Thursday, October 15, 2009

PA Sucks: State Budget Lacks Funding for Summer Camp Activities

Proposal Update E-mail:

Audience: 62 providers who submitted proposals


State Budget Lacks Funding for Summer Camp Activities

Thank you for submitting a proposal to partner with the 2010 Pittsburgh Public Schools Summer Middle-Grades Camp. Our team is thrilled to have received many proposals from a wide range of individuals and organizations in Pittsburgh. The quality and quantity of the responses to the Request For Proposal (RFP) continues to inspire us to create the largest and most unique camp for middle-grade students ever offered by the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

As you know, this one-of-a-kind camp is being funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus dollars. We have been anxiously waiting for the state to pass a budget to determine the final amount the District will receive to allocate towards the summer middle-grades camp. Unfortunately, the state fiscal stabilization funds needed to operate the afternoon activities portion of the camp did not come through when the budget passed. The good news is we will still have Title I stimulus funds to operate the Summer Middle-Grades Camp. While the Title I funds make up less than the original anticipated amount of total funds, we believe strongly that we will be able to facilitate a robust and innovative summer camp nonetheless.

Title I funding is more restrictive than the anticipated state fiscal stabilization funds, and any activity that takes place during the summer camp must meet the Title I mandate of providing a clear, research-based literacy curriculum and/or model proven to be effective in raising student achievement, have a student to teacher ratio of 15:1 or less, and be delivered by “highly qualified” staff[1]. In order to continue to offer an afternoon activities component facilitated by community organizations and individuals, we must ensure the activities align with this Title I mandate.

The District is committed to offering our students the opportunity to experience unique afternoon activities as a part of this camp. Through an initial review of the submitted proposals, it is clear that some proposals already integrate and infuse literacy in the proposed activity. However, all proposals must now have the direct focus of increasing academic achievement in literacy or math.

New RFP Issued October 21, 2009

We are requesting every organization that submitted an initial proposal to consider submitting a new proposal based on one of the following options:

1. Make revisions to expand and/or clarify the direct literacy connection for the proposed activity, this revision option is only for proposals already directly tied to literacy and should include links to state standards, daily objectives, and lesson plans. However, you must submit a new proposal that incorporates the revisions.

2. Re-write a proposal to focus on literacy with the integration of an engaging activity. The new proposal would need to include links to state standards, daily objectives, and lesson plans.

3. Choose to not re-submit a proposal with a written confirmation of such inaction to Eddie Willson with the knowledge that your organization will no longer be considered for partnership in the Summer Middle-Grades Camp.

A new Request For Proposal document will be issued on Wednesday, October 21 that clearly outlines the new criteria providers must include in a new proposal. This new Request For Proposal will be open to providers who submitted an initial proposal as well as individuals and organizations who are interested in submitting for the first time. New proposals that are literacy-focused are due to Eddie Willson by 5 p.m, on Friday, November 6, 2009.

To discuss the funding situation and proposal resubmission process further, we are requesting every organization who submitted an initial proposal to attend a meeting on Wednesday, October 21 from 8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m. The meeting will take place in conference room A in the board of Education building located at 341 S. Bellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. Please RSVP to Eddie Willson at by Tuesday, October 20 at noon to attend.

We anticipate there will be questions about the funding situation and proposal resubmission. We ask that you please bring your questions to the meeting on Friday and we will do our best to answer them at that time. You are also welcome to send your questions to Eddie in advance via e-mail and we can prepare the answers and share more information at the meeting.

Thank you for your understanding. We are looking forward to continuing to work towards our goal of creating the largest and most unique camp for middle-grade students ever offered by the Pittsburgh Public Schools.


Eddie Willson, Activities Project Manager, Summer Middle-Grades Camp Team (412) 622-3985

[1] “Highly Qualified” is a term defined by NCLB as either a teacher with state certification, a bachelors degree, and proven competency in his/her subject or a paraprofessional with at least two (2) years of college.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Summer camp now is a really tough sell.