Memo for fiscal year 2017, updated 2016-04-22

[Archived] What is the process for Council to release ACPS funding from contingent reserves?

As you are aware the FY 2017 budget that I proposed included a $3.0 million school enrollment capacity contingent held in contingent pending the maturation of the two proposals that ACPS had put forward in regard to (a) establishing a pre-kindergarten (pre-k) center ($0.7 million), and (b) establishing a new West End elementary school ($2.3 million). 

In recent months, in order to fill out the details of the pre-k proposal, City, ACPS and Campagna Center staff, have been meeting vigorously to devise a collaborative solution to provide early care and education in a new, centralized location. Staff was provided private support to ensure impartial research and analysis by FSG Consulting. This is the firm that has worked with the Early Care and Education Workgroup (ECEW) over the last year to create a number of deliverables including the Common Agenda, which supports the Early Care and Education Goal 2.0 of the Children and Youth Master Plan. 

City staff and the Campagna Center are in agreement with the proposed plan that will enable ACPS to relocate existing Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) and Head Start (HS) classrooms from Patrick Henry and John Adams elementary schools by fall of 2017. Recognizing that there are varying perspectives regarding the appropriateness of a central location, staff is only focusing on VPI and HS classrooms that currently co-exist in the two aforementioned school sites. FSG researched other communities where there are stand-alone centers and many like the City of Alexandria have myriad ways that pre-k is accessed. The development of a pre-k center will be a unique offering that will be added to the current continuum of early care and education services provided by neighborhood based private and fee system child care centers, family day care providers, half-day child care and additional school based VPI and HS classrooms that are not part of the current proposal. This proposal does not increase pre-k capacity, but it does increase the capacity for additional k-5 classrooms in the three schools which is the immediate concern.  

Attached is the staff recommendation to me that has also been vetted by the Superintendent. That memorandum details the collective work and research of the leadership of the Campagna Center, City and ACPS leadership with the support of FSG. Additional work with other stakeholders, parents and the community will continue through the coming year.

To date City staff are not in receipt of any lease cost information on neither the pre-k site nor the new elementary school sites from ACPS.  Although the potential lease sites are part of a necessarily confidential ACPS procurement process, it would be reasonable for the City to know the parameters of the cost proposals (without knowing the sites) and what the full-year costs (FY 2018) will be before releasing the $0.7 million in contingent. ACPS has invited City staff to participate with them in the review of the lease site RFP submissions, and the first meeting for this joint review is scheduled for next week.


Attachment 1 – Updated Plan for Pre-K Facility in Alexandria

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