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Superintendent's February Message - Common Core Standards and Parcel Tax Oversight Committee

PARENT EDUCATION ON COMMON CORE STANDARDS

Over the next two years, our school district will be transitioning our curriculum and instruction to meet new standards adopted by the California State Board of Education in 2010.  The K-12 standards were developed to establish consistent and clear education standards for English language arts and mathematics. New state assessments, aligned with the standards, should be ready for students by spring 2015. The last year for the STAR test will be next year.

Orinda teachers have been preparing for the Common Core Standards during grade level professional development activities. Our district works with the Columbia Teachers College Reading & Writing Project for language arts training. S & S Math Consultants works with our elementary grades.

We invite parents to attend a Parent Education evening with Orinda’s Math Consultant, Mr. Andy Schipper on Wednesday, March 6, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m., Wagner Ranch School Library to learn more about the new mathematics standards.

Click on the Parent Handbook for more specific information about Common Core Standards.

OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE FINDS ORINDA UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT APPROPRIATELY SPENT PARCEL TAX FUNDS

The Parcel Tax Citizens’ Independent Oversight Committee was appointed by the OUSD Board of Trustees on December 11, 2011, to ensure the District parcel tax proceeds are spent for their authorized purpose and to report annually to the OUSD Board at a public meeting.   According to Committee chairperson Linda Landau, the five-member Committee "is a good cross-section of Orindans with a variety of backgrounds in business, law, finance, and medicine."

The findings of the Committee were presented to the OUSD Board of Trustees on January 14, 2013.  Their findings are as follows:

  • The parcel tax funds are being appropriately accounted for.
  • The parcel tax funds have been used solely for the purposes described in both Measure A and Measure B parcel tax ballot language.
  • For the fiscal year 2011-2012, parcel tax funding attributed to 14% of OUSD’s total revenues.
  • Parcel tax funds pay for 30% of teacher salaries (including both regular and special education as well as teachers on special assignment).

Ms. Landau noted, "All the funds are being used for their intended purpose.  None of the money is spent on administration or other costs."

Ms. Landau stressed the importance of the parcel tax to our local schools: "The takeaway for Orinda taxpayers and parents, and everyone who supports the schools, is that the parcel tax is absolutely vital to maintaining our schools' quality.  It pays for 30% of classroom, special education, and literacy (reading and writing) teacher salaries and benefits.  The thought of having to cut that out of the budget is unimaginable.  The Orinda schools would be unrecognizable.  The parcel tax is essential to providing a high-quality education."

Posted by: Kathy Frenklach Published:2/22/13
Audience: News