Funding and Budgeting

Action Team Goal:

There should be funding to recruit, support, and keep the best teachers.

Meeting 6 Recap

We started with brainstorming around project implementation to prepare for the next phase, focusing on:

  • A tool to help community understand school funding

  • Demographics around who would distribute the tool and lead meetings

  • Community conversations’ structure

  • In which schools a student exchange day would take place

  • Information that would be gathered from the exchange and its documentation

  • How to share the exchange project with the community

  • The overall goal of the project

Highlights from this discussion include:

  • Raising awareness on funding inequities in the community to push for policy change and increase community participation at local funding meetings

  • Creating a one-pager that highlights general funding and budget data, specifically with facts about teachers

  • Emphasis on parents and students distributing the tool and having a team of 2 to 3 conversation facilitators

  • Each district represented in meetings where community members can talk directly to local elected officials

  • Conducting an exchange or student shadow day with 2 or 3 students in different income schools and having video interviews of their experiences

  • Potentially a teacher or another trusted school adult exchange with the students so the young people have an ally who can support them in the space

  • Parents and students present out their videos to the public and have videos that can easily travel and be shown after meetings

  • A social media campaign or event to showcase the videos. 

Meeting 5 Recap

  • UnifiEd staff updated the team on a meeting with central office, gauging if they felt the team’s idea of holding teacher focus groups and working on teacher benefits and pay was a good idea.

  • Central office staff will not be able to help us facilitate teacher focus groups and want to wait to understand Superintendent Johnson’s funding plan before making commitments to working with this action team.  

  • Team chose to pursue a two-part project:

    • Creating informational tools for the community highlighting funding issues locally and statewide.

    • Facilitating a video and student exchange project where students from different schools get to experience and reflect on schools with varying resources in different areas of the county.

Meeting 4 Recap

  • Before the 4th meeting, members of the team met with several leaders at HCDE focused on teacher recruitment, support, and retention in order to understand their current funding needs

  • The team reviewed what was learned from HCDE leaders and discussed what funding initiative would be the most impactful for student achievement

  • After small group discussions, the team decided to focus on more funding for teacher pay and benefits as well as funding for increased teacher mentorship and professional development opportunities

Meeting 3 Recap

  • Identified questions for central office staff responsible for recruiting, supporting, and retaining our best teachers

  • Brainstormed possible project ideas that would include an opportunity to hold focus groups with teachers to understand their needs better

Meeting 2 Recap

  • Learned about the BEP formula

  • Discussed the difference between state level funding responsibility and local level funding responsibility

  • Explored different areas of the Budget Working Group proposal released last spring

Meeting 1 Recap

  • Participants shared their experience, both personal and political, with county funding patterns

  • The group determined opportunities and challenges we will face trying to increase funding potential to recruit, support, and retain the best teachers for our public schools

Next Steps:

  • UnifiEd will be contacting team members for interviews about their experience with APEX Action Teams

  • Team members will be invited to participate in a design process for a report and communication tool to share their work with the community

  • Next set of APEX Action Team meetings will resume in early 2019.