WTVF OpenLine Talking Points

Talking Points, 5.9.18

To: Dr. Shawn Joseph

From: Michelle Michaud

Re: OPEN LINE

Date: Wed. May 9, 2018

 

Time: 7 p.m.

Please arrive by 6:45 p.m.

Location: News Channel 5 studios

474 James Robertson Parkway

Nashville, TN 37219

Event contact: Taylor Pray (taylor.pray@newschannel5.com

615-248-5306

Parking: You must enter from the entrance on James Robertson Parkway. There is a small alley-type driveway on the left side of the building that will take you to the back parking lot. At the gate, enter “#” then “3526” and the gate will open. To exit the lot, you must exit onto 4th Avenue North (not the way you came in). This gate will open automatically.

Once you park, go to the “Shipping and Receiving” entrance right by the loading dock. There is a courtesy phone in a box – use this to dial “5250” and they will send someone to let you in the building.

On-air Show Host: Investigative reporter Ben Hall

About the Event:

The show is LIVE from 7:00p.m.-8:00 p.m. We will have a discussion and take viewer phone calls.There is not a set number of calls. It just depends on how many calls we get, and when the host takes them.

OpenLine repeats at 10:00 p.m. the same day and 11:00am the next day. We air on Comcast channel 250, Charter 182, digital 5.2, and live streaming on newschannel5.com.

 

Talking Points: BUDGET

Question: Currently, you are in the midst of budget planning with metro city government.  What challenges are you facing and why?

Answer: It’s going to be a tough budget year, but we at MNPS are committed to protecting the classroom experience and making a difference for our kids – even under a constrained budget.

  • The mayor’s budget allocated $5 million dollars – leaves MNPS with $17 million in unfunded mandatory expenses (insurance, retirement, etc.). 
    • Our immediate challenge: tighten up spending to cut $17 million from our current funding levels.
    • Ultimately, the decision on what gets cut will be approved by the School Board.

 

  • HERE’S HOW WE ARE WORKING TO PROTECT SCHOOLS:
    • Our number one commitment is to teachers and students.  We will not compromise the classroom experience.

 

  • We have already promised schools their budget for August 2018 – so no cuts will come to schools. Teachers and Administrators should proceed with business as usual for this fall.

 

  • Our central support staff will have to get leaner – but, I’ve told my team – we will not be cutting our lowest paid employees (often support and administrative staff) to close the gap in budget.

 

 

  • IMPORTANT NEXT STEPS WITH THE BOARD:
    • Key dates and timelines for you to be aware of:
      • Board will have two additional budget hearings:
      • May 15 & May 22
      • May 23, we will take a revised budget to Metro city council
      • Finally, at some point in June – the council will vote to approve our budget
      •  
  • AT EACH OF THESE MEETINGS, MY FOCUS AS DIRECTOR, WILL BE ON STUDENTS
    • I am concerned about these changing funding levels.

 

  • Our school district recently celebrated good news with improved student scores in MAP reading and math. 
  • This budget will have the disappointing effect of slowing our rapid pace of improvement – instead of funding continued acceleration, our focus will be maintenance of current gains.
  • I still want to see pay increases for our para-professionals; and, here’s why:  these particular employees struggle to make a living wage as the cost of living in Nashville continues to grow with the city.

 

 

 

 

 

LEAD

Question: Channel Five just released an investigative report on water quality issues in East Nashville Magnet Middle School.  What are you doing to ensure water is safe for drinking in our schools?

  • The health and safety of our students, staff and teachers is of utmost importance. 
  • That is why, Metro Nashville Public Schools voluntarily began testing our water in 2016 in the wake of the Flint Michigan disaster.
  • After consultation with Metro Water, Metro Public Health, the Tennessee Department of Conservation and the Environmental Protection Agency, we know we comply with all Federal, State and local regulations regarding water quality and testing in our schools.
  • To make sure we are testing properly, we have hired a third party vendor, Ensafe. We do this so that our testing follows regulations and leading best practices.

 

Question: Did you know an MNPS plumber risked his job to bring NC5 a polluted sample?

 

The well-intentioned plumber in your story is not a water quality expert. And, neither and I.  what I do know is that we have an obligation to keep our kids safe, that’s why we are voluntarily following Federal guidelines for water quality.

 

 

 

 

Question: Did you know that NY Public Schools does not use flushing?

  • Let’s talk about flushing. The EPA requires a location be flushed a minimum of 6 hours and a maximum of 18 hours before sampling can occur. We are following EPA guidelines and best practices.
  • I cannot speak to NY, this is Nashville. And we began testing to keep our kids safe. And that’s why we are following the EPA guidelines for the best way to keep our kids safe.
  • Did you know that the EPA does not recommend flushing in homes?
    • Again, we are a school district – not a home.

