into helping its other schools adopt the strategies that made Silver Hill successful. But no one else is discussing that option.

To read more, go to: https://www.the74million.org/article/a-massachusetts-teacher-union-votes-to-kill-a-successful-charter-school-as-families-scramble-for-answers?utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=55290707&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_hjUtPhVxcDvOsAXlVIr0R9QI672CHS4IcB8hM8nwTSrr77nkN6CDB0pRM3J45D-w1XFvLsUbQoQVs5dUes-S4FnqxNmW3jlTxsSie63h796jrlJI&_hsmi=55290707