Recap of Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education meeting held on Monday

The Board of Education held its monthly meeting yesterday. The following is a recap of the meeting and decisions made. See the full live blog at Talk-Up APS here.

Financial update – CFO Burbridge made a brief presentation on the financial information. He indicated that as it was so early in the fiscal year, there were no changes to the projected revenues or expenditures as approved in the FY14 budget.

APS strategic plan update – the presentation was lengthy and can be seen in its entirety here. There were a couple of statistics worth noting, as follows:

  • The four-year graduation rate for students scheduled to graduate in FY11 was 51%. The five-year graduation rate for the same students was 54%. [Comment – it is interesting to note that the section on the graduation statistics presented orally by Dr. Kirijan was not included in the written document included at Talk-Up APS].
  • “The average CRCT score gap between APS and the state … was 10.1 points behind the state average [in FY12], now it is 9.1 points behind. Further, the % of students in traditional schools passing the Math, Science and Social Studies CRCT increased over the previous year…”
  • “…55% of students with disabilities spend at least 80% of their school day in general education environment, which is an increase from 48% the previous year.”

Superintendent search update – Chairman McDaniel provided an update on the status of the superintendent search. He indicated that the search was on track to reach its goal of establishing 12-15 candidates by November 1 and that this list would be winnowed down to 3-5 candidates that would be passed on to the newly elected BoE for final selection early next year. There was a discussion as to whether private contributions should be accepted to pay the $146k cost of the search. The BoE voted unanimously to pay for the search out of General Funds. In addition, the question was asked about the acceptance of outside contributions (see more on this here) to enhance the $275-325k salary range for the position. McDaniel stated that it was premature to address the issue and that the BoE would address it at the time an individual was selected and salary negotiations commenced with the candidate.

Unanimous approval of the use of school facilities policy the policy on the use of school facilities by outside organizations was reviewed by the Policy Committee in advance of the BoE meeting. The recommendation was to provide Operations with the authority to approve the use of facilities that were for a term of less than 1 year. All other agreements for the use of facilities greater than one year would be brought to the public for comment and then to the BoE for approval. The BoE unanimously approved the first reading of the policy presented.

Unanimous approval of the non-renewal of the Tech High Charter contract – this was simply a procedural vote required to terminate the charter contract with Tech High School as a renewal was not requested since Tech shut down last year.

Unanimous approval of KIPP Charter Cluster Petition – BoE member Harsch-Kinnane posed numerous questions on the resolution to clarify the impact of approving the cluster petition. The administration consistently stated that the petition simply allowed the KIPP charter schools to operate more efficiently and that there were minimal to no other ramifications to approving the application. The charter cluster petition, which represents a new five-year contract, was approved unanimously and it now goes to the GA DOE for approval. See more at the AJC article here.

Unanimous approval of contracts for materials and other services – there are a number of routine contract approvals, which include asphalt and concrete services; HVAC supplies and musical instruments.

Unanimous approval to declare several school sites as surplus properties – APS wants to dispose of certain facilities and the approved resolution declares these properties as surplus and no longer needed by APS. The properties include the Adair facility, the Carter facility, the Wright facility, the Collier Heights property, the West Atlanta, the Doane Street property, the Old Dobbs property, the Claire/Daleview property and the Old Finch site.

Unanimous approval of the Personnel Gains and Losses Reportprior to approving the Report, the BoE went into Executive Session. Subsequent to the Executive Session the Report was approved. There were a couple of interesting items in the Report, including that CIO Dave Williamson had resigned effective September 15th. Also, the Payroll Department appears to be near completion in its restructuring as three new hires for this department were announced and three employees were terminated due to the restructuring.

[Follow me on Twitter @Financial_Decon]

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