Our first big public event for BSEP Measure Planning took place on Thursday, October 22. About 180 participants representing many school and district committees took part in the BSEP office’s annual School and District Orientation for the first half of the evening, which included important information on how committees do their work.
Next up was a session focused on understanding the BSEP Measure, which provides $25 million to our schools, so that participants, who also included teachers and staff, could discuss how to construct the next BSEP Measure, which will be on the Berkeley ballot in November 2016. The workshop included BSEP Measure History since 1986, a look at BSEP educational programs, BUSD/BSEP budget issues, and an overview of Class Size Reduction history. Participants then engaged in a two part exercise which asked participants to construct a budget using a “thermometer” as a discussion tool, and a CSR discussion based on class size scenarios and using a pro’s/con’s handout. See the PowerPoint from the BSEP Workshop and related presentations.
There were 21 tables, and very lively and engaged discussions, as can be seen by the photographs of the event. We were pleased that the turnout was high, people were deeply engaged, and those involved were a more diverse group than has been seen at many prior community events. There will be additional workshops and focus groups between now and March, when the first draft of the new measure goes to the Board. Meanwhile, take a look at photos from the event to get a flavor of the dynamic evening!