In a post earlier in the week, I poised the question of whether or not this year’s budget process was more chaotic than in previous years. I still don’t know the answer to that question, but I do know that none have ever produced a community-generated petition asking the school board to hold the Director of Schools accountable until now. Today I received a copy of the petition and a request to share it. That is why I am writing this post.

In sharing, I want to attempt to clarify something in the introduction to the attached petition. This isn’t an attempt to discredit the call to action – I support it a 100% – but rather an ongoing attempt to keep things as close to accurate as possible in order not to open the door to being discredited. I think it’s important that if we are to hold the Director of Schools accountable for the veracity of his statements, we need to be as factual as possible as well.

There is always confusion around Title I numbers. The state did indeed change the way Title I eligibility is calculated. Now, only students who are directly certified to receive free lunches — families receiving certain government assistance — are counted as poor. This change has resulted in our schools seeing lower official poverty numbers. This new method does not take undocumented or refugee students into account, nor people who don’t sign up for direct services. In order to counter that fact, the federal government allows districts to multiple their measured number by 1.6 so that becomes their official poverty number. If a school’s percentage comes up higher than 100%, their official number is 100%. Any school that has a poverty number over 75% must receive district funds as mandated by the federal government.

It is my opinion that the Title I distribution formula will be changed again at tomorrow’s giant conclave of principals, EDDSIs, and Community Superintendents. If that does happen, then all principals will have to redo their budgets. All principal budget meetings originally scheduled for this week have been canceled. It is my understanding that positions at individual schools can not be filled until all individual budgets have been approved. Which means we’ll begin hiring teachers again in May, once again getting a late start. Teachers should probably check on when the transfer window closes – I believe it is May 21 – in order that they don’t get caught out of it.

I agree with the petition that the budget process this year has been extremely opaque and misleading. Numbers have changed often enough that it is hard to get a clear picture and understanding of the whole budget. It’s imperative that a central office budget be released as soon as possible in order to get a clearer picture. I’m not even sure why we are having this much of a conversation based on this little information. Dr. Joseph and Dr. Narcisse like to pontificate upon the need to control the noise, but they have not been successful in doing so around the budget this year. I hope all of you will sign this petition and make even more noise.

Here it is:



Categories: Uncategorized

11 replies

  1. What are the perks that the superintendent and others are receiving. Does Dr. Joseph still drive his Tahoe? Does he still have a chauffeur? I am asking on behalf of teachers.

  2. “The state did indeed change the way title 1 eligibility is calculated.“

    In accordance to the ESEA (NCLB), the Every Student Succeeds Act determines how states allocate funds to districts and how districts determine poverty. Federal funds have federal guidelines that govern how states and districts utilize said funds. 2018-19 was the projected full implementation year. Given CO turnover why isn’t anyone questioning how schools were prepared to implement ESSA provisions by next year when it was signed into law in 2015?

    Districts submit EL, Immigrant, and Migrant numbers to the state separately. Students aren’t counted in multiple pots 1. That’s double dipping 2. Another federal funding source supports them in needed ways. 2. This doesn’t prevent them from being served w/ Title 1 finds

    Given the questionable use of funds at both levels the issue is systemic versed personnel specific .

    • I’m not sure what you are driving at here. The title 1 classification was changed by the Department of education with little notice period. I link to one of articles the Keri Rainwater articles wrote. Rainwater was only reporter in state who really covered the change. It was a problematic change and some ascribed a potential forth coming national voucher plan as one of the reasons for the change. If it was just to align with ESSA the state should have been more forthcoming. I have to look at time line again again. I would give more weight to the systematic vs personal had Dr Joseph not changed the distribution formula for the district twice since his arrival.

  3. FYI Register has three cars and multiple drivers and there was not a mumbling word

    • This argument undermines the strength of your previous argument. I’ve never heard that Register had three cars but even if he had 15 it would be irrelevant. Just because a previous individual engaged in egregious behavior doesn’t give his successor license to engage in similar behavior. I would hope that we continue to pay more attention as time goes on.

  4. Well the Audit is on and regardless of whoever held the chair before the MILLION DOLLAR question is did they mishandle enrollment counts to the point there was a 7.5 MILLION dollar shortfall? And the City will not be able to bail out the schools as clearly it too is facing a shortfall due to property tax assessment waivers.

    Anyone who has nothing to worry about should not be concerned. There is one thing about complex polynomials that are the equations used to fund schools, there are no shortage of Accountants experienced in which to calculate them. But if you are concerned then you should be worried as anyone in Education would be.

  5. White privilege and racism live here.

  6. Dear Nashville Middle Class Taxpayers:

    We’ve been funding your child at around $6000 a year and you’ve been gladly kicking in some extra so kids in poverty can get $8000-9000. Thanks but It’s not working. Also, due to certain bureaucratic anomalies we’re sure you won’t really understand, we need more. We’ll put your kid at an inflation-adjusted $5700 and others at $8300-9300. Don’t ask too many questions about how we’re spending it. “Supports” should be sufficient for your lay minds. Oh, and don’t really ask about how it impacts your kids’ schools. Let’s leave it at this: your kid will pass the test. The scores are stratified to make sure of it. Most will go to some sort of college and half will actually finish. What could you possibly object to?

    Middle class taxpayers, I should add I’m new here and wasn’t witness to the fact that public school funding has increased largely because of your sounding the alarms when the board has asked for more money. For generations. I’d like you to do it again this year, but remember it’s “for the kids” in general. Be just incensed enough to ask for more, but not enough to see if we’re using it wisely because that makes us feel personally violated. That’d be great, thanks!




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