Return to Headlines

Public Comment Q & A

The responses on this post are provided based on questions asked in the Public Comment section of the September 10th Regular Board meeting. They are being posted on the OSD FB page because of the operational nature of the questions.


What is the Othello School District doing with the information contained within the Functional Adequacy study?

The Othello School Board established the Facilities Advisory Committee with the purpose to provide the Board with options relating to both short and long-term facility needs. One of the duties assigned to this committee was to develop a 5-year facilities plan based on the instructional vision of the Othello School District.  The committee will utilize the information from previous resources and studies to align the facility needs with the instructional vision.

The Functional Adequacy report was designed with the instructional vison and structural shifts in mind and contains valuable and pertinent information regarding space requirements for OSD middle and elementary schools that aligns to the instructional vision. Specifically, spaces that will be needed for all future facilities will be as follows:

  • Science
  • Technology (Maker/Thinker Spaces)
  • Engineering
  • Arts (Drama, Music, Dance Spaces)

The study for these spaces have been conducted for the elementary and middle schools and are contained within the Functional Analysis report and will be beneficial to the facilities committee for future planning.

What is “Plan B” for K-8?

  • Plan A for K-8
    • McFarland Campus: K-7 Dual Language, plus a separate 8th grade
    • 2018-19: Four K-6 Schools
    • 2019-20: Five K-7 Schools
    • 2020-21: Five K-8 Schools
    • Use Capital Projects Funding if  possible
  • Plan B for K-8

    • Measure & report 6th grade progress through:
      • Academic data
      • Processes and systems data
      • Demographic data
      • Perception data
    • 2018-19 Four K-6  Schools
    • Sustain K-6 through Basic Education Funding (BEA)
    • Develop Board Facilities Committee
    • Reach consensus that aligns with the OSD instructional vision
    • Address facility needs based on committee recommendation

What are the implications for the United States Supreme Court, JANUS decision?

On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court held that state laws requiring non-union members of public employers to pay agency fees to a union violate the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. According to the Court, those fees require a public employee to fund a private organization with whom they may not want to associate, or with whom they may disagree. Such agency fees are now unconstitutional. The Court’s opinion also includes language stating that union members must “affirmatively consent” to union membership and thus to the deduction of dues.

Based on this decision, OSD has discontinued union dues for employees, except for those who have affirmatively consented. According to the OSD attorney, the JANUS decision only impacts the collection of union fees between the union and employee, and does not impact future hiring of employees within the district.