Minutes MCCPTA Delegates Assembly

January 24, 2006

Carver Educational Services Center




Program Welcome:  Sharon St. Pierre, Vice President - Programs MCCPTA

Program: “Preparing Our ‘Future’” - Career and Technology handouts including the executive summary, career cluster arrows, career voyages and upcoming events were distributed in delegate packets

Speakers: Shelley A. Johnson, Director, Division of Career and Technology Education Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS)

Massielle Begazo – Engineering – Project Lead The Way Wheaton High School Class of 2007

Roseanna C. Thomas, Curriculum Coordinator, Biosciences, Health Science, and Medicine Cluster and Law, Government, Public Safety and Administration Cluster, MCPS

Tom DeGonia, Montgomery County Office of the Maryland State’s Attorney

Program Summary: Shelley Johnson presented current student population statistics to indicate increased diversity, U.S. graduation rates 1999-2000, and MCPS graduation rates and graduate plans for the class of 2004. Statistics were shared showing who helps students decide on a field of study or work. Massielle Begazo shared her experiences with the engineering program. Ms. Johnson continued with statistics for the past, present and future workforce and the fastest growing occupations were presented. Montgomery County Career clusters were listed. The participants in educational partnerships for a quality K – 16 educational system were listed. Past present and future educational systems were explained including the dual completer programs to ensure student success. The MCPS graduating class of 2004 statistics were shown, including samples of dual completer programs. Elements of leading edge programs were outlined by Roseanna C. Thomas including, rigorous academic program, state of the art work based learning, and partner supported educational experiences. Tom DeGonia outlined how to create a culture of excellence through citizen advisory boards, partnering, implementation, expansion, and revision and upgrading.

Delegate comments and questions for the presenter panel included: the lack of information on these available programs for course selection, how students are selected, the difference between signature programs and career academies, and how to apply for the summer camps. Panelist answers/comments follow. Courses are open enrollment with the exception of the medical careers and fire science and EMT which need a separate application. The marketing target now is middle school students and parents. Seminars for middle school counselors are being held. Middle school and high school counselors need to work together. Most course work can be done in the junior and senior years of high school. Signature programs are a whole school model and career academies are a smaller learning community. Plan for your future camps are held for one week during the summer and applications can be found in the Summer Search Catalog.



Minutes MCCPTA Delegates Assembly

January 24, 2006

Carver Educational Services Center


Business Meeting


Call to Order: President Cindy Kerr called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM.

Pledge: Victor Salazar

PTA Mission: Shirley Brandman

Agenda: Cindy reviewed and commented on the contents of the delegate packets and reminded delegates that business items will be first on the agenda this evening. She reviewed the changes for PTA night in Annapolis on Monday, February 13, and encouraged locals to apply for grants from the MD Parent Leadership Institute. An additional business item is the issue of executive board members as candidates for the Board of Education. Cindy asked delegates to think about the amount of time that should be allotted to business items in order to finish on time.

Approval of Minutes:

The minutes from the November 22, 2005 Delegate Assembly were reviewed. The heading “Program” was changed to “Legislative Committee and MCCPTA-EPI Guest Speakers”, and the safety committee report to, “Pam will wait on her report until January.” The minutes stand approved as amended.

Treasurer’s Report:  

Treasurer Juan Johnson presented the treasurer’s report of November 23 through January 23, 2006, the profit and loss budget vs. actual for July 1, 2005 through January 23, 2006, and the balance sheet as of January 23, 2006. Report copies were shown on the overhead transparencies and written copies were available for those who wanted them. He noted that quite a few schools have not paid their insurance premiums ($250.13). Please e-mail him if you have questions about your school. An adjustment will have to be made for community outreach since it’s over budget, but not significantly more than we had anticipated. We recently paid for the MLK breakfast and the legislative meet and greet. Our budget is spending down from money we’ve had over the years. We’ll need a more detailed budget at the end of the year to have a zero balance. The treasurer’s report will be filed for audit.

Business Items:

Directory Resolution:

Two proposed alternative language choices for the end of this resolution were distributed in delegate packets and shown on the overhead transparency.

(1)     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the MCCPTA Delegates oppose the use of student directories for any purpose not in accordance with the objectives and mission of PTA, or by organizations not expressly authorized by the local PTA to use the student directory.

