Who Is In Charge

Legislative education calendar March 14-18

This is the legislative schedule of education-related bills and events for March 14-18, as of March 11. Floor calendars are subject to change and addition, and committee calendars occasionally change.

Colorado state flag

MONDAY

10 a.m. – House final consideration
– House Bill 11-1168 – Increase in COF stipend for some private college students
– House Bill 11-1121 – Safe schools/employment of felons bill
– House Bill 11-1248 – Composition of PERA board
– Senate Bill 11-012 – Self-administration of prescription drugs by students
– Senate Bill 11-040 – Concussion prevention

House consideration of Senate amendments
– House Bill 11-1074 – School of Mines funding of financial aid
– House Bill 11-1089 – Charter school authority to apply for grants

10 a.m. – Senate final consideration
– House Bill 11-1069 – Physical activity in elementary schools
– Senate Bill 11-069 – Study of educational management organizations

1:30 p.m. – House Education Committee, room 0112
– Senate Bill 11-100 – Continuation of higher ed common course council
– House Bill 11-1270 – Parent trigger to close schools

1:30 p.m. – Senate State Affairs Committee, room 353
– House Bill 11-1155 – Authorization for lieutenant governor to serve as agency head

TUESDAY

9 a.m. – Senate consideration of governor’s appointments
– Terrance Carroll and Michelle Lucero to Metro State board
– Peter Decker and Matthew Wassam to Fort Lewis board

WEDNESDAY

8 a.m. – Joint education committees, room 0112
– Report on college completion

1:30 p.m. – House Finance Committee, room LSB-A
– Senate Bill 11-076 – Increase in PERA contribution rates for state and some higher education employees (6th bill)

1:30 p.m. – Senate Education Committee, room 354
– Senate Bill 11-188 – Bonding for charter schools
– House Bill 11-1169 – Information sharing by campus police

1:30 p.m. – Senate State Affairs Committee, room 353
– Senate Bill 11-1007 – Choice of personnel system for Mesa State employees

THURSDAY

Upon floor adjournment – Joint Budget Committee, JBC hearing room
– Adjustments to 2011-12 budget figure setting

1:30 p.m. – Senate Education Committee, room 354
– Mesa State trustee nominations of Jose Marquez and Kathleen Eck
– Senate Bill 11-173 – Interoperable school communications systems
– Senate Bill 11-052 – Higher education performance funding

FRIDAY

7:30 a.m. – House Appropriations Committee, room LSB-A
– House Bill 11-1201 – Streamlining educator licensing (3rd bill)

9 a.m. – Senate preliminary consideration
– Senate Bill 11-126 – Undocumented student eligibility for resident tuition rates

1:30 p.m. – Joint Budget Committee, room LSB-A
– Presentation of March revenue forecasts

Use the Education Bill Tracker for links to bill texts and status information

Who Is In Charge

Indianapolis Public Schools board gives superintendent Ferebee raise, bonus

PHOTO: Dylan Peers McCoy
Lewis Ferebee

Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Lewis Ferebee is getting a $4,701 raise and a bonus of $28,000.

The board voted unanimously to approve both. The raise is a 2.24 percent salary increase. It is retroactive to July 1, 2017. Ferebee’s total pay this year, including the bonus, retirement contributions and a stipend for a car, will be $286,769. Even though the bonus was paid this year, it is based on his performance last school year.

The board approved a new contract Tuesday that includes a raise for teachers.

The bonus is 80 percent of the total — $35,000 — he could have received under his contract. It is based on goals agreed to by the superintendent and the board.

These are performance criteria used to determine the superintendent’s bonus are below:

Student recruitment

How common is it for districts to share student contact info with charter schools? Here’s what we know.

PHOTO: Laura Faith Kebede
Staff members of Green Dot Public Schools canvass a neighborhood near Kirby Middle School in the summer of 2016 before reopening the Memphis school as a charter.

As charter schools emerge alongside local school districts across the nation, student addresses have become a key turf war.

Charter schools have succeeded in filling their classes with and without access to student contact information. But their operators frequently argue that they have a right to such information, which they say is vital to their recruitment efforts and gives families equal access to different schools in their area.

Disputes are underway right now in at least two places: In Tennessee, school boards in Nashville and Memphis are defying a new state law that requires districts to hand over such information to charters that request it. A New York City parent recently filed a formal complaint accusing the city of sharing her information improperly with local charter schools.

How do other cities handle the issue? According to officials from a range of school districts, some share student information freely with charters while others guard it fiercely.

Some districts explicitly do not share student information with charter schools. This includes Detroit, where the schools chief is waging an open war with the charter sector for students; Washington, D.C., where the two school sectors coexist more peacefully; and Los Angeles.

Others have clear rules for student information sharing. Denver, for example, set parameters for what information the district will hand over to charter schools in a formal collaboration agreement — one that Memphis officials frequently cite as a model for one they are creating. Baltimore and Boston also share information, although Boston gives out only some of the personal details that district schools can access.

At least one city has carved out a compromise. In New York City, a third-party company provides mass mailings for charter schools, using contact information provided by the school district. Charter schools do not actually see that information and cannot use it for other purposes — although the provision hasn’t eliminated parent concerns about student privacy and fair recruitment practices there.

In Tennessee, the fight by the state’s two largest districts over the issue is nearing a boiling point. The state education department has already asked a judge to intervene in Nashville and is mulling whether to add the Memphis district to the court filing after the school board there voted to defy the state’s order to share information last month. Nashville’s court hearing is Nov. 28.

The conflict feels high-stakes to some. In Memphis, both local and state districts struggle with enrolling enough students. Most schools in the state-run Achievement School District have lost enrollment this year, and the local district, Shelby County Schools, saw a slight increase in enrollment this year after years of freefall.

Still, some charter leaders wonder why schools can’t get along without the information. One Memphis charter operator said his school fills its classes through word of mouth, Facebook ads, and signs in surrounding neighborhoods.

“We’re fully enrolled just through that,” said the leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect his relationship with the state and local districts. “It’s a non-argument for me.”

A spokeswoman for Green Dot Public Schools, the state-managed charter school whose request for student information started the legal fight in Memphis, said schools in the Achievement School District should receive student contact information because they are supposed to serve students within specific neighborhood boundaries.

“At the end of the day, parents should have the information they need to go to their neighborhood school,” said the spokeswoman, Cynara Lilly. “They deserve to know it’s open.”