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Author Topic: How is Corbett School District to survive? Nov 17, CSB meeting.  (Read 4304 times)
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« on: November 19, 2010, 09:56:29 AM »

I attended the last school board meeting and I hope this post will generate the discussion I've seen in emails since then in regard to the future of CSD.  Here's some info in regard to emails I've pasted at end:
The hot topics center around our children's education, finances and local control.
Finance: I've been attending CSB meetings regularly for the past two years and don't question the District's conclusion that they'll be short about $600,000 for the 2011/12 school year.  Dr. Trani outlined three pathways to solve the shortages:  1) make deeper cuts next year, but keep going with existing model;  2) Consolidate with Reynolds: 3) Year around school for high school and adding up to 300 h.s. students from out of district through existing or new charter school(s).

Option 3 is not possible unless more classroom space is found.  That could happen in 2012/13 with a remodeled Springdale School.  But, having more students could generate around $600,000 extra.
Option 2 has Corbett community losing control of their schools and probably the high school.
Option 1 has other pathways and Dr. Trani welcomes ideas to keep that model.  The CSB wishes patrons to lobby the State legislature for more school funds.  Shall the District put another bond levy on the ballot in May? - also voting on two new board members then.
Some info on Options 3:  The District owns Springdale School and could have about 8 classrooms there by investing about $700,000 in the building.  It would cost $10,000,000 to build a new building of this size.  In the near future CSD may be starting an advisory committee on how to refurbish SS in cooperation with the Springdale School Community Association and other interest community members. As a long time Springdale resident and board member of SSCA I feel this route should definitely be investigated.
Gary Law

From: Mindy Schmidt <>
Date: Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 1:50 PM
Subject: Corbett School Board Meeting 11/17/2010
To: Corbett Community Forum <>

Greetings all,

Some of you may have already received the below email from this community member and parent. ( Some of you might have also been at the meeting last night and heard this information first hand. ) For some of you, being absorbed by Reynolds School district and going all charterĒ might be an acceptable solution.

If, however, you are interested in keeping our schools in Corbett open with a public school board, I would suggest we all find a way to go to the next school board meeting on December 15th at 7:30 PM and/or voice your opinions and/or share ideas on how we can keep our neighborhood school Ďin the neighborhoodí.

The information provided below will fill you in on some of what was brought up last night and why it matters to a lot of people. As a side note, it was the 28th of last month that I asked Mr. Trani about going to a charter model via email because he mentioned it in his online Q&A. ( I forwarded my questions to you at that time... ) He responded: 

ď Mindy, I really can not answer any of the seven follow questions about taking the District to an all District Charter school because there are no plans to do that.  In fact I am confident that the time it took to write down those 7 questions is greater than the time I have spent considering that option!  Could the board consider it some day...sure....are they considering it no.  ď

So I guess someday is here.
Thanks for your time,


------ Forwarded Message
From: <>
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2010 15:57:59 -0500 (EST)
To: <>
Subject: Sc hool Board Meeting 11/17/2010

Okay, everyone.  I went to the board meeting last night and I MUST BE HONEST with all of you, WE ALL NEED TO ATTEND!  The last thing on the meeting, around 9:45 pm when I was thinking I was ready to leave, was Dr. Trani's report.   Oh Boy.
I think they are trying to break us.  First we get told that with the new results coming in on beginning fund balance is there is going to be a $67,744.00 balance with the changes done already.  BUT....... oh my gosh, we are going to be starting Next year 575,000 in the hole.  We need to cut, or merge with Reynolds, or Here's a thought!!! Lets add another charter! 

That's right, lets bring another 300 HS students up, have them be black and red groupings and go year round with schooling.  We will have the kids go five weeks, then off for five weeks while we have the other group going.  Then at some point the rotation will be two weeks on, two weeks off, then before testing it will go to two days on, two days off.  I said I'd pull my kid (once I was allowed to speak). 
I suggested we end HS once the AP tests were done.  Last year my child spent three weeks making bottle rockets and screwing around because the teachers stop teaching as soon as the tests are finished.  It was a waste of his time.  A lot of districts are cutting days, between 8-12, and we are being told that would save Corbett 18,000 a day to do that in Salaries.  Cut the year, bank the money.  DeeDee Hanes said maybe we should start the year earlier so the kids could get more time in for studying.  Please, I think they get enough.
The other thing is when I was in Junior High the school burned down. We spent a year with half the kids going from 8-1 and the other half going 1:30 to 6, something like that.  I was told no one would come up for that, but I know my kid would be all over it.  He'd push for the afternoon shift so he could sleep in.  Besides, he thinks spending as much time as he does at school is a waste of time anyway.
Now, as far as I can tell, based on the direction the conversation kept being pulled back to whenever Mr. Aho asked a question is, Springdale will be purchased by the Corbett School District with a no interest stimulus loan (if they can get it) and then put the Charter school in there.  They will charge the Charter the rent of the rooms and pay the loan back over the course of 20 years.  (One million, twenty years, good grief)  So, they figure 405 in, spending 75 out, and having the rest of the money to cover changes.  Which is fine, except the paperwork they gave us shows interest and I don't know why we wouldn't retire the debt Much faster.  Also, I don't know why we are again being asked to fix up a building for the Charter.  If the District is going Broke, why are we buying additional debt.  Then one of the board members started talking about moving the bus facility, putting a new one up on the old Grade school site, opening up the bus barn area for parking, etc. 
So, are we broke?  Or are we rolling in it?  OR..... are we getting ready to merge with Reynolds and turn the entire Corbett District into a Charter school?  Going to have to admit, I think there is a push towards the last one. 