SUMMER READINESS:

 

Question: Summer is upon us and students will be leaving school very soon for summer break. It’s an exciting time for most families.  What is your advice to families heading into the summer break?

Answer: I have a one-word answer: READ.  Read to your child, read with your child, and encourage your child to read at least 20 minutes a day. This is the most important thing you can do for your child this summer. 

This week, MNPS kicks off a city wide Read 20 initiative with our partners the Nashville Public Library, Nashville Public Education Foundation, PENCIL and the Mayor’s office. Our goal is to get every child reading this summer.

As you know, there is something called the “summer slide” where students that are not in school actually lose ground in learning.  Reading can help make up that deficit and even help gain ground. So, go to the library, sign up for the Read 20 initiative and keep track of the books you read… you may just win something!

Question: Along those lines, when it comes to summer, some of our students who rely on meals eaten at school no longer have access to those meals. Do you have any advice for them?

Starting in June, Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) will continue to serve students with wraparound services through its Summer Meals Program, which addresses hunger in the summer months. Through the district’s Nutrition Services Department, the Department of Extended Learning Programs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, three locations in Nashville will provide meals to help fill the nutrition gap and make sure children receive the well-rounded meals they need.

 

The program is free to children ages 0 to 18, regardless of whether or not they attend Metro Schools. Adults aged 19 and over can receive meals at a reduced cost of $3.75. There are no income requirements or registration. It is paid for through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and comes to Nashville at no net cost to taxpayers.

 

While summer learning is key to battle the summer slide, lack of nutrition during the summer months also plays a role in the cycle for poor performance once schools begins again, and can make children more prone to illness and other health issues.

 

If you’d like, I can give you a number to call to find out where the closest meal site is to your home. 615-259-4636 (INFO).

Question: Speaking of meals, we touched on the community eligibility program last time you were here—that’s the program that gives free and reduced lunches to those that qualify.  We heard it was going away, then that it had been brought back from half the schools.  Where are we on that lunch program?

Answer: thank you for asking.  Yes, the community eligibility program, also known as free and reduced lunches, is something I care very deeply about. I want to make sure every kid that needs a lunch gets a lunch. After all, students can’t concentrate when they are hungry.

We’ve worked very closely with the state to get free lunches for most of our students, but some may be left out, come fall. To make sure your child is eligible for a free lunch, it’s very important you fill out a form at your school.

When you register for classes this fall, there will be a form asking you a few questions.  Answer them fully and get registered for the free and reduced lunch program.

 

 

To: Dr. Shawn Joseph

From: Michelle Michaud

Re: OPEN LINE

Date: Wed. May 9, 2018

 

Time: 7 p.m.

Please arrive by 6:45 p.m.

Location: News Channel 5 studios

474 James Robertson Parkway

Nashville, TN 37219

Event contact: Taylor Pray (taylor.pray@newschannel5.com

615-248-5306

Parking: You must enter from the entrance on James Robertson Parkway. There is a small alley-type driveway on the left side of the building that will take you to the back parking lot. At the gate, enter “#” then “3526” and the gate will open. To exit the lot, you must exit onto 4th Avenue North (not the way you came in). This gate will open automatically.

Once you park, go to the “Shipping and Receiving” entrance right by the loading dock. There is a courtesy phone in a box – use this to dial “5250” and they will send someone to let you in the building.

On-air Show Host: Investigative reporter Ben Hall

About the Event:

The show is LIVE from 7:00p.m.-8:00 p.m. We will have a discussion and take viewer phone calls.There is not a set number of calls. It just depends on how many calls we get, and when the host takes them.

OpenLine repeats at 10:00 p.m. the same day and 11:00am the next day. We air on Comcast channel 250, Charter 182, digital 5.2, and live streaming on newschannel5.com.

 

Talking Points: BUDGET

Question: Currently, you are in the midst of budget planning with metro city government.  What challenges are you facing and why?

Answer: It’s going to be a tough budget year, but we at MNPS are committed to protecting the classroom experience and making a difference for our kids – even under a constrained budget.

  • The mayor’s budget allocated $5 million dollars – leaves MNPS with $17 million in unfunded mandatory expenses (insurance, retirement, etc.). 
    • Our immediate challenge: tighten up spending to cut $17 million from our current funding levels.
    • Ultimately, the decision on what gets cut will be approved by the School Board.

 

  • HERE’S HOW WE ARE WORKING TO PROTECT SCHOOLS:
    • Our number one commitment is to teachers and students.  We will not compromise the classroom experience.

 

  • We have already promised schools their budget for August 2018 – so no cuts will come to schools. Teachers and Administrators should proceed with business as usual for this fall.

 

  • Our central support staff will have to get leaner – but, I’ve told my team – we will not be cutting our lowest paid employees (often support and administrative staff) to close the gap in budget.

