4/8/19 School Board Meeting Guide

Here’s a roundup of the major issues discussed at last night’s board meeting:

Communities in Schools (CIS): CIS is a national non-profit organization that provides support to students whose mental health is getting in the way of their academic success. They’ve worked in Emmaus High School for almost two years now. CIS presented a report of their progress (summary: they’re doing lots of good work but its too early to objectively judge their overall impact). The board also discussed a proposal to expand the CIS program into the middle schools, with the district paying 60% of the cost and CIS covering 40% over the next three years. Watch here; formal report and presentation slides available here.

Next Year’s Budget: The board unanimously passed the “Proposed Final Budget” for next academic year. The name is in quotes because the vote is just one step in a longer, more complicated budget process. There will undoubtedly be further changes to the budget before it comes up for final approval in June. Right now it’s $158.6 million budget (including $5 million in charter school costs) with a 0.92% tax increase. Watch here; official Proposed Final Budget documents are available here. Check out my short guide if you want to better understand the overall budget process.

Cyber Charter Reform: The board unanimously passed two resolutions calling on state lawmakers to fix Pennsylvania’s broken cyber charter laws. Watch here; copies of the resolutions themselves are available here. If you want to learn more about the scope of the problem, I recommend How to Make $1.5 Million of Your Money Disappear and How One Charter School Spends Your Money.

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