Burbank town hall to discuss education priorities

Burbank educators will hold a town hall meeting Thursday, seeking input from the community as the school district moves forward on implementing a three-year plan for spending state dollars next school year that are expected to be higher than in past recent years.

The meeting is a requirement by state officials following a new funding method adopted by all California districts this year.

The new method also calls for involvement of stakeholders — community members, teachers, students, and parents — in creating what's known as the Local Control Accountability Plan.

A draft of the plan was drawn up by a committee of about 60 people, the majority of whom were Burbank parents. The final plan will serve as a financial road map following its adoption by the Burbank school board.

The committee has met regularly since the beginning of the year under the direction of Hani Youssef, director of student services for Burbank Unified.

"Everything was very organic," Youssef said. "We showed up with a blank sheet of paper [at] that first meeting in February and we now have this first draft."

The draft outlines nine goals regarding where the district should place its focus and money.

The first goal aims to increase academic achievement in math and English for all students. The second calls for students in targeted subgroups to improve achievement in those same subjects.

The third goal seeks to align instruction to the Common Core state standards, and the fourth aims to increase kids' access to music education.

The fifth goal calls on the district to implement "a comprehensive guidance plan" to make students more ready for college or a career by hosting orientation events for ninth-graders and decrease the number of students who get "Ds" or "Fs" on report cards.

The sixth goal asks the district to develop a professional development plan for teachers.

The seventh goal aims to a maintain an environment for students where there is "a sense of belonging for all" by adding certificated nurses to staff and provide training to teachers to work with students who exhibit "severe behavior problems."

The eighth goal seeks to provide technology for all students with bond funds and increase the number of technicians working in the district with state dollars.

The last goal relates to replacing existing portable classrooms with permanent ones, repairing or replacing roofs, building playground equipment and installing recycled irrigation systems.

Burbank school board members are expected to attend the town hall meeting, which will be held at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at the Burbank Adult School, at 3811 Allan Ave.


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.


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