Rochester District Will Qualify for Anticipated $100 Per Student

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(Courtesy of The Detroit News)

Rochester Schools Michigan

The Rochester School District will qualify for $100 per-pupil additional funding anticipated and included in the current year’s budget. This is expected to be one-time funding.

The Rochester School Board passed two resolutions Monday night that confirm the district meets the state’s Financial Best Practices requirements for additional funding of $100 per pupil for the 2011-12 budget year.

“We have been told consistently that this is one-time money, ” said Assistant Superintendent for Business Bill Mull.

The district must meet four of five best practices to ensure the $1.5 million in funding already included in this year’s budget.  Now the board has passed the required resolutions, the money may be available as soon as Oct. 20.

An important component of the best practices model is a Service Consolidation Plan. A status report and implementation plan must be submitted to the Michigan Department of Education in February of each year.

The district could not meet the criteria of a 10 percent healthcare cost sharing because of labor contracts in place.  Rochester Schools does however hold the policy on medical benefit plans and has participated in sending out competitive bids for non-instructional services.

The complete details of the Financial Best Practices are available online within the board packet.

Spending down the fund balance in the amount of $10 million to $11 million is still a part of the current year’s budget.

Board Approves New Bus Purchases

The Rochester School Board approved the purchase of five new school buses not to exceed the cost of $468,722.  This purchase will come out of general funds and $500,000 was budgeted for this expenditure.

Fixtures such as cameras and GPS systems will be transferred from outgoing buses to the new vehicles expected to arrive in November or December.

Advanced Placement Criteria

Ron Stewart, a Rochester Middle School parent, spoke to the board about the admission process into advanced placement courses for students entering Middle School.

According to the new Pathways document included in this year’s district calendar, in order for students to qualify for the “Science Block” of classes in high school, they must have AP math.  The decision for this education pathway must be made by while children are still in fifth grade.

“It’s not just about my son, it’s about all children,” said Stewart, who said that parents and teachers should have some say in the placement of students in AP classes.

The issue was referred by the board back to the Curriculum Committee for further discussion.

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