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Culver City School Board Approves New Policy on School Connected Organizations

The new policy paves the way for school connected organizations (such as booster clubs and PTAs) to provide additional support services in CCUSD schools.

In a motion set forth at Tuesday night's meeting by School Board member Laura Chardiet, the Culver City School Board voted unanimously in favor of a Board Policy on School Connected Organizations. ‘Board Policy 4400: The Use of Private Funds for Supplemental Employment’ (BP-4400)  lays out rules about the way parent-led booster clubs and other outside entities can pay for employees to provide additional support services in the schools.

The move comes on the heels of the dispute between the adjunct program at El Marino Language School and the Association of Classified Employees union, which the Board also resolved at the same meeting.

The new policy, which does not apply to after-school enrichment services or other services covered in an existing  job classification, is the end result of the District Administration, the Board and parent community working together to come up with policy that works for all involved.

During meetings in July, Chardiet, Assistant Superintendents Eileen Carroll and Leslie Lockhart, United Parents of Culver City (UPCC) President Steven Levin and booster club and PTA presidents and representatives from all of the Culver City Unified School District schools met to draft and clarify the three page document.

Steven Levin told the Board, “We really appreciate the work that went into this. We think that the language is a good compromise and something we can all get behind.”

The policy states that if a booster club or outside entity raises funds to pay an employee to do supplemental work, which is already covered by an existing district job classification, they must choose to pay for them by reimbursing the District for the costs. The policy further clarifies that if the work is not covered by an existing job classification, (such as after school programs, adjuncts, supplemental drama programs and artists in the classroom), no such restriction applies.

Superintendent Dave LaRose said that in looking at the new policy holistically, it creates a mechanism for how an outside entity can pay for a District employee, and is also about funding sources in the absence of a job description.

Board member Kathy Paspalis stated, “BP 4400 allows parent-funded groups at each school to direct funds where the parents, teachers and administrators, working together, identify a need – or a desired new or enhancement program – and can help meet it.”

Following the meeting, Scott Kecken, Co-President of La Ballona Education Partners told Patch, "In partnership with the administration, faculty and parents, we are exploring options to bring more enrichment and program support to the students including bringing in Spanish language adjuncts."

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Steve Levin September 14, 2012 at 01:23 AM
While I wish that school districts had the money to pay for more than the bare minimum, at least this new policy acknowledges the reality that virtually all of the "extras" at our schools are paid for by donations from parents and outside groups.
francis thaler September 14, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Thumbs Up! thank you for all the work you and the other UPCC organizers have done to voice the concerns of the parents who volunteer and donate to all these school connected organizations.
violett Jessup September 14, 2012 at 03:44 AM
It is great to hear that so much work was done by parents and administrators to come up with a policy. I am wondering where this leaves the schools with lower income parents? does this policy address the issue of equality in education? I have not read it. I really hope this issue was raised in a frank way. Certain CCUSD elementary schools have a wealthier population with many more stay at home parents and access to funds - than others. If outside funds are paying for teachers or extras at one school and not another - how can we honestly say we are giving all of CCUSD's students the same opportunities and educating them equally? still thanks, to all the people involved in trying to work this out!
Scott Kecken September 14, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Yes, a lot of hard work went into this new policy draft. Thanks to the District and board member Laura Chardiet for organizing the working meeting with Booster representatives. I think this signals a culture shift in CCUSD and I look forward to working more on our issues. Yes, there are differences in the populations of our schools and some Booster clubs are able to raise more than others. You also have to put into the equation that some Boosters have been in existence much longer than others and have developed strong fundraising strategies. One of the purposes of United Parent of Culver CIty is to share these best practices among the school sites and help each other out to become the best. Also, you have to factor in Title I funds which are not available to all schools, only those with more students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. In the end, there is a more equal balance of funds between schools that are used to supplement education. However, there is still a need to maintain our current funding and find solutions to possible future budget cuts. .One thing residents can do is register to vote and support the upcoming Propositions 30 and 38.
Dan O'Brien September 14, 2012 at 07:17 AM
Emily, if your question is to be considered, I think it is fair to consider the difference in funding those same schools receive via their Title I designation. I do not know for certain what the answer is to that, but I believe that schools who are classified as Title I receive more federal funding than schools which are not. Regardless, a parent should have a right to give money to benefit their own child if they choose. I recall reading one person's argument that they could choose to give their money to their child's school where others can also benefit, or they can just pay for a tutor for their own child so that no one gets upset. (or a 3rd option that is all too common in Culver City: They choose to send their kids to a private or charter school where there is much less discussion about things like this). Also, I've read many people say that there are schools in Culver City who have wealthier families than others. For the most part, the upper crust in Culver City isn't wealthy, and to use that term in describing parents of Culver City kids is pretty off base. They just aren't poor. The majority of the CCUSD donors whom I know are like my family, where our gifts take a level of sacrifice: Whether it be time or money. If EVERY family in CCUSD gave a very small amount (like $10 or $20 a month), it would make a transformative difference for each and every school.
violett Jessup September 14, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Thank you Dan and Scott, The issue of Title I is a good one. I will continue to try to make sense of it all - but I really appreciate parents like yourself being involved and educated on the complexity of how it all works and trying to make ccusd a great system for all it's students!
Dan O'Brien September 14, 2012 at 05:27 PM
:)
Scott Kecken September 15, 2012 at 01:02 AM
To second Dan's comments, another action residents can do is to give to the Culver City Education Foundation All for One campaign. They provide support to all of Culver City's schools. Last year, at La Ballona for example, they donated interactive projectors and funded the Growing Great garden program. Give here https://ccef90230.org/donate/
Steve Levin September 21, 2012 at 12:52 AM
While I agree with Dan and Scott, I see this with a much simpler perspective: If parents want to help our schools, we should say "Yes !". If I support Culver City schools, does that take something away from schools in L.A. ? If you support your child's school, does that take something away from another school ? Whether we're helping one child or the entire district or the entire state, it's still a positive influence. Educating our children is an incredibly important, challenging job. If a parent takes a turn reading in the classroom, or a corporation pays for technology in schools throughout the state, the principle is the same. As a community, we support our schools and our children, in whatever way we can, and I have nothing but gratitude for anyone who helps.

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