Operations report to be released

Update: With some edits to be completed by working group chair Mary Jo Hudson, the group approved this draft of a report setting a goal of $200 million in savings over 5 years.

Today, the working group finalizing a report on the operations expenses of Columbus City Schools will meet at 1 p.m. in the second floor Media Center at East High School, 1500 East Broad Street. You can see the brief agenda for the meeting here. The group’s main order of business will be reviewing the final report to Mayor Coleman and Council President Ginther. We’ll post a copy of that report as soon as it’s complete. You’re also welcome to attend the meeting which is open to the public.

Working group meets Monday

Update: The working group will convene again on July 8 to finalize its report to Mayor Coleman and Council President Ginther. Please stay tuned for details on the meeting location and agenda.

The working group finishing a report on the operational expenses of Columbus City Schools meets on Monday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The location for the meeting has changed. It will now be held at the second floor Media Center of East High School, 1500 East Broad Street.

Here are the pre-meeting materials:

  1. Agenda
  2. Presentation slides

This meeting is open to members of the public and media.

Working group to meet

Update: Here are the materials from Wednesday’s meeting.

  1. Meeting agenda
  2. Overview of the current operations review
  3. Handouts offered by Rick Passovoy/Rob Carlson from the Council of the Great City Schools


One of the steps recommended by the Columbus Education Commission was the completion of a report to Mayor Michael B. Coleman and Council President Andrew J. Ginther on the operations of Columbus City Schools.

A working group appointed by the Mayor and Council President will hold its first meeting on the topic on Wednesday, June 19. The meeting schedule and location are below. Just like the meetings of the commission, this meeting is open to the public. Stay tuned to this post for more information on what will be discussed. The list of members of the working group is available here.
Location: KidsOhio.org, 22 East Gay Street, Suite 600.

Meeting schedule:

  • Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Monday, July 1, 2013, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Operations review moves forward

As you might remember from the commission’s final meeting, a Columbus Education Commission working group is convening to review and complete an operations review of the non-academic expenses of Columbus City Schools. Below you can read Director Fingerhut’s memo to members of the Columbus Education Commission and download copies of the overview of the Commission’s work to date as well as the supporting facts gathered by this early draft research.

To: Members of the Columbus Education Commission

From: Eric D. Fingerhut, Director

Date: June 10, 2013

Re: Operations Review

At the last meeting of the Columbus Education Commission, Commission member Mary Jo Hudson reported on the progress of the operations review of the non-educational work of the Columbus City Schools requested by the commission. Her report was also summarized on page 95 of the commission’s final report.

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Commission calls for bold steps

With a commitment to bold action, the 25 members of the Columbus Education Commission today agreed on recommendations to change the course of education in our community.

“We are onto something,” said co-chairman George S. Barrett.

Columbus Education Commission logoHe emphasized the sense of urgency and community effort reflected in the commission’s recommendations. “It will have to be sustained. It’s not a one-time event.”

The recommendations, which cover six areas and implementation, will be delivered to Mayor Michael B. Coleman and City Council President Andrew J. Ginther on Tuesday.

Taken together, the recommendations offer the Columbus plan for improving education.

All parts of the community will be asked to do their part, with community groups helping to expand pre-K education, parent groups mobilizing neighborhoods and businesses providing career pathways. A new innovation fund run by a public-private partnership will help expand the number of great schools in Columbus, and the mayor’s office will devote a cabinet-level official to education.

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Completing the plan

Today is a big day.

The Columbus Education Commission expects to complete its recommendations today as members consider the final three proposals for our community. The meeting will begin with a brief update from member Mary Jo Hudson on the progress of the ongoing management review.

Executive summary of draft proposalsThen the commission will consider its final recommendations, focusing on these three draft proposals:

For a detailed overview, read our post: ‘All in’ on education

How to tune in

Today’s meeting at the Columbus Metropolitan Library is open to the public and will be live-streamed on this website.

  • When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Where: Columbus Metropolitan Library (see map)
  • How to follow on Twitter: We will be live-tweeting the conversation from the @ReimagineCbusEd Twitter account, using the #cbusedu hashtag
  • What about lunchThe commission will work through lunch, so you might consider bringing something to eat

‘All in’ on education

The message was loud and clear: Our entire community needs to be all in on education.

Now, a proposal being reviewed by the Columbus Education Commission makes clear what that would look like:

  • new proposals2A new public-private partnership would make sure Columbus has the best schools possible, by replicating successful local schools and attracting proven charter schools to the city.
  • The mayor would appoint a director of educational improvement to ramp up the city’s efforts on education, including working with the Columbus school board and the new public-private partnership.
  • An independent auditor would monitor the finances, performance and data of Columbus City Schools to strengthen public confidence in the system. This auditor would be jointly chosen by five elected officials, including the mayor and school board president.

All of these proposals would build additional support for the Columbus Board of Education — reflecting the idea that the entire community needs to take responsibility for educating our children.

As U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told Columbus leaders last week, “Everybody has to step up and play a bigger role.”

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‘You have a moment. Take it’

“I would urge you to be bold. … You have a moment. Take it, take it — seize it,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told Mayor Michael Coleman and an audience that included members of the Columbus school board and Columbus Education Commission.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Mayor Michael Coleman

“Everybody has to step up and play a bigger role,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan told Mayor Michael Coleman. Photo by Shellee Fisher

During an appearance at Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School, Duncan said the community should face head-on the challenges facing Columbus City Schools.

“For all the distress, for all the angst, for all the challenges, you could do something that could be not just great for the children here, you could do something that’s a model for the country. Think big,” Duncan said.

“There’s a huge sense of urgency. If it doesn’t happen now, I don’t know when it happens for this city and these these kids.”

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A national perspective

What can Columbus do to help kids succeed? The nation’s top education official will weigh in tomorrow on the issue facing urban education — and the best way to address them.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will speak about education in Columbus at 6 p.m. Friday.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will speak about education in Columbus at 6 p.m. Friday.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will be in Columbus to add a national perspective to our efforts to reimagine Columbus education. The conversation will include Mayor Michael Coleman, school board President Carol Perkins and KidsOhio.org President Mark Real. The event will start at 6 p.m.

If you haven’t already reserved a seat, don’t worry — we’ll be live-streaming the conversation on this website, CTV will be broadcasting it on the city’s television channel and we’ll be tweeting at #cbusedu.

Duncan’s visit comes as the Columbus Education Commission prepares to finalize recommendations on how to improve the options for all children who live within the Columbus School District.

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