Background: Meeting with legislators
UDPC is a coalition of various parent groups. Recently, a Westbrook Park Home and School association board member, who is also a UDPC member, coordinated a meeting with Congressman Partrick Meehan, District officials and parents from various District schools, including Aronimink, DHMS, Primos and UDHS.
The agenda, which was prepared by the parents, included: discussing Federal funding opportunities, evaluating the State and Federal mandates that seek to balance Federal and State accountability and local control, and identifying Federal resources for supporting academic achievement for all learners in UDSD, a financially diverse school district.
Summary of November 4, 2013 meeting with Congressman Meehan
Congressman will investigate Federal funding opportunities for:
- extended school year funding;
- Early Intervention resources; and
- reading intervention programs, specifically for grades K through grade 2.
UDSD will provide to Congressman Meehan’s office:
- data about testing costs – cost of tests, costs associated with online test administration such as updated technology, cabling for internet access, etc.;
- data regarding costs associated with testing, particularly costs associated with testing students enrolled in special education; and
- information regarding the Goldman Sachs longitudinal study about savings that can be captured in Special Education spending when monies are devoted to reading interventions before the end of third grade. (Ed. note: Read a summary of the initiative here.)
Title I funding update:
- Title I funding was reduced for the 2013-2014 school year.
- The five UDSD schools identified by the District as eligible for Title I support for the 2013-2014 school year are the Beverly Hills Middle School, and Bywood, Charles Kelly, Senkow and Stonehurst elementary schools.
Note: Economically disadvantaged percentages on PA School Performance Profiles come from 2010 Federal census data, not free-and-reduced-lunch participant statistics.
Observations from Congressman Meehan
- The Community/District should develop shared advocacy goals.
Note: The District said it would facilitate conversation between UDSD parent groups and teacher’s union leadership regarding identifying a shared goal so we can coordinate advocacy efforts.
- Community/District/legislators should continue conversation about tension between accountability to Federal and State governments vs. facilitating local control.