The Board of Education Adopts FY 2021-22 Budget
At its May 27th action meeting, the Board of Education adopted the FY 2021-2022 budget, which is the first budget aligned to the Board’s new strategic plan, Goals & Guardrails.
“Goals & Guardrails have allowed us to set clear expectations for student success, monitor progress towards those expectations, and adopt a budget and policies that provide support based on the needs of our students,” said Board of Education President Joyce S. Wilkerson.
The Board’s plan is meant to support schools that need it most. The budget aligns with Goals & Guardrails in the following ways:
- Provides all schools with an additional position, but it will provide two discretionary positions for schools that are furthest away from meeting the Goals & Guardrails;
- Provides additional support for students receiving special education services and students who are English learners by increasing the number of psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and bilingual counseling assistants;
- Includes supports that make district schools more safe, healthy and welcoming by specifically providing programming for schools in communities most impacted by gun violence. This includes a $2 billion investment in capital improvements to accelerate asbestos removal, earn lead-safe certifications, classroom modernizations and other improvements. Additionally, the District will add more counseling positions to decrease the projected student-counselor ratio and invest in social services such as case management, home visits and family involvement for students in 50 additional schools;
- Formalizes the important equity work that the District has been engaged in this year by creating the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Adopted in Dec. 2020, Goals & Guardrails comprise the Board’s five-year strategic vision for public education in Philadelphia. These five student learning goals and four guardrails, which are the conditions that must exist to foster student learning and achievement, will be the focus of the Board’s governance work going forward.
During each monthly meeting, Board Members devote time to monitoring the progress of one goal or guardrail by reviewing data that indicates how on track the School District is to achieving the plan’s objectives. This data review also informs Board Members’ decision-making, as they review the School District’s policies, budgets and initiatives.
“There have been some clear takeaways that have emerged, since we have begun monitoring these goals,” said Ms. Wilkerson. “These trends have helped us identify our students’ needs and then invest in targeted strategies and resources, which can be seen in the budget.”
To date, some of the clear takeaways from progress monitoring are:
- Special Education students and English learner students are generally farthest from the targets set for our academic goals, followed by Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino students.
- Schools that are not on track to meeting our goals serve a predominantly Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino student population.
- Attendance matters: Schools that are on track for academic goals have attendance rates that are substantially stronger than other schools.
- Finally, staff retention also matters: Off-track schools are more likely to have higher turnover of school leaders and teachers.
Please see the FY 2021-22 budget here. To learn more about Goals & Guardrails, please attend a monthly board meeting and watch a progress monitoring session or visit www.philasd.org/schoolboard/goals-and-guardrails/.