Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Crappy! Chart! Thursday! Is Back!

I know. Thrilling. Because who doesn't sit around on a Wednesday afternoon and think: "You know what I could use? A data-filled nerd-o-rific Power Point presentation!" Everyone, right? Oh, wait, no. Power point is mind-numbing.

So, anyway, rather than tell you stories about my ability to cause pain to big-eyed little girls, or how much fun it is to have an infection that involves lots and lots of coughing when your ribs are bruised, or the compelling saga of Antibiotics: Round 2!, I've got enough charts to semi-sort of even out all the Crappy! Chart! Thursdays! I've been blowing off.

Enjoy (and if it's hard to read here, click on the google docs thing and you should be able to bring it up).

Note (added 1/22): The district put some window-dressing up about how LAP funds are allocated to schools bla-diddy bla. So. Let's talk turkey about LAP, since I just had a loooverly conversation with a couple of very nice LAP supervisors down at OSPI (ASAP! VIP! RSVP! Sorry. I just wanted to add some more acronyms). LAP is state funded, and SPS (more acronyms!) counts it as a grant. Districts get a pot of money based on the number of students they have who are performing below grade level (although I should geekily admit, the LAP funding calculation appears to have some FRL data in it. Wow, this is acronym-o-rific). The districts then get discretion on how to spend their dough (as long as they follow rules that come with the dough). As it turns out, the LAP pot I estimate in my charts may be smaller than the total pot of LAP dough the district gets.

While for the most part, the district must do stuff that only benefits the kids who aren't achieving, LAP money can be used for professional development, and there ain't no percentage or dollar cap on that (hmmm. Anyone else wondering how many coaches are funded with LAP money?). If a district decides that they do not wish to put LAP money into schools receiving Title I money, that is at the district's discretion. Also, the district can carry-over up to 10% of all LAP funds they get to the next year. More than that, they lose it.

So, what exactly did district staff say about LAP funds Wednesday evening? Well... "The LAP funds are allocated to schools [emphasis mine] based on the demographics of schools." Not quite, kids. The funds are allocated to the district, and the district can decide how to allocate.

Maybe a little more on this later, because I don't know about you, but I smell a financial shell game. Frankly, I'd rather smell brownies in my kitchen, but hey, I'll take what I can get.


Amanda Hosch said...


I don't know how you do this, but thank you!


yumpears said...

Hmm I think your on to something about coaches possibly being paid from LAP funds - I thought the district said that the coaches were paid by grants. If they consider LAP funds to be grants then they could be used to pay for coaches and the district wouldn't be lying to us...

yumpears said...

How did you do with the PTA info collecting that you were discussing in comments in November? Since PTAs file a 990 with the IRS - the 990 is public information.

I would be curious to know what PTAs around Seattle are raising & funding.

I am Treasurer of the Alki PTA (you sent me your central admin $ report - thanks).

Meg said...

Amanda - thanks.

yumpears - I should be fair. I cannot yet confirm that the district is using LAP funds for coaches. However, I HAVE been able to confirm that in 2007-08, the district kept about 40% of all LAP funds, and that in 2008-09, that had climbed to a little over 60%. It makes a girl wonder where it's going. Not for Barney's gift certificates for me, that's for sure.

I totally stalled out on collecting the PTA data. Robin and Dorothy were great about rounding some up, and, while it's lame, I realized it was going to be a real pain in the neck and... I've let it go for a bit. I think it'd be worthwhile to chip away at it a bit more, but there's quite a bit of back and forth to sort each school out. It's person-intensive, which is often more pleasant than looking at data sheets, but it takes more time, too.

homebody at heart said...


Aren't you due for a trip to Italy soon?

Meg said...

Ma, esatto! I was just thinking the same thing myself.
I'm saving my pennies for some time in 2011.