Quality Education Investment Act (QEIA) Facts A fact sheet about the QEIA Grant for Rio School District April 5, 2007 This QEIA Fact Sheet serves as a response to several misleading statements made by the Rio Teachers’ Association regarding the QEIA grant and the application process. RTA leadership has known about the QEIA grant for several months. RTA leadership was in attendance at the March 14, 2007 Board Meeting when the QEIA Presentation was made to the Board. RTA should be aware of what is required and that School Site Councils, the Board of Trustees, District administration and PTA all Excerpt from an email sent by the RTA President to the have a voice in this process. RTA has the Rio del Valle teachers on March 29, 2007 right to consult. RTA has the right to bargain issues that may be required once money has been awarded. RTA does not have the right to unilaterally impose another management structure that supersedes all others. Principals met with their site staff to ascertain an interest in applying for QEIA funding Each Principal met with their staff to determine if they wanted to apply in light of the commitments they had already made. RDV was the only site that wanted to apply for these funds. How much money would QEIA provide? The money that would be generated from QEIA has been reported in one document by the RTA President as $6 million and in yet another written document $10 million. In reality, the amount RDV would have received is $511,800 for year 1 and $548,000 in subsequent years as long as certain criteria is met. Even if all criteria are met, the total grant award for RDV would be $3,800,000. In light of the odds of decile 1 and 2 schools meeting required growth targets, this amount is unlikely. According to CDE, the odds of a decile 1 or 2 school making the growth targets each year for seven years will be a significant challenge. In a three year time span from 2004 through 2006, only 14.6% of decile 1 and 2 schools met their API targets each year for three consecutive years. In light of this information, district leadership was not willing to agree to the RTA President’s demand that the 40 hours of required professional development be done only during release time during the instructional day. This demand would have resulted in a loss of approximately 6-7 days of quality instructional time for Rio students. Loss of quality instructional time would make it even more challenging to meet and exceed the growth targets as required by the terms of this program. State guidelines regarding this QEIA grant application do not include reaching an “agreement” with the Association Prior to participating, the California Department of Education guidelines required the local governing board to conduct a hearing to discuss the program and the school’s plan. This would have been done after notification that we would receive the funding. RTA leadership made several demands that they wanted agreement on prior to submitting the application. The California Department of Education will not even have the rules associated with QEIA completed until June 30, 2007. There could not be any commitment to areas that have yet to be defined. In addition, it is useless to spend time discussing possibilities for something that may or may not be funded. On the other hand, this would be appropriate in the future if the District were selected to receive the Grant. In order for the Grant to be funded after application, the school must first be selected by lottery. RDV would then have to meet the following obligations: • Meet new class size reduction requirements for grades 4-8 in the core academic subject areas (the lesser of 25 or five fewer students than in 2006-2007 school year) • Each teacher must meet the Highly Qualified Teacher Requirements of No Child Left Behind • Maintain a teaching staff with at least average teaching experience of the district • Exceed API growth targets in the first three years and meet them annually thereafter for four years • Provide forty hours of professional development to all teachers and instructional paraprofessionals, made available by the district and/or site council • In the first three years increase actual pupil attendance. • Conduct an academic review process that includes the elements required of School Assistance and Intervention Teams. • In each of the first three years of the program, schools are required to make at least 1/3 of the progress required to meet the above goals, with 100% compliance after the third year. • If the school falls short of the 1/3 goals, the County Superintendent will notify the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. If after year three the above expectations have not been fully maintained, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction is required to terminate QEIA funding. • RDV must also revise their Single Site Plan for Student Achievement to incorporate the programmatic requirements of QEIA and meet all of the Williams v. State of CA requirements in the first year of funding. Districts that accept QEIA resources on behalf of a school (this means after the school was selected) are to agree to the following: • Ensure the school complies with provisions in the act. • Ensure that the principal has exemplary qualifications and experience and provide professional development to assist in that leadership role. • Provide data to the state of the school’s progress in meeting programmatic obligations • Comply with the action plan required by the High Priority Schools Grant Program, including submitting the plan to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and consulting with the exclusive representatives of the certificated employees. • Make general assurances as to support for the school and allocation of resources. Negotiations as to the impact and effect of Grant implementation would be appropriate after Grant funding is received. Negotiations would involve meetings with the Association and its representative and the District and its representative • After the money is received and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction develops the rules with respect to average teacher experience, the District will have to apply those rules which is complicated by the opening of Rio Vista as well as SB 1655 (Scott) that now allows principals to refuse a teacher assignment to his/her school. (This further limits the options that would ensure seniority parity at both school sites.) • The district would need to decide how it would sever relationships with new teachers that were hired as a result of QEIA, if the school were to stop receiving funding during the first seven years or thereafter. In addition, the District would need to plan for terminating the program after seven years or finding other funding sources to sustain it long term. RTA demands to bargain were premature and unreasonable It was premature for RTA to issue a unilateral demand in writing in order for the RTA president to sign off on the application. The time to negotiate issues was at the time the District received notice that it would be selected for funding and if mandatory subjects of bargaining were identified. Collective bargaining needs to be done at the table, not in side letters between two people. There are significant issues for the Board of Trustees and others to consider and many voices to be heard. There was not a demand by RTA to bargain these issues if and when the District received funding.There was only a written demand that required the District to unilaterally agree to RTA terms in exchange for the RTA President signing the application. In a direct quote from an email to RTA Teachers, the RTA President states, “signing without negotiations was not an option.” The application clearly did not intend or require any bargaining to occur as part of the application process. Why spend time on something that may or may not happen? Signatures by the Board and the Superintendent would not have saved this application. It would have been rejected and deemed incomplete without the signature by the RTA President. The RTA’s President’s refusal to sign the application This is a subsequent demand presented to administration on denied the District the ability to apply. March 28th. The initial demand mirrored an earlier proposal made at the bargaining table on February 23, 2007 to form committees in which at least 50% of the members are teachers.