Monday, November 14, 2011

Cuts at CAPA proposed

From the PG:


Questioner said...

The article says that "The district now spends about $2.1 million more a year on CAPA than the typical high school".

- But, CAPA is a 6-12 school. Does it cost more than a typical high school because there are 3 extra grades? Or does it cost 2.1M more than a typical 6-12? Or does the 9-12 portion cost 2.1M more than a typical 9-12 school? How do costs per high school student at CAPA compare to costs per typical high school student at sci tech? With only about 70 students in grade 11 at sci tech it has to he expensive.

Anonymous said...

Once again, bad reporting- the article states that every school will have one AP or IB class. Schools that are not certified by the IBO cannot have students take the IB exams.

Questioner said...

Technically the statement would be correct- Obama would just be the only school w/ any IB class, the rest would have at least one AP class- but it's true, some people may get the impression that IB is being expanded.

Anonymous said...

Q says: "How do costs per high school student at CAPA compare to costs per typical high school student at sci tech?"

In the October 20 Board Budget Workshop slide deck, the district says that the yearly cost per-pupil is $21,072.27 for the district as a whole. It would be interesting to see that broken up by school (not just CAPA, scitech, etc.).

In the case of CAPA, I think the district is saying that the individual instruction is running the costs up. I don't think they have an equivalent level of individual instruction at scitech?

If you look at the Oct 20 slide deck on the high school page where it shows the range of class sizes, CAPA ranges from 8 to 35, where as scitech is 18 to 26. That's a clue, but it isn't enough info: what is the distribution of classes in the range given? What is the staff head count? etc.

And if CAPA has individual music instruction, shouldn't the smallest class size be one for CAPA? Why does it show as 8 on the Oct 20 slides?

link to slides:

Mark Rauterkus said...

The cost per student in PPS is so high (in part) because of its legacy of CAPITAL COSTS. Right?

The PPS buildings, its churn, high remodel costs, and such are far higher than what other districts face.

CAPA's building isn't cheap as well.

I wish PPS could get a grip on capital costs and its spending into the future on various building projects and still have attractive buildings / facilities.

This would make a great topic for a working group for Michael Lamb (Controller) to research, report and discuss with citizens. I won't hold my breath.

Anonymous said...

--I wish PPS could get a grip on capital costs and its spending into the future on various building projects and still have attractive buildings / facilities. --

One thing that would be required is to have long range planning. That is, the district would have plans in place for how to deal with increased enrollment, decreasing enrollment, and changes in numbers in various areas of the city.

There hasn't been any planning like that throughout all of the closings, at least not documented. That would seem to be STEP ONE in any plans to reconfigure, to remodel, etc.

Secondly, I've always heard that in part our costs are higher because we have a higher percentage of special needs students than most districts. In the past, families sometimes moved to the city because they wanted the better resources for their more severely handicapped children. Is that still true at all?

I also wonder about our costs for transportation and other services provided to private school children in the city (and now, charter students) -- does that get tallied into our transportation cost and then divvied out to just PPS students?

Old Timer said...

Tonight, someone reminded Andy Sheehan at KD TV that he is an investigative reporter. He put together a rather lame look at superintendent salaries around the region, chased a superintendent into his office by intimidating him with a microphone, and generally made Linda Lane look like Mother Theresa thanks to her turning down a $15K raise.
Never mind the fact that she is far and away the highest paid superintendent in the area, hey, she's made sacrifices.
I was struck by Sheehan's decision to completely bypass the news of principals getting raises last week, and I was equally disappointed that he did not follow up that somehow, central administration was going to be treated to raises, too.

This? This was investigative reporting?

Mr.Sheehan knows quite well that 300 teachers, if not more, will be furloughed in April. He chose to go this route, instead.

The allegiance between PPS/PFT and both the PG and KDKA TV stinks, and likely deserves its own investigation where collusion is concerned.

Questioner said...

Before cuts are made at CAPA or to other instructional programs, the district should explain why these cuts are preferable to each of the suggested savings proposals made by the WAA group.

Anonymous said...

The PPS Administrative GOAL is to sustain the Central Office. Alternatives are clearly not considered, much less implemented.