Shaping PPS Priorities for Student Success Act Dollars

Once it's fully implemented, the Student Success Act could inject an additional $39 million a year into PPS. The District has to submit its priorities to the state by December 5th, but under terms of the new law the District is required to seek input from PPS educators and staff, as well as historically underserved communities, regarding how PPS should invest these additional resources.

We’re going to make sure the District gets a clear picture of how educators across PPS think the new funds should be utilized, and there are many avenues for providing your input.

Keep in mind that Student Success Act dollars are divided into three “pots.” Twenty percent of the funds are going into the Early Learning Account, which will expand Pre-K and other early education initiatives around the state. Thirty percent of the funds are going into the Statewide Initiatives Fund, which will expand statewide nutrition programs, provide new resources for school safety, and fully fund Measure 98’s career and technical education programs. 

Educators and community members will have a say over the remaining fifty percent of Student Success Act dollars, which will be in the Student Investment Account. These funds have two main purposes:

  1. Meet students’ mental and behavioral needs;
  2. Increase academic achievement and reduce academic disparities for: students of color; students with disabilities; emerging bilingual students; students navigating poverty, homelessness, and foster care; and other students that have historically experienced disparities in our schools.

These funds can be used for anything from reducing class sizes, to increasing offerings needed to create a more well-rounded curriculum, to increasing instructional time, or meeting students’ mental and behavioral health needs. 

There are so many ways for you to get involved and make your voice heard—now’s the time to speak up! Here are a few ways you can participate in the process, but please know we will communicate all opportunities many ways, many times:

In-Person, In Your Building: Sometime after October 16th, your building reps should host a meeting in your building soliciting input from you and your colleagues. Please attend this meeting and let us know what you think is important. We will be compiling everyone’s feedback and presenting it to PPS.

PPS Forum for Educators and Staff: Plan on attending the PPS-sponsored forum for PPS staff, including union members in PAT and PFSP. This forum will be held in late October. More details to come.

PAT Community Forums: PAT will be hosting a series of forums about the Student Success Act and priorities for new funding. Our first event is a Facebook Live forum on October 8th, at 6:30 PM. We are also hosting community-specific events to gather input from our historically underserved communities on Wednesday October 23rd, Thursday October 24th, Monday October 28th, Tuesday November 5th, so save these dates (location and more details to follow).

Please note, the District will also be hosting community forums in October and November in conjunction with groups like Stand for Children. We need to make sure this process is driven by authentic community concerns, not the priorities of corporate education reformers.

Online: PPS will be launching a survey to gather input throughout October. Please fill it out so that we ensure educators are part of the process.

The new funding from the Student Success Act couldn’t come at a more important time. We have heard from so many of you how challenging this year has been, with so many educators trying to “hang on” with great hopes for next year.

I’m feeling very hopeful for our future, but it’s imperative that educators, families, and students help direct the PPS priorities. Please plan on giving input at least once, if not in many ways!

In Solidarity,

Suzanne Cohen
PAT President