District Administration - March 2009 - (Page 8)
Briefings Newsupdate PeoPle Watch Cause for ConCern a. Woodrow Carter, superintendent of Capistrano (Calif.) Schools, has been placed on paid administrative leave. He got the job after the board’s first choice backed out due to district “uncertainty and instability.” shaky Changes randy Dorn, Washington’s superintendent of public instruction, wants to do away with the WASL, a state test. but some are questioning whether he has the power to do so without legislative approval. reaDy to LeaD? Chicago Transit Authority president ron huberman has been appointed CEO of Chicago Public Schools, replacing Arne Duncan. On his plate is a plan to close or reorganize 22 schools. He has no professional experience as an educator. appointeD rossana rosado, publisher and CEO of Spanishlanguage daily newspaper El Diario, has joined the board of Learn NY, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that New York City students receive a high quality education. partner in Crime Gov. Schwarzenegger has tapped education and philanthropy consultant glen thomas to serve as California’s education secretary. Thomas will act as the governor’s chief liaison to the appointed state board of education. by Zach Miners The Auto Industry’s Impact on School Districts in car manufacTurinG areas, the financial troubles of the “big three” automakers—ford, General motors and chrysler—are putting a bit of a strain on school districts. at Van Buren Public schools in Wayne county, mich., just 25 minutes from downtown Detroit, officials are trying to make do with rising health care and state retirement costs, aged and failing technology, and an outward migration of students and families due to closed auto plants. Linda Olson, the district’s instruction and personnel director, says any state funding increases that have been received over the last several years have not been in balance with costs. “We’ve been known to delay textbook adoptions in the past,” she says, “but we’re currently freezing all major adoptions altogether.” The 6,300-student district has cut 39 staff positions for the 2008-2009 year, and the board recently voted to make $3.5 million worth of staff, transportation and athletic cuts for the 2009-2010 year. District enrollment decreased by about 450 students this academic year due to parents’ loss of auto manufacturing jobs, with families moving either out of state or at least two school districts away. “it seems that we hear daily of economic impacts to our community,” says Olson, remarking that a local engineering firm recently laid off 600 employees and a local newspaper had to lay off most of its staff. michigan’s unemployment rate is almost 3 points above the national average. “The crisis has definitely impacted our ability to procure the technology that is needed for the district,” says Olson. in Detroit, traditionally known as the automotive center of the world, Detroit Public schools has been beset by declining enrollment and dwindling resources and facilities since the first slump of the From right: GM CEO Rick Wagoner, Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli, and Ford CEO Alan Mulally testify at a Senate hearing in November on the automotive industry bailout. automobile industry in the 1970s, says district spokeswoman mattie majors. majors is not certain how the crisis may impact the district and next year’s budget, but she admits that the student population has dropped by between 7,000 and 9,000 per year for the past several years. and a number of school buildings have been closed or sold or leased to local developers and organizations. “costs are rising, but the money we’re getting back is not enough,” she says. The picture is somewhat rosier in districts based near luxury auto plants. in south carolina, one of the top 10 carproducing states, the spartanburg county District 5 in roebuck is reaping the rewards from its proximity to the north american BmW plant and headquarters. in ten years the district has experienced a 65 percent jump in enrollment and has constructed four new schools in the past five years to keep up with student growth. “in many communities, schools are on the frontlines of the economic downturn,” says aasa president randall collins, superintendent of Waterford (conn.) Public schools. “We need to ensure they have adequate funding.” District Administration 8 March 2009
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration - March 2009
District Administration - March 2009
Health & Fitness
The College Promise
Do Economic Rewards Work?
The SIFication of America
Disciplining Students with Disabilities
How Well Does This Web Site Work?
District Administration - March 2009