FAQ

What is Title 1?

What is Title 1? Title I (Part A) is part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that provided federal assistance to schools with high numbers of students from low-income families (50% of students qualify for free/reduced lunch). Local Title 1 schools include Beethoven, Braddock, Grandview and Westminster. As of May 1, 2017, 19% of Broadway students qualified for free/reduced lunch. Before Broadway lost its Title 1 status in the 2015-2016 school year, it received approximately $240k in additional funding.

Why is our fundraising goal (or "ask") higher than ______ school?

Despite its unique language immersion programs, Broadway does not get any more money in its operations budget than a regular neighborhood school. Broadway’s operations budget does not include Teaching Assistants, our Assistant Principal, or our Instructional Coach.

Teaching Assistants are used in the classroom for small-group and student support. Because there is such diversity in our students, our teachers need to do a high-level of differentiation. Very few schools have more than a handful of TAs.

What is "norming" and why would LAUSD not pay for all of the teachers we have at any given time?

Norm Day, which is generally the fifth Friday of the school year, has been designated by the District as the official count day for the allocation of resources. Norm day enrollment is the count of actively-enrolled students as of norm day. Norming is the process of using the norm day enrollment as the basis for the allocation of various school resources. In addition, the District uses norm day enrollment to allocate school operational resources such as administrators, teachers, counselors, librarians, clerical staff, custodians, financial managers, and instructional materials. Based on the number of students present on Norm Day, the district decides how many teachers are needed at each school. If the number of students is too low, the district will not pay one of the salaries of one of the teachers at the school. The school then must decide if they will divide the lower enrollment class into other classes and lose that teacher, or keep the teacher- and pay the salary and benefits themselves. At a traditional school, this can be a juggle and sometimes ends up with some teachers teaching more than one grade at a time. But at a school like ours, the juggle is a struggle- because the district might put us into a position to combine not only grades, but two different programs! Why? Because norming is done in two sections: K-2 as one large chunk, and 3-5 as the other. If, for example, the Kinder Spanish number is one student too low and the Second grade Mandarin is three students too low, those remaining students in those classes could in no way be combined into one large class.

Why did the suggested donation go up last year?

Four years ago, when District decisions reimagined the separate paths of the MI and SI to one of remaining together at Broadway, we established a common fundraising target of $1750 per student. This amount was higher than some parents were used to and lower than others were used to. We saw that for our families who were used to a higher suggested donation our donation rate went down. In addition, when we analyzed our data from the last several years we saw that the most common donation was in the amount of the suggested donation. For that reason we decided to increase this number by a relatively slight amount for those who could donate this amount, while simultaneously stressing as much as possible the fact that every single donation, regardless of the amount, is significant and valued.

It is worth repeating and emphasizing: EVERY SINGLE DONATION, REGARDLESS OF THE AMOUNT, IS SIGNIFICANT AND VALUED.

What is supported by money directed to “target language funds” and why is there money directed that way?

Supporting the learning of the two target languages (Mandarin or Spanish) in equivocal ways, does not come with the same price tag. For a multitude of reasons, it costs more to hire Mandarin-speaking tutors (the equivalent of Spanish-speaking TAs) and purchase reading material or other supports in Chinese. Because of this, the previous and current Friends of Broadway boards have decided to direct a portion of each donor’s gift to fund the target language learning for the student the donor is supporting in the hope that doing so will help families feel comfortable that their donation will be used to support the language learning they’ve chosen for their student(s).

However, across the programs all students receive the same quality education and supports in the English classrooms and for science, math, and other lessons regardless of the language in which the lesson is taught. For this reason, the bulk of each donation goes to fund items in the “general” category. Those are supports that every Broadway student enjoys regardless of the foreign language they are learning.

It is important that every donor understands that directing money to supporting the target language learning of their student does just that. Unless a portion of their donation is also used to cover our general needs, they are not supporting their student completely.

Our hopes are always that parents will ask questions until they feel comfortable donating. If you have more questions about this split, please email us at board@friendsofbroadwayschool.org.

Can I ask that my donation only supports one of the immersion programs or an enrichment that I think is important?

Yes, and no. If you are able to make a donation large enough to cover the cost of an entire program that has already been approved by Principal Wang (like STAR PE, Art in Action, classroom libraries for all classes), it’s really easy to take donations of this kind. On the other hand, unless we are certain a program can be fully funded, those dollars might be needed in other places that are more critical (impact instruction) or less expensive to run. So you can earmark funds, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be able to spend them.

For the 2019-2020 school year we’ll continue to have target language funds that support instruction in either Spanish or Mandarin (see question above). As in previous years, these funds only go towards the target language instruction and not for all of the costs of the full Language Immersion Program. (Meaning that English language and general support in both programs is paid for from the General Fund.) Donors can direct some or all of their donation towards target language support of their choice. Within that fund, however, the practice stated above holds true.

It’s important for all of our donors to understand that the ultimate decision maker in what support is needed in the classroom is Principal Wang. The Friends of Broadway Board of Directors either approves or does not approve her requests for spending that supports instruction.

Where can I find the budget?

The budget is posted in the glass case in the main hallway, and is also available online to all Broadway parents as a link in the bottom of the weekly Dolphin Dispatch email newsletter. Each year the budget for the following school year is voted upon in January. At least fifteen members (any Broadway parent) must be present to vote in this budget.