(2)     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the MCCPTA Delegates oppose the use of student directories by any group other than the PTA.


A delegate made a motion to remove from the Directory Resolution Now Be It Therefore Resolved that the MCCPTA Delegates oppose the use of student directories for any purposes not expressly approved by the local PTA/PTSA; and Be It Further Resolved that the MCCPTA Delegates expressly oppose the use of the student directories by non-PTA/PTSA sanctioned organizations for any purpose. It was seconded. It passed on a voice vote.


Diane McHale made a motion to use the first alternative language option, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the MCCPTA Delegates oppose the use of student directories for any purpose not in accordance with the objectives and mission of PTA, or by organizations not expressly authorized by the local PTA to use the student directory, to replace the omitted sections. It was seconded. It passed on a voice vote.


(3)     Delegate made a motion to not use the second alternative language option, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the MCCPTA Delegates oppose the use of student directories by any group other than the PTA.  It was seconded and passed on a voice vote.

Discussion included whether or not the second resolve was needed at all since it was broader.


May Delegate Assembly Date:

Delegates had previously voted to add a May Delegate Assembly. The date proposed by the executive board is May 23, 2006.

A delegate made a motion that May 23, 2006 be the date for the May Delegate Assembly. It was seconded and passed on a voice vote.


Delegate Lechner Resolution:

Delegate Lechner made a motion to allow for 10 minutes of discussion of his resolution. It was seconded and passed on a voice vote.

Lechner has made six changes in response to e-mails. He has put proposed new wording on the list serv and bulletin. Fifty copies were distributed tonight. Lechner wants to postpone voting on his resolution until next month’s meeting. He wanted time to discuss, but go back to locals for further discussion. A procedural note is that the original resolution now belongs to the body, and must be removed before he can continue. The second version changes the intent.

A delegate made a motion to remove the original Lechner resolution and insert the new one. It was seconded. It passed on a voice vote.

Copies of the original resolution had previously been mailed to delegates.

A delegate made a motion to delay the new Lechner resolution to the February Delegate assembly for a formal vote. It was seconded and passed on a voice vote.

Copies of the current resolution will be mailed. Discussion can continue on the delegate list.


Grading and Reporting Resolution: 
                Delegates voted to allow 10 minutes for discussion of grading and reporting. 
Shirley Brandman referenced the resolution that was distributed at the 
November Delegate Assembly. Because there was insufficient time to discuss it, it was mailed to delegates. The resolution is from the grading and reporting committee. The MCCPTA executive board endorsed this resolution at its last meeting. Particularly at the secondary level, the major concern is that grading and reporting has not been uniformly implemented. The Grading and Reporting Committee is proposing active monitoring of the policy in a specified way by Community Superintendents working with principals to ensure that the school-wide and department policy is consistent in keeping with the re-teaching, reassessment, and homework for completion. This resolution doesn't call for changes. Shirley suggested that teacher policies or syllabi could be collected to make sure that they are consistent with the school policy. A delegate suggested that the resolution include that the results be shared with us. Another delegate asked for clarification regarding the apparent disconnect of regulations for grading and reporting. Regulations have not been promulgated, so MCPS has been operating with a regulatory framework, and trying to figure out a direction. At every local level there should be a staff person designated to be grading and reporting contact person and the PTA should designate a parent point person, too. However, the procedures do not dictate how each school should identify or resolve questions or problems. It doesn’t dictate how you are to do it, but every local has to have parent input. The Community Superintendents are not currently monitoring implementation in their schools. Because the policy is subject to a fair amount of interpretation this resolution helps by making someone responsible. The amendment does not change anything in the intent of the resolution and only adds a few words. 
            A delegate moved to continue the discussion on grading and reporting 
                for 2 more minutes beyond the original 10 minutes allotted. It was 
                seconded and passed on a voice vote. 
            A delegate called the question and a standing vote favored it.