We need to get everyone down to the Board meeting on December 15, 2010 at 7:30 in the Grade school boardroom.  Bring a Pillow the seats are hard, bring your coffee and some snacks, the meetings go long and they don't let you speak after the meeting gets going.  But we need to be there to see what is going on.  Don't wait until we are just being told the deed is done. 
Bring two ideas on how to save money to the meeting and sign up to present them to the Board.  If you want a copy of the Budget from last year and this year demand them from the Superintendent  (  Scour through them, find out where your dollars are going and ask questions if you can't figure it out.  They don't make it easy!
Let's get Involved!  It takes time people, and energy on our part, but this is our community and we could easily lose it.  Don't let that happen.
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2010, 07:05:44 PM »

Help Save Our Small Schools!
On November 17, 2010 at the school board meeting, Superintendent Trani announced that we will be entering the 2011-2012 fiscal year $575,000 in the negative.  This is explained by:

A.   The Public Employees Retirement System will be increasing their cost 6% which will add $145,000 to the Corbett School Districts cost.
B.   Planned increase in Purchase Services/ supplies by 8% for $58,000.
C.   Teachers are paid based on the Step they are on which increases with years they have taught and increased education.  There will also be a rate increase for Certified and Classified personnel for an estimated cost of $100,000.
D.   Stimulus funding disappears ($98,000).
E.   Fed Edu Job Funds disappears ($173,000)

D and E may reappear in a different form should the money be available from the feds.

Three options were presented at the meeting to the School Board members. 

1.   Cut music, coaches, travel, etc
2.   Merge with Reynolds district
3.   Year round school coupled with adding another charter

Option 3 was explained at year round school with Red group going Five weeks, then Black group going Five weeks.  Then switching to red group going two weeks, black group two weeks, then before AP testing two days on, two days off. 

There is also a large push to floating a $1,000,000 loan to upgrade the Springdale school and turning that into a charter building or moving the Middle school kids down there and running the increased Charter/Corbett High School out of the existing buildings.  The papers state Bond on them that would require a vote of the people, but the explanation was it would be a Loan and no vote would be required.

The plan is to bring another 300 high school students into the area as Charter to cover the added cost.

One of the Board Members suggested it be put to the People that you either pass the next bond in March, or your kids go to Reynolds.  So, I am asking for the Community to get involved in figuring out ways to cut expenses and increase monies into the Corbett schools.

I have been reading the budget statements for the 2009-2010 school year (this years information was just zeroís so far) and I am finding that during that year we spent:

Capital Improvements   $670,212
and maintenance   This is 40,801 over budget.  Can we find people who will review the bids, the costs, any over runs?  What did we get?

Overtime:     $268,946           Teachers spend 148 days in front of students
               3 in-service days/3 student & departmental assessment days
               2 parent/teacher conference days
               3 class prep days/ 5 paid holidays = 164 contract days
Teachers receive comp pay for all assigned curriculum projects outside normal working hours at $30/hr.
Classified employees get overtime at 1.5 on anything over 40 hours.   

Where is the overtime going?  Is it for teachers, classifieds, administration?  Itís a lot of money!

AP Testing   $48,000         Of the 748 tests given, 25% passed
CSD meeting            Cost of test not passed: $36,000
7/28/2010            Or cost of passed test: $256.68 per test

AP exams 2011  $61,760      Projecting 965 AP Exams this year
               Should we continue to pay for the exams out of the school
budget?  Corbett is the only district in Oregon that pays for AP exams according to the Oregon Department of Education.  Rating in the Newsweek magazine is based on number of exams Taken, not Passed, divided by the number of graduating Seniors.  Class of 2011 has approximately 42 Seniors based on the last figures I saw.  You can find more information by going to:

Food Service   $193,424      This is $19,302 higher than budgeted
Supplies were  $134,350      How can we trim this number?  Can we
               reduce spoilage by buying pre-packaged fruit
               cups, yogurt, salads?  Can we see the bids for supplies?

