Transparent Budget Process Needed; Reverse Speaker Procedure; Deny Item 4 KIPP Schools

Budget Hearing Testimony 4.22.2021

Karel Kilimnik

The budget process needs to be transparent.  The district should create regional councils that include: staff, students,parents, and community members, to oversee the implementation of equitable resources and the creation and implementation of a facilities master plan. Black and Brown communities that have historically been left out of decision making must be included in this process. 

The Board’s new speaker procedures curtail public comment while charter school operators have access as illustrated by Item 4 KIPP Schools request for charter amendment,change of location, and change of name. I am one of 4 APPS members banned from testifying at the Action Meeting tonight. Limiting speakers is a mockery of the democratic process. Stifling public comments tells the public our comments are inconsequential and irrelevant.  As CFO Monson constantly reminds us charter schools are the largest budget item. Despite urging us to tell our legislators and Gov. Wolf that we need urgent reform to our charter school funding formula the Board grants charter school amendments increasing their enrollment and stripping district managed schools of resources. Despite holding no public hearings and providing virtually no details the charter school office recommends approving KIPP schools request for change of name & location, charter change, and enrollment increase. Information on their schools varies depending on which website you visit. Item 4 is particularly confusing because there is no KIPP Parkside school listed anywhere on the CSO website. KIPP schools are shape shifters with varying names depending upon the website you visit. The Board needs to withdraw Item 4.  The Board has denied new charter school applicants and needs to reject requests for enrollment increases as well. The  District needs to pay for every school to have these positions – Assistant Principal, Literacy Lead Teacher, Math Lead Teacher, Climate Manager, Special Education Manager, (mic cut off) and Certified Teacher Librarian, not allocating two positions for the principal and assistant superintendent to choose. Stop outsourcing and build District staff!