The amendment to the Grading and Reporting resolution that MCPS share the 
results of what the Community Superintendents finds passed by a voice vote. 
The Resolution from MCCPTA Regarding Grading and Reporting now reads: 
WHEREAS MCPS has specifically adopted grading and reporting procedures 
for grades 6-12 which govern reteaching/reassessment, homework and 
grading; and 
 WHEREAS these procedures indicate that they "will be applied 
consistently within and among schools"; and 
 WHEREAS the MCCPTA is aware that there have been several instances 
where these procedures were incorrectly applied in a secondary class 
such as, for example, where students were only permitted to take a 
reassessment if they earned below a 70% on the original task or where 
students' grades on a reassessment were capped at 85%; and 
WHEREAS we cannot necessarily equate the small number of complaints 
that MCPS has received from parents with a conclusion that the grading 
and reporting policy has been implemented successfully; and 
 WHEREAS the MCCPTA believes that in the interest of fairness to all 
students, MCPS needs to be more proactive in monitoring compliance with 
the grading and reporting procedures; 
 BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that MCCPTA requests that Montgomery County 
Public Schools (MCPS) immediately require that Community 
Superintendents working with local school principals review school 
wide, department wide and course specific grading practices to ensure 
that they are in accordance with MCPS procedures and to ensure the 
immediate correction of any practices that contradict the stated 
procedures; and 
BE IT THEREFORE FURTHER RESOLVED that MCCPTA respectfully requests that 
MCPS share the results of this monitoring with our organization in a 
timely fashion. 





Delegate Wechstein Resolution:


The teaching methodologies used in magnet programs, and in particular the use of sustained student inquiry into real-world matters, would benefit all students and have been shown to result in major boosts in achievement across all student groups and to correspond to both adult intellectual achievement and the way the human brain builds new knowledge.



That MCPS should establish and implement a plan for ensuring that the pervasive use of sustained student inquiry into real-world matters through projects and other methodologies used in magnet programs for the highly gifted not be limited to the students selected for the limited seats in those programs but instead be provided to all students in MCPS.

Cindy Kerr reported for Ted Willard, chair of the curriculum committee, that the curriculum committee has endorsed this motion and wanted that known tonight.

The delegate from Takoma Park Elementary School made a motion to amend the resolution to add “including adequate professional development for teachers ”, so that it reads, “MCCPTA RESOLVES…That MCPS should establish and implement a plan, including adequate professional development for teachers, for ensuring…”   It was seconded. The amendment was passed on a voice vote.


Diane McHale made a motion to adopt the resolution as amended. It was seconded and passed on a voice vote.

Delegate Wechstein’s resolution was distributed and put on the overhead transparency. It was originally introduced at the November Delegate Assembly following the upcounty magnet resolution discussion. One of the “whereas” statements from that resolution stated, that those programs indirectly benefit the county as a whole since the best practices from those programs are shared beyond the program. Because of the felt need for some of those kinds of teaching methods that are more engaging for students often found in those programs, this resolution proposes that MCPS establish and implement a plan for doing that in a more systematic way and in particular ensuring that using pervasive sustained student inquiry into real-world matters through projects and other methodologies used in those magnet programs not be limited to students selected for limited seats in those programs but instead be provided to all students in MCPS. It does not say the curriculum and it is not intended to address the issue of curriculum since all students are not all at the same level of math, for example. Discussion included: support from the Blair cluster with its many magnet programs; Blair cluster parents want to know how to take best practices from those cluster magnet schools and implement them throughout their cluster schools; MCPS saying they want to do this, but our need to make sure this is happening; Poolesville High School’s whole school magnet program; and Richard Montgomery’s experience with this issue, too. The Deputy Superintendent’s Advisory Committee shared the same ideas.


New Business Item:

MCCPTA Executive Board members seeking election to the Board of Education:

Cindy Kerr has been notified that several executive board members will be running for the Board of Education. They have offered to send in their resignations. Susie Scofield, one of the Magruder cluster coordinators has filed as a candidate. She has offered to come in to the executive board meeting. Shirley Brandman, Vice President, Educational Issues will be filing after our February executive board meeting. Shirley wanted to finish up activities tonight and resign at the executive board meeting. Because of Shirley’s officer position we need to appoint an interim replacement for her and send it to the nominating committee, so that they can bring the name back at the next delegate meeting.