Audit for 2009/2010   $7,630      CSD staff must pull together numbers.  Should have in                      place from previous year and not have to reinvent the                  wheel, but appears to be causing a problem at the
District office.
New audit proposal  $47,240      Talbot, Korvola & Warwick LLP
               Offer discount of $18,740 to show partnership (one time?)
               Final cost to district: $28,500
               Letís look at this closely

Cut school days  $18,000 per day   It was suggested by Dr. Trani that we might suggest cutting school days, at a reduction in expenses of $18,000 a day.  Many Districts are going to this as a way to meet budgets.  Based on needing kids getting instruction of 900 hours a year, my numbers show we could easily cut 10 days off the year without running into problems with the State.  Maybe on weeks we have a holiday we could just not have school that Friday and spread the time out over the year.

How do we bring money into the District?

Special Education students are funded at Two times the weight of a non-exceptional student.  (American Research Institute).  We are running 42 students as needing IEP assistance, which counts for 84 kids.  Or, at $5,496 per student, an additional $230,832 to the District.

There are other students who could also use assistance.  Letís inform parents that you can put in writing a request (by law you can do verbal but just to keep your records, I suggest in writing)  to have your student tested and within 30 days the school must comply.  This is a Federal Law and we receive funding for it, and your child will benefit!

Reduced/free lunch program.  Guess what?!  We get funding for each student who qualifies, whether they use the service or not.  If Iím reading the paperwork correctly, each student counts as a additional .25 of a student.  At the General fund rate of $5,496 per student, this comes to an extra $1,374 per student.  That means that if we sign up another 15 students to the free/reduced lunch program, we could have covered the over budget cost of the Food Service in 2009-2010!

Parents, donít say your kid eats at the CCM so why do the paperwork.  Donít say you send a lunch so why do the paperwork.  FILL OUT THE PAPERWORK AND TURN IT IN!  If we got an additional 124 students to qualify that would bring in  $170,376. 

Contact your State Senators!  Ask them if its possible to get a waiver on the rural school distance portion of the budget.  There are approximately 7,700 households in Corbett, (2000 Census)  letís flood them with e-mails, Senators Merkley and Wyden need to hear from us.  Send them to Kitzhaber too, he ran on the Education platform!

If you need copies of the budget, monthly expenses, hand-outs from the school board meetings, etc, you can contact Dr. Randy Trani at: .  Once that is all on line at Corbett School District we will be able to pull up the information ourselves, but for now, request, request, request and educate yourself!

I am asking everyone to come to the Board meetings if you can.  The next one is December 15, 2010 at 7:30 in the Grade School.  Bring a couple of ideas to cut expenses or increase income and sign up to present them to the Board. 

Letís Keep Our Schools Small, and our Education in our hands.

Victoria Purvine

I do think we should look into upgrading the Springdale school, but I think it needs to be done without the push behind it for bringing more kids into the District.  I believe this idea needs to have community involvement, take the time to get the information instead of rushing it, and let the community decide what they want.  I heard suggestions of making it more towards educating the kids of Corbett, with classes like Shop, Mechanics, Culinary, Computers, etc.  Not another College Prep School.   I think that is a wonderful idea.  Expensive, but wonderful.  But letís give the Board input about slowing things down, involving us before the plans are drawn up (and they are being drawn up already and the company is looking for another $15,000 to go forward.) 

My information is pulled from the 2009/2010 budget, teachers contract with CSD, classified contract with CSD, school board meetings minutes, COSA website under financial information, open book section.  (Compare our district with other districts that are compatible in size)



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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2010, 05:02:57 PM »

The problem lies in leadership. If those in the community and the charter parents were on board with the direction Corbett's leaders were taking the school they would support it. They are not, and the leadership does not listen or care, and therefore this task of juggling numbers is moot.
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2010, 08:04:56 PM »

The problem is that the administration is leading towards a flawed and very expensive model.  Dunton and Tranni are not seeing what is best for the kids because they are looking out what is best for themselves and those around them.  They lead you to think that they are going to be nice and do what is best but then change their minds because a different decision (charter school) makes it better in the long run for kids.  In my and  a lot of others opinion they should both enter the talk show circuit discussing imaginitive learning.  Shortly after they can imagine how much money they will not earn and how the students of Corbett are better off. 
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