January 21-23, 2011
Advancing excellence in public education through effective
leadership by locally elected boards of education.
Board Notes is provided as a service of your CASB Region Directors.
January 2011The CASB Board of Directors held its annual retreat Jan. 21-23, 2011 in Estes Park. The board, made up of local school board representatives from across the state, used this time to work on goals for the 2011-12 fiscal year, discuss local control and elect its leadership. The following summary captures some of the highlights of the meeting.
Local ControlIn preparation for local control conversations with CASB members across the state later this year, the Board spent Friday afternoon delving into the significance of local control for local school boards, communities and CASB. Directors discussed how local control is exercised on their local boards, how it has changed over time and the role the community plays. CASB is developing a discussion model to use at regional meetings over the summer and for local boards to use this summer and fall. The input from the conversations is expected to help drive CASB’s future positions and advocacy on local control.
Politics and reformThe Board spent some time listening to and discussing the topic of constitutional fiscal reform. CASB staff role-played opposing views on the tax and spending question. One view is that schools simply don’t have enough money to be successful and we need to raise taxes to fund schools. Another view is that government, including schools, is spending too much and not getting results. A third view is that Colorado has lost the ability to resolve conflicts like this through the political process because of the formulas now embedded in the Constitution. Constitutional reform will be needed before Colorado can repair a broken governance structure and allow a representative democracy to start meeting the needs of the public.
Executive Director Ken DeLay gave a brief analysis of the new Colorado State Board of Education that includes two new members, Debora Scheffel, R-Parker, and Paul Lundeen, R-Colorado Springs. Republicans continue a 4-3 majority, but as on a local board, two new members mean a new board. The board has the important task of hiring a new commissioner to replace Dwight Jones and of shaping much new legislation, such as SB 191.
Legislative prioritiesThe Board established priorities for CASB advocacy during the retreat. The following five areas will be emphasized as the advocacy team works with the legislature, CDE and the State Board of Education.
- School finance and budget – protecting school districts and managing the impact of budget cuts
- Reducing mandates on school districts – reducing the administrative burden and holding the line on new unfunded mandates
- Constitutional fiscal reform – supporting constitutional change that benefits school funding
- Implementing educator effectiveness (SB 191) – making sure the new law is rolled out in a way that gives school districts flexibility and enhances teacher and principal effectiveness with the intent of improving student achievement
diversity – the diversity of our school districts: urban, suburban,
rural, large, medium and small, strengthens of our educational system.
Goals workMost of the Board’s Saturday was spent exploring priorities for 2011-12 goals. Hours of discussion and small group work resulted in several priorities for the board to focus on. Two of the goals were extensions of goals from the current year: continuing the effort on constitutional fiscal reform and fiercely lobbying against unfunded mandates. Another priority was to enhance CASB’s role in leadership and board development.
The Board’s executive committee will continue to refine the goals and present them to directors for approval at the March 18-19 meeting in Denver. CASB staff will then prepare strategies to help meet the goals.
President-elect and executive committee elected, director approvedEast Grand board member Tom Sifers of Granby was elected president-elect. He has been on the CASB Board of Directors since 2006 representing Region 7 and has served on the executive committee for the last year. He will take over as president at the annual convention in December.
Elected to the Board’s executive committee were Rick Hammans, St. Vrain Valley; Bill Bregar, Pueblo 70; Floyd Patterson, Durango 9-R; and Matt Cook, Aurora Public Schools. Other committee members are President Gary Northup, RE-1 Valley; Immediate Past President Lyndon Burnett, Agate 300; and Sifers.
The Board also ratified the executive committee’s appointment of Cheryl Miller to the CASB Board of Directors. Cheryl, a school board member in Telluride School District R-1, fills the Region 11 unexpired term of Andrya Brantingham, Norwood Public Schools.
Join us for these upcoming board development opportunities:
- Feb. 2 – CASB eCafé, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. – online at the CASB Great Governing Blog
A topical online discussion about great governance with school board leaders.
- Feb. 15 – CASB eClassroom, noon – 1 p.m. online
Non-renewals and RIFs—discussion will include implications of Senate Bill 191.
- Feb. 24 & 25 – CASB Winter Legislative Conference at the Brown Palace in Denver. A great line up of keynotes and breakouts will focus on building support for your schools.