We’d like to have a discussion about whether or not resignation is necessary. Historically for MCCPTA whenever anyone has run they have resigned. In addition to the bylaws we have standing rules that were passed previously. These standing rules can be voted to be suspended. We need to know if it’s acceptable to allow their resignations to come at the executive board meeting instead of tonight.  Susie won’t be testifying in public prior to the executive board meeting. We’ll decide prior to the CIP testimony if she’ll be continuing in that role. Shirley will be finishing up with Grading and Reporting this week, and some work tonight and offering her resignation at the February executive board meeting. A delegate questioned, “Why do they have to resign?”  It is not in the bylaws that they have to resign. Part of the responsibility of the executive board is to take large discussions like this, vet it out and bring it back to the delegate with some kind of action. We wanted an open discussion tonight. In response to a protocol question about a delegate wanting to make a motion to strike the language from the standing rules that requires the executive board members to resign, Vicki Rafel stated that the standing rules adopted in 1999 belong to the executive board. So, there’s still time to allow for discussion and bring it back. The delegate wanting to make the motion asked that the discussion be timely enough that people don’t have to resign. Cindy reminded the delegates to contact their cluster coordinators to let them know their wishes for action, so they can adequately represent you. We’ll bring it back in February to the Delegate Assembly.

A delegate made a motion that this body, the delegates, would like to recommend that the executive board change their standing rules to remove the requirement that our members have to resign to run for an elected position. It was seconded. The question was called. The motion failed on a standing vote.

Discussion included a request for recommendations for action and possible downsides (campaigning, representing the organization, able to do duties of PTA and run, too).  Susie has filed as a candidate and is on the ballot. Shirley has filed paperwork for a committee, but is not yet on the ballot. Permission to do business tonight is needed to let Shirley be a part of the business meeting tonight. MD PTA bylaws don’t preclude you from running for office, but they put a lot of trust in their people to work in the best interest of the children that they are advocating for.

A Delegate made a motion to allow the two members who are candidates for the Board of Education to continue in MCCPTA until the next executive board meeting where discussion will take place for action to be brought back to the delegates. It was seconded and passed on a voice vote.

Rosanne Hurwitz Resolution:

            Roseanne Hurwitz made a motion to adopt the following resolution:

Notification of Filing for Countywide Elective Office

Whereas: MCCPTA officers, directors, and PTA members may be considering countywide elected office, the following notice to MCCPTA leadership is requested:

Resolved: Within 30 days of filing and establishment of a campaign finance committee through the Maryland Board of Elections, a current MCCPTA officer, board member, committee chair, MCCPTA delegate, or PTA President will notify the MCCPTA President and Area Vice President serving the geographic area in which the filer resides; and

Resolved: Within 3 days of filing for candidacy with the Montgomery County Board of Elections, the MCCPTA officer, board member, committee chair, MCCPTA delegate or PTA President will notify the MCCPTA President, Area Vice President, and Cluster Coordinator serving the geographic area in which the candidate resides.

It was seconded. It passed on a voice vote.


Rosanne gave background comments to her resolution that was distributed and put on the overhead transparency. Four candidates are up for election to the Board of Education. Historically we have had interest in the election from various MCCPTA office holders. To start off the election season Rosanne has a proposal for notification. The process of candidacy for countywide office begins when you establish a campaign finance committee and file that committee with the state Board of Elections. At that point a person is not a candidate, but following that filing they are authorized to fund raise. You only become a candidate when you file a petition with the Montgomery County Board of Elections. Both of these actions are public information. Rosanne’s proposal addresses the question of when should someone come forward to tell us that they are seeking office on a countywide basis. It’s not a statement about resignation or action, but a statement about notification so that people can act accordingly either in assignments or in structuring testimony.  A double notification is there because at least one person should be able to be contacted by e-mail or phone. The proposal is to do this within 30 days for a campaign finance committee and 3 days for candidacy filing. MCCPTA contacts are structured to the appropriate of the level of the need to know. MCCPTA, Area Vice President or cluster coordinators who are your local contacts are notified.

Discussion following the second of the resolution included: clarification of personal finances; this resolution’s application to more than just the standing rules; this action not being in the bylaws; and no penalties or sanctions since it’s more of a courtesy.

Diane McHale made a motion to amend the resolution to add a new sentence that the committee chair will notify their co-chair (if they have one), the Vice President that oversees their committee and the president of MCCPTA. The motion was seconded. It failed on a voice vote.

Discussion continued focusing on intent of the resolution, vote or referral to the executive board for discussion.


