Category Archives: GPPS Policy

It’s Time GPPSS Moved Forward With No-Fee All Day Kindergarten

A loophole in how Michigan distributes per pupil revenue has long allowed public schools to get twice what they really deserved for half-day kindergarten students.  But charging for extended day kindergarten amounts to taxing residents twice.  For this and other reasons I am advocating a district-wide switch to a no-fee All Day Kindergarten program for 2010-11.

In my last post and at the Board of Education meeting on January 25th I spent a great deal of time emphasizing that Michigan public schools derive their revenue on a per pupil basis.  The per pupil funding is known as the Foundation Allowance.  The Foundation Allowance does not distinguish between between a half-day student and a regular, full-day student.  This has been a pretty good deal for school districts.

Why?  Simple.  If we receive full per pupil funding for half-day kindergarten students it means that we essentially educate them at half the cost of most of our other students.  This is good for the district and, arguably, the other district services subsidized by the business model.

But it’s not so good if you are among the ever growing group of families who prefer their son or daughter go for more than half a day of kindergarten.  In response to this demand school districts have created programs called Extended Day Kindergarten (EDK).  But many districts, including GPPSS, charge a fee for EDK.

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Filed under Current Events, GPPS Academics, GPPS Budget Decisions, GPPS Policy, Meeting or Agenda Announcement

Role of the Board: The Micromanage v. Rubberstamp Debate

Understanding the decisions the Board makes requires an understanding of what the Board is supposed to do and how it executes its responsibilities.

rubberstampIt never ceases to amaze me how often people assume that being on the Board of Education is my actual job.  While sometimes it feels like my job, serving on the Board is an elected, but volunteer position.  But this misunderstanding is typical of a larger issue.  How well can the Board be understood if so many people think we actually work for the district?  Or that we are full time politicians?  The issue is that taxpayers, parents, homeowners, neighbors don’t think of Board members as people just like them.

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Filed under GPPS Board of Education, GPPS Policy