Tuesday, March 3, 2009

SLT Legislation Proposal by Jacob Morris

The SLT Empowerment Discretionary Training Funds
Restoration Amendment

It has come to the attention of the members of this legislative body that the original intent of the legislation that went into effect in 1996 regarding School Leadership Teams and their empowerment so that they could effectively collaborate in the discharge of their lawful responsibilities, has been eviscerated in reality by the NYC Board of Education. This voiding of the intent of the enabling legislation has occurred through the mechanism of the school administrators total diversion of the SLT's discretionary training funds. Originally, the SLT's were empowered to make their own decisions on what training they needed from an excellent and extensive group of third party training providers, as set forth in a Vendor Catalog approved through the RFP process, and published by the NYC Board of Education.

While the stipends for SLT members remain in place, many of those members wonder what real input they have into their school's “Comprehensive Educational Plan” that they have the designated responsibility for, because their ability to decide on their own training has been taken away from them.

Therefore, given that it is clearly understood in the intent of the original enabling legislation that the school is the fundamental unit of governance in our public education system, and being desirous of improving effective parental involvement in their children's education, which studies have shown leads to the improved academic achievement of their children, we herein mandate that the original intent of the legislation be honored and that sufficient discretionary training funds be restored to both individual School and District Leaderships Teams so that they can decide on the appropriate professional development for themselves within a team framework.

It is through this mechanism that we will return to the essence of participatory democracy by enabling grass roots voices to be heard with the goal of improving collaborative decision making. Often administrators need to hear about problems before they can began to address them, and parents need to not be alienated by having enough confidence in our Public Education System to believe that their time is not wasted or participation ignored, and that their professionally developed voices will at least be heard by the appropriate administrators.

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