Parcel Tax Oversight Committee
Meeting Minutes April 30, 2007


Approved September 17, 2007

In Attendance

Committee Members:  Mike Cobb, Greg Fowler, David Greene, Kevin Stone, Karen Leonard

Staff:   Rebecca Wright, Craig Goldman

Ex Officio:  Gloria Higgins

Public:  Jim Cochran, Prospective Member of Committee

Absent:  Carmen Bryant

1.  Call to Order and Review of Agenda

Meeting called to order at 6:34 PM.

2.    Introductions

Committee welcomed Craig Goldman, new Chief Financial Officer for the district effective July 1, 2007.

Committee welcomed Jim Cochran, prospective new member of the oversight committee.  The Board of Trustees will be reviewing candidates for Committee members on May 17, 2007.

3.  Public Comment

No members of the public addressed the committee at this time.

4.   Review of Minutes

Committee reviewed minutes for the January 22, 2007 meeting.

Motion:  Approve minutes for January 22, 2007 as submitted.  Motion carries 4/0/1 (Leonard). 

5.  Election of Officers

Committee nominated and voted on Committee officers for the next 12 months. 

Motion:  David Greene as Secretary for 2007.  (Stone / Cobb)  Motion carried 5/0/0

Motion:  Mike Cobb as Chairman for 2007.  (Stone / Greene)  Motion carried 5/0/0

Motion:  Kevin Stone as Vice Chair for 2007.  (Cobb / Fowler)  Motion carried 5/0/0

6.   Update on 2006-2007 Parcel Tax Expenditures Based on 2nd Interim Budget

Rebecca Wright reviewed program spending to date for the 2006-07 school year, based on the second interim budget.  Overall, spending is consistent with original budget projections.  Variances exist in the following programs:

  • Library Secretaries.  Increased based on results of contract negotiations.
  • Clerical.  Increased based on results of contract negotiations.
  • Custodial.  Increased based on results of contract negotiations.
  • CSMA.  Increased number of days of instruction provided by the program.  Overall funding for CSMA includes $95K from Foundation.  New Kindergarten music program is entirely funded by the MVEF.  Program costs include a 5% increase in CSMA costs.

In addition, new initiatives are proceeding on plan:

  • Music Program Staff.  Adding a new program and also effectively reducing class size.
  • 4 / 5/ 6 Reduction of Class Size for Differentiation.  More complete discussion followed later in the meeting.
  • Support for Elementary Newcomers Class.  Program is going well, but district is considering other approaches for 2007-08.
  • Purchase String Instruments.  Net cost may be lower than planned.
  • Teacher on Special Assignment – Castro.

Reduction of Class Sizes for 4 / 5/ 6 was a key new program for 2006-07.  Planned model was to use part time teachers to lower the class sizes for portions of the day.  Model works well for middle school, but some challenges at elementary level.  Particularly challenging to identify and hire part-time teaching resources.  Cobb observed that relatively small numbers of students have been impacted by the program.  Larger numbers of students benefited from overall smaller class sizes.

Going forward, proposal is to have one dedicated teacher at four campuses (Bubb, Landels, Monta Loma, and Theuerkauf) to support an additional classroom to achieve target class size of 27 in 4th and 5th grade.  Current class sizes at Castro and Huff already meet the class size targets.  New teachers may be assigned to 4th, 5th, or mixed 4/5 classrooms.  Enables consistent class size reduction across the course of the day.

7.  Proposed 2007-2008 Parcel Tax Expenditures

Rebecca Wright reviewed proposed expenditures of Parcel Tax funds for the 2007-08 school year.

