- What is the Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program?
The Opportunity Schools and Partnership Program (OSPP) was included as part of the 2015-2017 State Biennial Budget. The legislation gives the Milwaukee County Executive the authority to appoint a Commissioner of the OSPP. Milwaukee County Executive Abele appointed Dr. Demond Means the OSPP Commissioner. The legislation sets forth the duties of the Commissioner and the structure of the program as follows:
- Create policies and conduct a qualitative analysis of each eligible school as identified by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI)
- Engage school and community at large to determine level of interest for transfer of school to the program
- Develop partnerships to more effectively deploy wraparound services to residents of the county
- Engage in general oversight of schools transferred to the program
- Initiate a Request For Proposal (RFP) process to select a group or person to operate and/or manage the school
- Transfer schools to the OSPP on the following timeline:
- During 2015-2016 school year, select at least one and no more than three schools
- 2016-2017, select not more than three schools
- 2017-2018, select not more than five schools
- Subsequent years, select not more than five schools
- What criteria will the Commissioner use to select a school for transfer to the OSPP?
- The Commissioner has provided the School Readiness Assessment (SRA) Protocol as a tool to determine schools for possible selection for OSPP. At this time we do not have information about school selection criteria.
- If my school is selected, will it affect our school improvement plan and/or other efforts to improve student outcomes?
At this time, it is not immediately clear what the changes would be. The legislation gives the Commissioner the authority to determine educational priorities and objectives of the school.
- Will my school receive additional resources and services?
- The Commissioner outlined proposed partnerships with community and governmental organizations. At this time, we do not have information about the specific resources and/or services to be provided by these organizations.
- Will my school’s budget be impacted by the OSPP?
We anticipate a budget impact, however the details are not clear at this time.
- What happens if students and their families would prefer not to attend an OSPP School?
The district is committed to working with families and students to choose a school placement that is the best option for them.
- What entity employs staff in an OSPP school? What does the Commissioner’s current proposal say about employment in an OSPP school?
According to the legislation, when a school is selected for transfer to the OSPP, the employees are no longer employed by the Milwaukee Public School District and must reapply for jobs within that school. However, the Commissioner’s April 21, 2016 proposal suggests that the school(s) could operate in a model similar to an instrumentality charter, in which all employees would remain employees of MPS.
- What happens if staff would prefer not to work in an OSPP School?
If the Commissioner's proposal as outlined on April 21, 2016 is implemented, the district would consider opening an additional transfer window that would allow staff to transfer to vacant positions within the district.
If the Commissioner's proposal as outlined on April 21, 2016 is NOT implemented and the Commissioner transfers a school(s) to OSPP, while we do not have all the answers, the district will work to place staff interested in remaining employees of MPS.
- Will my salary/benefits be impacted should my school be transferred to the OSPP?
Possibly. If the OSPP became the employer, and the staff member remains at the OSPP school, we don’t have the answer to the terms and conditions of employment for staff employed directly by the OSPP.
If MPS remains the employer as set forth in the Commissioner's April 21, 2016 proposal, we would not anticipate a change in salary and benefits for employees.
- Is there a possibility of layoffs as a result of a school(s) being transferred to the OSPP?
- While layoffs are a possibility, we do not anticipate the need to lay off staff as a result of a school being transferred to the OSPP, due to normal turn over and the current number of vacancies.