Dear College Park Community,
Below is a recap of the September 5, 2019 meeting we had with David Chambliss, Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services, to discuss school funding and how College Park’s per student funding compares to the other 15 elementary schools in the San Mateo-Foster City School District. The purpose for this meeting was to gain a better understanding of how much funding our school receives from state funding. Because we are spending a tremendous amount of effort to raise over $400,000+ (PTA $180,000+ and FMS $230,000+) to fund the programs, services and staff positions offered at College Park, it is imperative that the parent community understand whether or not College Park is getting it’s fair share of state funding in the SMFCSD in order to meet the needs of our students.
The funding each school receives is loosely defined as Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) funding. LCAP funding is provided to achieve different LCAP goals in meeting California Education Standards in the areas of English Language Arts, English Language Development, Math, Science, PE, etc.
I have provided a summary of each topic discussed and the questions asked during the meeting.
A follow-up email has been sent to Mr. Chambliss and Mr. Chuang for a follow-up meeting after the October break to discuss all the questions we had at the September 5th meeting as well as to review College Park’s LCAP allocation with Mr. Chuang. We will let you know when we have a meeting set.
TOPIC I—HOW IS FUNDING CALCULATED FOR EACH SCHOOL?
The following charts show College Park’s 2017-2018 performance for English Language Arts and Math as well as College Park’s 2017-2018 Per Pupil Funding and how we compare to the other 15 elementary schools in the SMFC School District.
Mr. Chambliss explained the different components that make up funding for each school. He also explained that a school’s testing scores have zero factor in its funding allocation.
- Unrestricted Funding (Base Funding)—based on student enrollment, teachers, para educators, staff and basic services.
- Restricted Funding (Supplemental Funds)— priority given to schools with a higher percentage of students in the following groups: Socioeconomically Disadvantaged, English Learners, and Foster Youth.
- Concentration Funding—funding provided to schools with over 60% of Socioeconomically Disadvantaged; no school in SMFCSD falls in this category.
The following chart show College Park’s demographics trends over the past 5 years. Based on these trends, College Park’s funding amounts will continue to decline.
Below are the some questions we had regarding student funding and testing results:
1). Please provide additional information used in calculating the Base Funding (Unrestricted Funding). Why is there such a large differential among the 16 elementary schools even in the Unrestricted Funding category?
2). Is there an exception to the standard calculation, which allows for additional base funding allocations for dual-language schools?
3). What are the percentages, by school, of the groups that receive restricted funds: Socioeconomically Disadvantaged, English Learners, and Foster Youth? And if a student falls into 1,2,or 3 of the categories how does that factor into the funding equation?
4). If a Mandarin speaking English Learner is at a Mandarin immersion school are they still considered an English Learner for funding purposes? Same question for a Spanish speaker at a Spanish immersion school.
5). Looking at the 2017-18 SARC report for College Park it shows 12.7% English Learners and 6.7% Socioeconomic Disadvantaged, which would total 19.4% for restricted funding calculations. But, you mentioned that College Park only has 6% in that category. Can you please explain the difference?
6). For the 2017-18 SARC report, can we see a break out the GATE program assessment scores separately from College Park Mandarin program?
TOPIC II—HOW IS LCAP FUNDING ALLOCATED AT COLLEGE PARK?
Mr. Chambliss explained that each school has a Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) that outlines how each School Principal intends to spend their allocated Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) funding to achieve different LCAP goals in meeting California Education Standards.
Attached is the 2017-2018 SPSA for College Park.
Below are some questions we had about College Park’s SPSA:
1). We asked to review College Park’s Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) with Mr. Chuang. The 2017-2018 SPSA shows an allocated amount $45,074, it is unclear what that covers (English Aide? Reading Specialist?)
2). Can you provide us College Park’s Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) for 2018-2019 school year and for the current 2019-2020 school year?
3). What happens to the SPSA money that is not spent during any given school year
TOPIC III—READING SPECIALIST AT THE SCHOOL
Mr. Chambliss explained that the District voted to provide funding for a Reading Specialist at each school. However, they have not been able to hire enough people to fill the Reading Specialist vacancies. College Park had to share a Reading Specialist last school year with Parkside Elementary, but more time was spent on the Parkside campus because their student population need was higher. For this school year, College Park does not have a Reading Specialist.
Below are the questions we had regarding the Reading Specialist:
1). How will College Park students receive Reading Specialist help when there is a shortage/vacancy in the District? What is the District doing to fill these vacancies? How do we recruit or train qualified help?
2). If the District is not able to hire a Reading Specialist for each school, could those funds be reallocated to each school to fund an English Aide para educator?
TOPIC IV—MEASURE V SPENDING
In December 2018, Measure V parcel tax was passed to provide approximately $10 million annually for 9 years to support the following:
- Attracting and retaining excellent teachers and staff
- Providing outstanding reading, writing, math and science programs
- Enhancing programs including science, technology, engineering and math
- Supporting art, drama and music programs
Mr. Chambliss indicated that Superintendent Dr. Joan Rosas met with each school principal in April 2019 to discuss their “wish list” for Measure V funds. Approximately 60% of the funds is committed to fund salaries for recruiting and retaining teachers. Priority is next given to STEM programing. The first tranche of the funds is expected to arrive in November-December 2019.
Below are the questions we had about Measure V:
1). Can you provide us the Measure V funding break down? How much is left over after salary adjustments? Is this when each school’s “wish list” funding comes from? Is this "wish list" funding given annually or only one time?
2). What were the College Park's "wish list" items for Measure V?
3). Who are the site council representatives for College Park helping to determine how to prioritize our school’s LCAP and Measure V funds?