 

 

  • IMPORTANT NEXT STEPS WITH THE BOARD:
    • Key dates and timelines for you to be aware of:
      • Board will have two additional budget hearings:
      • May 15 & May 22
      • May 23, we will take a revised budget to Metro city council
      • Finally, at some point in June – the council will vote to approve our budget
      •  
  • AT EACH OF THESE MEETINGS, MY FOCUS AS DIRECTOR, WILL BE ON STUDENTS
    • I am concerned about these changing funding levels.

 

  • Our school district recently celebrated good news with improved student scores in MAP reading and math. 
  • This budget will have the disappointing effect of slowing our rapid pace of improvement – instead of funding continued acceleration, our focus will be maintenance of current gains.
  • I still want to see pay increases for our para-professionals; and, here’s why:  these particular employees struggle to make a living wage as the cost of living in Nashville continues to grow with the city.

 

 

 

 

 

LEAD

Question: Channel Five just released an investigative report on water quality issues in East Nashville Magnet Middle School.  What are you doing to ensure water is safe for drinking in our schools?

  • The health and safety of our students, staff and teachers is of utmost importance. 
  • That is why, Metro Nashville Public Schools voluntarily began testing our water in 2016 in the wake of the Flint Michigan disaster.
  • After consultation with Metro Water, Metro Public Health, the Tennessee Department of Conservation and the Environmental Protection Agency, we know we comply with all Federal, State and local regulations regarding water quality and testing in our schools.
  • To make sure we are testing properly, we have hired a third party vendor, Ensafe. We do this so that our testing follows regulations and leading best practices.

 

Question: Did you know an MNPS plumber risked his job to bring NC5 a polluted sample?

 

The well-intentioned plumber in your story is not a water quality expert. And, neither and I.  what I do know is that we have an obligation to keep our kids safe, that’s why we are voluntarily following Federal guidelines for water quality.

 

 

 

 

Question: Did you know that NY Public Schools does not use flushing?

  • Let’s talk about flushing. The EPA requires a location be flushed a minimum of 6 hours and a maximum of 18 hours before sampling can occur. We are following EPA guidelines and best practices.
  • I cannot speak to NY, this is Nashville. And we began testing to keep our kids safe. And that’s why we are following the EPA guidelines for the best way to keep our kids safe.
  • Did you know that the EPA does not recommend flushing in homes?
    • Again, we are a school district – not a home.

SUMMER READINESS:

 

Question: Summer is upon us and students will be leaving school very soon for summer break. It’s an exciting time for most families.  What is your advice to families heading into the summer break?

Answer: I have a one-word answer: READ.  Read to your child, read with your child, and encourage your child to read at least 20 minutes a day. This is the most important thing you can do for your child this summer. 

This week, MNPS kicks off a city wide Read 20 initiative with our partners the Nashville Public Library, Nashville Public Education Foundation, PENCIL and the Mayor’s office. Our goal is to get every child reading this summer.

As you know, there is something called the “summer slide” where students that are not in school actually lose ground in learning.  Reading can help make up that deficit and even help gain ground. So, go to the library, sign up for the Read 20 initiative and keep track of the books you read… you may just win something!

Question: Along those lines, when it comes to summer, some of our students who rely on meals eaten at school no longer have access to those meals. Do you have any advice for them?

Starting in June, Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) will continue to serve students with wraparound services through its Summer Meals Program, which addresses hunger in the summer months. Through the district’s Nutrition Services Department, the Department of Extended Learning Programs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, three locations in Nashville will provide meals to help fill the nutrition gap and make sure children receive the well-rounded meals they need.

 

The program is free to children ages 0 to 18, regardless of whether or not they attend Metro Schools. Adults aged 19 and over can receive meals at a reduced cost of $3.75. There are no income requirements or registration. It is paid for through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and comes to Nashville at no net cost to taxpayers.

 

While summer learning is key to battle the summer slide, lack of nutrition during the summer months also plays a role in the cycle for poor performance once schools begins again, and can make children more prone to illness and other health issues.

 

If you’d like, I can give you a number to call to find out where the closest meal site is to your home. 615-259-4636 (INFO).

Question: Speaking of meals, we touched on the community eligibility program last time you were here—that’s the program that gives free and reduced lunches to those that qualify.  We heard it was going away, then that it had been brought back from half the schools.  Where are we on that lunch program?

Answer: thank you for asking.  Yes, the community eligibility program, also known as free and reduced lunches, is something I care very deeply about. I want to make sure every kid that needs a lunch gets a lunch. After all, students can’t concentrate when they are hungry.

We’ve worked very closely with the state to get free lunches for most of our students, but some may be left out, come fall. To make sure your child is eligible for a free lunch, it’s very important you fill out a form at your school.

When you register for classes this fall, there will be a form asking you a few questions.  Answer them fully and get registered for the free and reduced lunch program.