New Bylaws:

Cindy Kerr recused herself from the bylaws discussion and vote because she is the Vice President for Councils of the MD PTA. Cindy determined that a quorum was present, and then asked Shirley Brandman, Vice President for Educational Issues and Vicki Rafel, Bylaws Committee chair, to lead the article by article review. Vicki reminded us that the bylaws committee meetings were open. Color coded copies of the bylaws had been distributed at the executive board meeting and were posted on the list serv. Thirty days notice was given on December 19, 2005 and that memorandum was included with the new bylaws in the delegate packets. Each article was posted on the overhead, read, reviewed, and comments made to indicate mandatory or strongly recommended changes from the state and/or the six suggested amendments from the bylaws committee and executive board. After each article was read and discussed a voice vote was taken for approval. All 18 articles received an “aye” voice vote with no opposition. Those articles discussed at length included:

Article VI – Section 1 creates a “recording secretary for delegate assemblies” and a “recording secretary for board of directors meetings” to replace the current recording and corresponding secretary officers. PROVISO these changes would take effect with the next group of officers elected in April 2006.

Section 4 C The recommended term for the treasurer is changed to 3 consecutive terms from the previous 5 consecutive terms.

Article VII – The terminology of Board of Directors and Executive Committee was clarified. Our current elected officers are now the Executive Committee and our current executive board is now the Board of Directors.

Section 4 includes the change of having checks signed by two people - the treasurer and one other authorized officer.

Article VIII – The Board of Directors includes the elected officers (executive committee), cluster coordinators, area vice presidents, committee chairs and the immediate past president of MCCPTA.

Section 7 – Our quorum is still 15. This is the only place that we deviate from the state. We use a specific number instead of “majority”.

Section 8 – Removal from office is in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order, state and national PTA.

David Lechner made a motion to change Section 8 for the removal from office by substituting delegates for board of directors. It was seconded. It failed on a voice vote.

Discussion included that the state PTA bylaws removal from office by the board of directors could be made by making a motion that is then taken to the body for ratification and since delegates elect a replacement after the board acts, so they still play a role.

Article IX – The executive committee is elected by the entire body.

Section 2 Each executive committee member shall be a member of a local PTA whose national, state, and council PTA dues are paid. This is mandatory. Good standing was discussed, too.

Section 4 – The executive quorum is 5 (as it is now).

Article X – Section 4 a. Lori Merrill noted an error of omission. The first sentence  should read as our current bylaws do, “…an area nominating committee of at least six (6) PTA/PTSA presidents and/or cluster coordinators from that area, ensuring representation from each cluster, by February 1.” The correction will be made.

Article XIII – Section 4 - The quorum remains the same at 35 members.

Section 6 – Assessments were discussed.

Article XIV – The general membership meeting establishes the dues. Our Annual Meeting is in April.

Article XVI – Section 4 added the language for the treasurer, the president and one other elected officer to be the signatories.

The delegate assembly made the motion to approve the bylaws in their entirety. It was seconded and passed on a voice vote.


President’s Report:

See MCCPTA Executive Board members seeking election to the Board of Education under New Business.

Cindy Kerr was contacted by MD PTA in regard to legislation that will be introduced this session by state legislators asking that two parent members be on the state Board of Education. She doesn’t know exactly how the appointment would work, but the parents must currently have children in the public schools. MD PTA would like a letter of support from MCCPTA and for us to testify in favor of this legislation. A voice vote was taken and was affirmative for us to vote in favor of this legislation.


Officer Reports:

Vice President - Educational Issues: 
Update on Academic Ineligibility Work Group/Policy, Advocacy Priorities
The executive board voted to support the spirit of the parent minority report calling for provisional eligibility. However, because of a tepid result on proposed letter from the executive board to the Policy Committee, the letter was held pending the delegates action and instead, a call was placed to the Policy Committee Chair, Sharon Cox, to share our concerns prior to the deadline for written comments. An official delegate vote is needed for our organization to take action on this policy. 

A voice vote was taken and passed in favor of 5 minutes of discussion 
on academic ineligibility. 

Shirley Brandman brought the academic ineligibility topic discussion to the November Delegate Assembly. Local PTAs were asked to discuss it. There was no specific resolution at that time. We wanted to know if your school wanted to support the concept of provisional eligibility. 

