Monday, January 16, 2012

CMS report: Fine print is fascinating

How many teachers from the schools that closed this year lost their jobs with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools?  How much Title I money are high-poverty schools getting , and how do they spend it?  What do the numbers show about students being suspended?

All of those items are in the data tables that came with a report interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh presented to the school board in December.  (Read the full report here.)  The report focuses on 42 schools that saw change this year because of closings,  mergers and other changes related to the 2011-12 budget.

The answers:

*Of 341 teachers in 10 schools that closed,  61 did not return to CMS this year.  Only eight of those left because their contracts were not renewed.  Among 36 schools CMS categorizes as "impacted" by changes,  243 of 1,704 teachers did not return to CMS,  and 44 of those were "nonrenewals."

*Three high schools that hit the 75 percent mark for students receiving lunch aid  (Harding,  West Charlotte and West Meck)  got more than $600,000 each in Title I federal money to aid high-poverty schools.  For elementary and middle schools listed,  the Title I budget is generally in the $200,000 to $300,000 range.  The report lists how each school is using the money.

*The numbers show a significant jump in suspensions at many of the schools that saw change,  from South Meck High to Alexander Graham Middle to Barringer Elementary.  The increase is far more than changes in enrollment would predict,  and CMS officials aren't sure why that's happening,  other than to say this is a transition year.  A couple of schools bucked the trend:  West Meck High lost students and saw a reduction that's out of proportion to the change  (but the schools that got those students have seen suspensions spike).  And Alexander Middle merged with Davidson IB,  which closed;  so far Alexander has fewer suspensions than both schools combined during the same period last school year.

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