APS Budget Commission meeting today at 2 P.M. – will they address the student outcome objectives for FY15?

The Budget Commission will meet again today at 2 P.M. after having previewed the preliminary FY15 budget this past Tuesday (see summary here). The plan is not to review a detailed set of numbers today as the administration indicated that a full set of detailed numbers would not be released until next Tuesday’s meeting. However, the Budget Commission wanted to continue pursuing the discussion on the objectives for FY15 that will be supported by spending in the budget.

As noted in the previous post, the head of C&I Karen Waldon discussed a number of initiatives for the next year. However, the presentation was sorely lacking in specifics related to improved student outcomes as a result of increased spending.

As a suggestion, my sense is that the process would move forward much faster if the presentations today address the key objectives the administration wants to pursue in FY15 and how the funding correlates with addressing these objectives. Additionally, the Balanced Scorecard that is a statement of key objectives (see FY13 Actual Performance here and FY14 Objectives here) would be a perfect outline to address the initiatives proposed by the administration. If student achievement and outcomes are their top priorities, then show us the specifics of how improvements in each objective will be made.

Some of the specific objectives on the Balanced Scorecard are as follows:

  • Graduation rates
  • Target percentage of meet or exceed CRCT testing scores.
  • Target percentage of students passing the EOCT.
  • Percent of students in Advanced Placement classes scoring 3 or greater on AP exams.
  • Percent of students that are absent less than 10 days.
  • Percent of teachers with a Teacher Effectiveness Measure of Effective or better.
  • Percent of leaders with a Leader Effectiveness Measure of Effective or better.

The administration would advance the budget process if it would focus on the key objectives that are contained in the Balanced Scorecard and then simply answer the following questions in regards to each item, as follows:

  1. Why was the objective met or missed in FY13?
  2. If the objective was missed, what steps were incorporated into FY14 to address the shortfall?
  3. How is the system progressing on meeting the FY14 objectives?
  4. Are there any current indications that some FY14 objectives will not be met?
  5. If so, what mid-year changes are being implemented to address the shortfalls?
  6. What are the objectives for FY15 and what specific funding and programs are being implemented to achieve those objectives?

These should not be difficult questions to address given that the administration should have these issues as “top of mind” if in fact improved student outcomes is their primary goal.

I will be interested to see if any of these items are addressed today.

[Follow me on Twitter @Financial_Decon]

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