 Shirley Brandman offered the following resolution: 
WHEREAS the Board of Education will review Policy IQD, "Academic 
Eligibility for Extracurricular Activities", at its upcoming February 
14, 2006 meeting; and 
WHEREAS we, as parents, are critically concerned that more than 20% of 
MCPS students in grades 9-12 are academically ineligible with 26% of 
our 9th grade students academically ineligible; and 
WHEREAS research establishes that participation in extracurricular 
activities contributes to improved academic achievement as well as 
desirable outcomes including reduced drop out rates and absentee rates 
as well as positive social behavior; and 
WHEREAS for many students, participation in extracurricular activities 
may be the only "hook" or incentive that motivates students to seek out 
and avail themselves of academic support; and 
WHEREAS the high rate of academic ineligibility among student 
populations most vulnerable to gang recruitment also requires us to 
re-examine the policies which bar the most vulnerable from meaningful 
participation in extracurricular activities with access to role models 
and mentors and academic supports; and 
RESOLVED that MCCPTA strongly supports the proposed amendments which 
provide that "[i]t is the obligation of the school system to provide 
students with supports for maintaining academic performance and 
academic eligibility"; and be it further 
RESOLVED that MCCPTA urges the Board of Education to amend Policy IQD 
which, as currently applied, offers no flexibility, to permit some 
opportunity for "provisional eligibility" under limited circumstances 
to support students who are sincerely striving to stay eligible. 
It was seconded and passed by a standing vote. 


Discussion of the above resolution included that the recommendations from the parent workgroup had more specifics, but there was no consensus on it from schools. The text of this resolution was not sent out before, and will be sent out on e-mail regardless of the vote tonight. Speaking in favor of the resolution was the Blair cluster delegate. The Blair Cluster raised this issue with the Board two years ago in our testimony. One of this cluster's proposals was provisional status, so students could be hooked into an academic programs and extracurriculars. The concern from Athletic Directors was that some students would be flood into the sports teams, but that was the least of our concerns. Most important for the Blair cluster was the tie in to some kind of academic supports to get them connected with their books and tie kids into academic support. Academically ineligible students are disconnected and recruited into gangs, or not doing anything. The language created for this resolution is generic enough that it's not offering a particular program but, it's getting MCPS to have a commitment to keeping these students engaged. Speaking against the resolution was the delegate from Roberto Clemente Middle School. The statement that Athletic Directors and/or coaches from the initial discussion group had concerns about it was troubling. Their principal was very opposed to it, as were the parents at the PTA meeting. Their concern was that we try to give those students with academic difficulties support. This principal's opinion was that this standard is not now, not that difficult to meet, and that loosening the standard 
would cause more problems. The automatic cut-off would get the middle school students attention. The consensus from this group was that we really need to emphasize the 
             A voice vote was taken and passed to extend the discussion time by two minutes. 
Northwood's delegate spoke against the resolution - no grade means, no sport. The Special Needs Committee Co-Chair supported the resolution citing that there are those special needs students who need extra help; for some of these kids this has to be the hook; the social piece can be the most important piece for them. The Northwest High School delegate thought that her group would reach a different conclusion with this 
resolution as it appears tonight, but she couldn't vote on it for them. 
            A vote was taken and the resolution passed. 
The result of the vote will be taken to the BOE on or before their February 14 Board meeting. 

Committee Reports: (2 minute report and 10 minute discussion/vote)

Operating Budget:

Operating Budget chair Jane de Winter wants feedback on the last fall’s operating budget forums either on the cards provided tonight or by e-mail. Tomorrow night and Thursday night are the Board of Education work sessions on the operating budget. Cluster CIP testimonies should be on the MCCPTA website. Jane has received the MCPS staff responses from the CIP testimony to the Board.

The Operating Budget Compact has had three changes since it was first passed out in November. These changes were widely distributed. Other changes in language can be made tonight. The preamble is identical to last year’s compact. Section A. was not changed. There was question on changing the language from should to must (“should hold the necessary qualifications”) for middle school teachers teaching high school courses. Absent the motion to change the wording it was left as written. The final ranking of the advocacy priorities by the delegates changed the order of Section C. Educational Resources. It was suggested that additional time specific wording be added to “When new curricula are introduced, teachers must be provided with new materials, as well as textbooks, to implement the changes effectively.” Jane will wordsmith this to add something like “in a timely manner or fashion with adequate preparation” to make it meet the intent. Section D. A Safe and Healthful Environment was re-ordered based upon delegate rankings. We can add mold free and lead free environment. Section E. is the same. Section F. Retention and Recruitment of Qualified Staff led to a discussion of our position on the teacher pension issue at the state level. Jane thinks it’s too big an issue to add it in now. Cindy suggested that because this is a landmine issue that we refer the pension issue to the legislative committee and bring it back to the delegates with more information in a timely manner. The Operating Budget Compact will be sent to the county council with the changed wording in Section C.