  • Zero Period Electives.  Continue funding forward.
  • English Learners.  Overall enrollment at Graham has dropped, including English Learners population.  Funding can be reduced accordingly.
  • Leadership and Activity.  Past funding from both Parcel Tax and MVEF has only covered staffing, with no funds available for programs or support resources.  For 2007-08 proposal is to fully fund staffing from Parcel Tax funds and then use MVEF funds for program expenses.
  • Academic At Risk Program.  Increased funding for “At Risk Supervisor” staff to allow a full time resource at both campuses.  Additional funding for Alternative Placements, particularly for 6th and 7th grade.
  • After-School Sports.  Small increase in funding.
  • Middle School Music Program.  Continue funding.
  • CHAC.  Expect 5% cost increase from CHAC.  No change in program scope.
  • Library Technicians.  Current staffing model based on enrollment.  Move to standard model of 6 hours per day for Elementary, 8 hours per day for Middle.
  • 4/5/6 Smaller Class Size.  Continuation of 6th grade academy program with a .5 FTE.  Move to average class size of 27 for 4th and 5th grade.  Additional support for math instruction in 4/5 combination classes.  Currently 2-3 combined 4/5 classes.
  • School Office Support.  Increased from 3-4 hours per day to 5 hours per day for all schools.
  • Custodial.  Continue funding.
  • Science Kit.  In the past has been done as a volunteer effort.  Now need to move to new model to support changes in volunteer team and changes in the science curriculum.  Proposed $20K funding covers first year start up costs.  Expect ongoing costs of $10K to the District, supplemented by $10K from MVEF.
  • Science Camp.  Increased support from $90 to $100 per student.  Has significantly offset fund raising workload.
  • CSMA.  Continue current program without change in scope.  Continue to rely on $95K in MVEF funding.
  • Newcomer Support.  Had assumed 25 students in the class by mid-point of school year.  As of January 2007 has 12 students, up to 17 in April.  Class size has never reached the 25 target.  Overall program costs around $100K, included $30K support from Parcel Tax.  Staffing currently includes both a teacher and a full time aide.  New model for FY08 is to provide additional support at their campus, likely through aides rather than a dedicated classroom.  Use of Parcel Tax funds is expected to continue at the $30K level.
  • Parcel Tax Lawsuit.  Minimal $10K funding to allow completion of final motions, including request for sanctions.  Expect no further expenses.  Any recovered costs will be available for programs.
  • Parcel Tax Support.  Increase funding to better support the senior exemption process.

Programs proposed to be discontinued are:

  • Music Funding.  One-time start up costs covered in 2006-2007 budget.  New funding provided by the state to augment music and arts educations.
  • Teacher on Special Assignment.  No longer required as PACT transition has been completed.

Committee discussed revised class size reduction program as this had been an area of concern in 2006-07 review.  By consensus, the committee agreed that the revised, simplified approach for 2007-08 was more likely to be successful and offered less cause for concern.

Three programs pulled for discussion by members of the Committee:

  • Leadership and Activity Program.  Leonard expressed concern that this program does not constitute “an essential program” and is not sufficiently inclusive for students who may wish to participate.  Cobb expressed belief that program offered benefits to the campus community beyond just those who participate in the program.
    • Not Appropriate:  1 (Leonard)
    • Appropriate with Concerns:  0
    • Appropriate:  4 (Cobb, Fowler, Stone, Greene)
  • Class Size Reduction Program.  Greene noted that while new approach sounds promising, the program did not deliver expected results in 2006-07 and thus may warrant closer attention by the committee.  Goldman and Higgins expressed concern, Leonard noted this is part of the core charter of the parcel tax measure. 
    • Not Appropriate:  0
    • Appropriate with Concerns:  0
    • Appropriate:  5
  • Newcomer Program.  Leonard expressed concern about the high cost of the program relative to the number of students served, as well as the implementation challenges of moving students to new campuses to participate.  Fowler noted the positive impact such a program has on all students in the class that the newcomers otherwise would be a part of.  Cobb suggested that program funding would potentially be used in conjunction with site funds.
    • Not Appropriate:  1 (Leonard)
    • Appropriate with Concerns:  1 (Greene)
    • Appropriate:  3 (Cobb, Fowler, Stone)

By consensus, all other proposed expenditures were deemed Appropriate.

Committee discussed overall how well the proposed funding is. 

8.   Discuss Communications of PTOC’s Review of 2007-2008

Committee is on the Agenda for the May 17th Board of Trustees Meeting.  Cobb will lead preparation based on templates used for previous presentations.

June 7:  Board of Trustees working session.
June 21:  Final public hearing and vote on the budget.

Community outreach program will include standard deliverables:

  • Advertisement in Mountain View Voice (June 11)
  • Flyer in backpack mail (Week of June 11)
  • Final report at District Office

Rebecca Wright suggested a separate website to facilitate easier distribution of Committee materials, reports, and documents.  Committee discussed what degree of independence would be appropriate given the overall independent actions of the Committee.  General agreement was that a Committee managed web area would be appropriate as a repository of Committee documents.  Greene will work with District web resources

9.   Status of New PTOC Members

Currently have two applications for new members in the Committee.  Board will take action on application May 17th, 2007.

10.   Future Agenda Items

Agenda for the September 17th meeting

  • Review 2006-07 Actual spending
  • Communications of 2006-07 results
  • Review status of 2007-08 budget, including implementation
  • Overview of funding sources
  • Review of Strategic Plan

11.  Set Date of Next Meeting(s)

Next meeting is September 17th, 2007 at 6:30.  First meeting of FY08 will be January 28, 2008 at 6:30.

12.   Adjourn

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.