Justin Silverstein—Vice President of Augenblick, Palaich, and Associates
- Performed the costing out study. Used two methodologies: successful schools and professional judgment.
- Successful schools based on districts that the State identified as accredited with distinction.
- Professional Judgment brings together many panels of educators (many of whom have received awards or recognition in their specific fields) that review the mandates placed on districts. The panels make recommendations on resources (not money) that are needed to meet the mandates. APA then analyzes and provides cost estimates based on the recommended resource levels.
- Study demonstrated a rational methodology to estimate costs for implementing the mandates that the state has put on school districts.
Shila Adolf—Superintendent, Bethune School District
- The importance of school to community puts it at the “center and life of the community,” and to lose the school would be detrimental; communities that have lost their schools have lost their vitality.
- Her goals for the students in her district is raise productive citizens and to get the kids to see Bethune is “a small basket in a big world” so they can either learn a trade to work in the community, or learn a skill so they can transfer into a larger setting.
- Student population is 73% free and reduced lunch; 41% ELL
- Only one ESL endorsed teacher who teaches in 4th grade
- District only receives funding for 3 pre-school slots, but has 11 pre-school students, all of whom would qualify for CPP (Colorado Preschool Program) spots
- Issue of time: “Its huge. Not enough time in terms of what they need to do. Extended day. Science test results are ‘tragic’ but if student is struggling in reading/writing the focus will be there.
- Implemented letter-writing program to help students improve their writing where she wrote and responded to letters from her students throughout the school year.
Gerald Keefe—Superintendent of Kit Carson School District
- District waived out of NCLB (no child left behind) because he passed a local mill levy over-ride to make up for funding lost from the Federal Government as a result of this waiver.
- Applied for Innovation Status as a district so that they could be free from Senate Bill 191 (Teacher Effectiveness Bill).
- Part of Governor Ritter’s P-20 Council, and raised concerns about lack of funding that were never addressed.
- “Strain on budgets due to underfunding…requires school to use general fund to continue to make progress and provide professional development for teachers.”