Jane de Winter asked for a voice vote in favor of the Operating Budget Compact with the change noted tonight. A voice vote passed it.


CIP- Policy FAA- RA work group update/ CIP testimony:

Policy FAA- RA work group: Marney Jacobs and Jim Keenan, CIP co-chairs, were joined by Paul Morrison, delegate to the FAA-RA workgroup, for a report on CIP and the Policy FAA-RA workgroup. Marney apologized for not having copies of the FAA-RA workgroup position paper to distribute tonight. It was previously put on the delegate list serv in December and this past weekend. It needs to be approved tonight. FAA-RA is the regulations that go with the FAA policy.  The regulations are on the MCPS website. In answer to a delegate question about limits for school capacity Marney answered that the upper limits have moved up a bit ( 20 or 30 students) for the preferred range: 300– 620 for Elementary; 600-1125 for Middle and 1000-1800 for High. These larger numbers are a function of reality that schools are being made bigger. We said that we’re opposed to it being written down that you’re going to be a whole lot bigger as a basic school size. Each local PTA could have a response to this regulation. Cluster comments are welcome, too. The acreage size remains the same. Some of this still belongs back in policy. We emphasized more parent involvement and they let us put it in as requested. We clarified what the community was, and points of contention like, school size and site size, and boundary issues. We need approval of our workgroup position paper tonight, so it can go to Joe Lavorgna to be put it on the web tomorrow. Early next week the superintendent gets the recommendations from the workgroup committee. The Policy committee will look at it and comment on it. There will be public comment, too. The Board of Education doesn’t vote on this.

A delegate made a motion for approval of the Policy FAA-RA workgroup paper. It was seconded. 

It was approved by a voice vote.  

Discussion and comments included the need for data on what’s the best size for schools throughout the country and what’s the optimum range. Cindy Kerr suggested that you could include some language since the delegates are still reluctant or are uncomfortable on giving approval for this section. The workgroup didn’t get data on site size, etc. They were going on what is working in Montgomery County now.

CIP: Marney distributed copies of a draft letter for legislators since it’s time to write your legislators. There’s a list of delegate and state senator names. Please take this back to your local PTA. It will be on the list serv, too. We need you to urge the legislators to vote up to $400 million for state school construction because for us to get what we need there has to be more money. Add your local school information to the letter. The CIP as put out by the superintendent and approved by the Board of Education is for a lot of money. The county executive has put out his recommendation for less money. We asked for over $1 billion over a 6 year period (FY07-FY12) with $239 for additional projects over the last CIP. This large increase was due to new projects and increased construction costs. It included $267 million for FY 07 for the current projects and which included an $82 million increase that included 6 new schools. Last week the county executive recommended a whole lot less, but he said it was fully funded. We think it’s only fully funded if the dollars and schedule are according to plan. He took $70 million out of FY 07 and $40 million out of FY 08 and put it in later years. Will that actually occur? Delays continue and prices increase. Encourage the county council to find that extra money and fully fund all the projects. MCPS looked at the county executive’s recommendation for less money and took away additions, 10 elementary school and gyms. All schools currently under construction and those to be modernized under FY07 which are being bid out now are not to be delayed, but others are in jeopardy.  Opening Clarksburg High School and 17 additions projects would be delayed. PLAR would be cut by $10 million.

Marney had a chart of delay impacts. MCCPTA is meeting with the county executive and county council, and need feedback tonight for our advocacy. Cindy reminded delegates to work with cluster coordinators as they come to executive board and prepare testimony for February. Delegates want the modernization to stay as scheduled.

Delegates unanimously voted by voice in favor of our position remaining that the modernization schedule to stay on track as planned in the CIP.

Discussion included: bonding, spending affordability guidelines; operating and capital budgets; and project vs. project. The message from cluster coordinators is to stay on schedule and stay on track for the CIP. Full day kindergarten has capital implications, too, as well as operating budget implications, and there’s some talk of bumping it up to all of the schools. The focus should be on kids. CIP testimony before the county council is February 8.



The business meeting was adjourned at 9:55 PM.