Wednesday, February 4, 2015

New Reflections on SCROC

Because of Dr. St. Jean's information on SoCal ROC, a couple of questions were finally answered, but more questions came up which deserve an answer.

There are currently 1,552 students enrolled at the center. Shouldn't there be more? What steps can the district take to ensure that more students in JPA districts are informed about the center?

The superintendent is not getting paid more than other local district superintendents, yet the position gets a total of $210,000 for a campus population half of any Torrance-area high school. Then again, superintendents for districts as small as eighty students get similar salaries, likely due to the large cadre of administrative duties and demands on the official. There is nothing wrong with paying leadership a competitive salary. Otherwise, no qualified candidates would seek the position.

The solution to streamlining costs at the facility should not rest on how many staff members to layoff, or how many administrators to peel away, but on increasing enrollment.

I understand SCROC Trustee Barbara Luckey's description on the staff and administrator's investment in the site. I do believe that their work is commendable, from what I have read and researched so far.

What kind of courses is the center offering, and should they be offering more sections of the same course, or different courses entirely? One set of criteria is provided on the SoCal ROC website:

Courses are offered based on the following criteria:

  1. industry standards and identified career area shortages
  2. that meet high school graduation requirements
  3. that meet UC/CSU college entrance requirements
  4. that are part of a sequential pathway

These are worthy standards, and they should be applied to the current course offerings, and then compare

How does SCROC intend to remain solvent in the years to come? Even if the SCROC Board of Trustees operates on the most generous assumptions of the Governor's plan, and the state legislature approves the spending, what do the site leaders intend to do three years later?

Currently, Governor Brown has offered $250 million of grant money, matching dollar for dollar spending from the participating districts. The representatives for these districts are not keen on promising to pay in a three year commitment without clear numbers and a long-term plan for what to do afterwards.

As before, what steps will the Board of Trustees take to reach out to Wiseburn UNIFIED School District? I am certain that the school board in West Hawthorne wants to invest in technology and career training.

I have spoken with different members of the SCROC Board of Trustees as well as local school board members, and they are invested in keeping the Center open. The funding model for the short-term and the long-term needs to be fleshed out as soon as possible, and the Center's leadership needs to investigate other means of reaching out to prospective students throughout the South Bay to enroll.

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