- Cincinnati Public Schools
Board Meeting Recap - March 20, 2023
Board Meeting Recap - March 20, 2023
Cincinnati Public Schools’ Board of Education met for a regularly scheduled business meeting on Monday, March 20, 2023. To start the meeting, Board President Ben Lindy noted that the current five board priorities, heavily discussed during the last business meeting, are still on track. Those priorities include Progress Monitoring of Mid-Year, Strategic Plan, Updating Bylaws, Transportation, Board/Superintendent Relations.
Next, Superintendent Wright provided her update in which she celebrated Cincinnati Public Schools’ Cincinnatus Award Winners, which include Withrow University High School teacher Beverly Baughman Mallory awarded the Excellence in Education Award, presented by the University of Cincinnati, Clark Montessori High School Principal Eric Higgins awarded the James N. Jacobs Award for Outstanding Administration, Kilgour School volunteer Matthew Madison awarded the John E. Pepper Education Community Service Award and School for Creative and Performing Arts teacher Marcy Berns awarded the Cincinnatus/Woodward Trust Distinguished Teacher Award.
During the Hearing of the Public, several individuals addressed concerns about Walnut Hills High School’s entrance exam, the budget process and allocation of positions, support for preschool and career pathways, student safety and expressed support for a community partnership with Cincinnati Youth Collaborative.
Once everyone had a chance to speak, Superintendent Wright addressed some of the concerns about Walnut Hills and clarified that no changes have been made to the entrance exam, but that the Board requested data about the diversity of students which was presented during the February Student Achievement Committee of the Whole meeting.
Board Member Moffett asked for clarification on the minutes. The Board held off on approval of March 6, 2023 Business Meeting minutes until the next board meeting.
Next, the Board moved to discuss transportation. Superintendent Wright introduced CPS partner, 4MATIV, a transportation technology consulting company that is working with CPS to identify Transportation Optimization and Modernization, starting with an opportunity analysis which recommended moving to a two-tier or three-tier start time for students. Superintendent Wright also shared feedback from CPS’ Transportation Roundtable Discussions and the recommendations for the 2023- 24 school year, which emerged as a result of that feedback, included tiered start times, extending the eligibility radius to 1.5 miles and the elimination of deviated stops. The Board offered support for further analysis of a two-tiered start time. Superintendent Wright indicated that she will get feedback from principals and stakeholders about a two-tier start time before the next business meeting April 10, 2023. After getting feedback, 4MATIV will move to optimization scenario modeling and analyzing a pathway to sustainability.
Next, the Board moved to discuss the FY24 budget. Treasurer Jennifer Wagner explained that the budget is lower than in years past due to a decrease in budget values from the Fair Funding Formula. Superintendent Wright stated that strategic alignment would be necessary for transformation in the top four areas of sustainable staffing, high school transformation, high-quality instruction and focused resources. She also explained that the budget and staffing process is formula-driven and based on projected enrollment, while running the staffing formula, considering principal appeals, updating staffing allocations and finalizing the non-personal budget. Superintendent Wright presented that while the number of positions may change per the formula, there is not a net loss of staff due to current vacancies, noting that there are currently vacancies with counselors, social workers, physical education, art and music. It was proposed that the strategic use of Title 1 funds for high school transformation would be a phased process with proposed roles of AP of Culture and Community, Graduation Specialist and Attendance Specialist. Superintendent Wright concluded that the budget process is currently paused, as requested by the Board, to review the process with the Board and Union groups. Following the presentation, there was discussion about ESSER funding, the new specialist positions and transparency of budget allocations with LSDMC’s. The board expressed desire to move forward with the new role of AP of Culture and Community, while holding on to the Graduation and Attendance Specialist positions and instead hiring Guidance Counselors or Social Workers, based on the decision of individual schools. There is also a desire to work on a gradual reduction in the student/teacher ratio.
The Board then recognized 5 retirees, passed the Treasurer’s report and Superintendent’s Recommendations.
The Board then moved on to passing three resolutions: 1) Amending policy for Extended Learning Opportunities (Summer School); 2) Adopting a new board policy: Title IX Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment and 3) Adopting a new board policy: Property Tax Abatements. All three resolutions passed unanimously.
To close out the meeting, Member Moffett expressed interest to discuss summer facility rentals for building use and Summer Scholars at the next business meeting. Member Moroski requested an audit of the Career Tech Program at Woodward Career Technical High School. Superintendent Wright said the District has completed an audit of all the career tech programs and will present the results at the next COW meeting. Member Moroski gave kudos to Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates; Member Moffett gave kudos to everyone still in attendance at the meeting in-person and online; and Member Wineberg opted to save her kudos for the next board meeting due to the time.
For more information or to watch the recordings of the Board Meetings, visit www.cps-k12.org/Board
The next Board Meeting will be held Monday, April 10, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. at the Education Center. Live stream details are available on the CPS calendar at https://www.cps-k12.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=1584&DomainID=109#calendar2213/20230410/event/1873
Watch the Board Meeting Here: