Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MPS Northwest Secondary Mess

The logo's almost right.  Northwest Secondary School abruptly closed down their 9th and 10th grades this week, moving 400 kids to other schools.

The official reason is that it couldn't find enough certified staff to teach at the school.  That has me scratching my head.  They couldn't find enough teachers with layoffs and college graduates?  What the heck did they do for the five weeks school has been in session?

A bit of a different take I have is concerning budgets. One of the complaints against the choice program is that they remove students after the Third Friday in September, the "count day" for how many students attend a particular school and thus how much money each school receives for their budget.  The grip continues that a school is still credited with the student even though they no longer attend and the new school is burdened with additional students but not the resources to compensate them.

I've asked the following question before and I'll toss it out again.  In MPS each school has their own budgets which are presumably set by the Third Friday counts.  When students move from one to school to another the same scenario that public school only supporters complain about takes place.  With the situation at Northwest, they have been credited with 400 students who no longer attend and these students will be attending other MPS schools who now have additional students but haven't been financially compensated.  What happens with the finances between the different schools?  Does Northwest keep the extra money or does it goes to the school that the students transferred to?

But the bigger question is concerning the students. How the heck do you not know before school starts that you don't have enough teachers for two full grades and 400 students?  Their education's been interrupted including their extra curricular activities.

Finally, where are the elected officials in this mess?  They are way to quiet.

Jeff Spence - this is in your 2nd School Board District, your up for re-election in April.
Larry Miller - maybe instead of spending time protesting a successful school like Messmer you should be concentrating on your elected duties in MPS.
Ald. Davis - nada
Mayor Barrett - zilch
State Representative Fields - quiet
State Senator Lena Taylor - you talk about everything else - missing an opportunity here

When people call for changes in MPS, this will be a major playing card in the discussion, especially if no plausible explanation comes forward.

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