Sunday, April 25, 2021

A few Worcester things not to miss this week

 I've been largely doing my WPS updates via video on Facebook and Instagram but I know that isn't how everyone actually gets their information, so I'll endeavor to do better here.

While the full Worcester School Committee doesn't have a regular meeting until May 6, the full Committee will be on for the family forum on Tuesday evening at 6:30. This is focused on the five day return of those students whose families have chosen it, which starts next week on May 3. If you have any questions, please submit them by Monday at 6 pm.

We also have three subcommittee meetings this week, all of which will report out next week:

  • On Monday at 5:30, Teaching, Learning, and Student Supports meets for the second of their two meetings on the proposed sex ed curricula. There's also consideration of a few new courses on the agenda, but the first will be most of the focus, I believe. 
  • On Tuesday at 4, Governance meets for a few employee requests on donations of sick time, plus the dress code, plus another section of the student handbook, plus our rules. Apparently, those are being held? 
  • On Thursday at 5, Finance and Operations is jointly meeting with the City Council's Education subcommittee for (as the agenda says) items "of mutual interest." The two things on the agenda are the reopening plan (at Council request) and the FY22 budget, though do note the backup on that is the February one based on the House 1 budget. The Worcester Public Schools budget comes to the Committee on May 14; it will be based on the budget the House passes this week. 

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Outfall from Tuesday's Board of Ed meeting

This week saw an unusual amount of attention to a passing comment at the Board of Ed--unusual in that I'm accustomed to few people noting what happens at those meetings at all, let alone the comments that are said in passing. 

The Globe (for all that it leaves some pieces out) does a good job describing this, so I'm going to quote their work:

In the meeting, prior to the vote, Moriarty, who previously served 13 years on the Holyoke School Committee, commented that while this year “there’s no getting away” from freezing the designations, the state’s accountability system is vitally important in districts like Lawrence and Holyoke that have been labeled chronically underperforming.

“That’s a period of time now that we’ve been unable to take the kinds of actions that are necessary because of the deep inequities that exist from one district to [the] next, and we know they can’t change themselves, ‘cause they never do,” Moriarty said.

“So if there’s any place where there needs to be a very serious conversation and a very serious intentionality about moving forward, it’s going to be in a revived accountability system that follows the end of this pandemic,” he added.

Lawrence Mayor Kendrys Vasquez demanded Moriarty's resignation in an interview Thursday, calling the remarks a dog whistle. Vasquez was joined by much of the City Council, some of the state delegation, and the city's Congresswoman Lori Trahan in a letter written by State Rep. Frank Moran saying the same on Friday:

 As best as I know, there's no mechanism by which a Board member can be fired, though I imagine the Governor can demand someone's resignation. 

There are two things that I think are key to keep in mind here. First, as the Globe itself notes, Moriarty was himself a member of the Holyoke School Committee for thirteen years; he was first elected in 1999. There is, thus, I'd argue, no "they" here, really. He was a member of the governance team in Holyoke for a good long time. 
Holyoke itself, of course, has a political leadership history reflecting ongoingly growing Latino population in a city that had white leadership for a long time. Moriarty himself also reflects that--as he frequently notes in meetings, he is a multi-generational Holyoke resident--and I think the "they" there thus is a tell.

Second, of course, there's the question of just what it is that we're doing with the receivership districts, and how any decisions there are tied up in a now-Commissioner who regards this as his road to success. Lawrence has shifted to a receivership board in 2017, and there's been not a whisper of next steps, despite it having now been in receivership since 2012. Holyoke has recently had another round of upheaval around its receiver. Southbridge--don't forget Southbridge!--has also has unevenness in leadership. 

The state decided that the only way to "fix" the districts was to remove their democracy. It did this in districts that are majority students of color. As I noted in another context this week, generally remarks about needing less democracy raise red flags. For some reason, they seem not to with school districts.

They should. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

April 2021 Board of Education budget update

Bill Bell: 
where we stand on resources from both state and federal perspective
House Ways and Means released a week tomorrow
"on balance, it's strong continued investment in K-12 education"
HW&M "continue the Governor's recommendation" to implement SOA
"took a little bit of a forward funding approach"
Governor was 1/7th or 14%
HW&M is 1/6 or 17% implementation
That resulted in an increase of about $22M
also recommends $40M as an enrollment and transportation cost reserve account
calls upon DESE to measure each district enrollment of prior October and those most materially impacted
also a transportation mention
will call "upon us to measure the impact and then award payments after we see what it is"
increase of about $23M in circuit breaker in including transportation
"as well as a $15M summer grant" though by the time this gets passed, we'll be into the fall
"pretty strong budget for K-12 education"

federal update: 
significant investment from federal government in K-12 education
had $215M in ESSER I and $815M in ESSER II 
latest is $1.8B in ESSER III
in process of finalizing allocations for final one now
looking to make award announcements by the end of the month, access to funding by July 1
still over $100M of ESSER I available; encouraging districts to spend FIFO (first in first out) method
little over 100 districts have applied for ESSER II
districts "I think smartly" are stepping back, trying to plan funding with their municipalities
$190M in reservations for the Commissioner in ESSER III, with a number of set-asides

December budget had emergency assistance for non-public schools; $24M in grants for non-public schools
will be another round of this from ARP, another $24M, haven't gotten final guidance from federal government on

Moriarty: take concern over summer programs funding not happening til fall seriously
Bell: even if it is signed on time, by the time allocations are worked out, will be into late summer
"that said, there's a ton of work going on right now for summer"

West: "with all of this additional federal funding in the system...opportunity for DESE" to help "districts make good decisions with those funds"

Lombos: know Commissioner committed to dealing with inequities in system through these funds

April 2021 Board of Education on pandemic adjustments

 ...which is going to include competency determination and several other things

Curtin: four pieces up for vote: two for action; two for public comment
competency determination of class of 2022: this year's juniors
Spring administration of MCAS last year; no fall retest; didn't have chance in January
have had no opportunities to take test to date
recommending that competency determination be modified for this year's juniors
science competency determination already modified; English and math 'still out there'
without this modification would never have enough opportunities to take the test before graduation
have opportunity to take test this spring or next fall for scholarship opportunities
demonstrated by passing class in relevant subject

West: inclined to support
parallel to last vote due to extraordinary circumstances
treating students more equitably; how else can more be done
districts to encourage students to "learn where they stand" relative to standards we have laid out for them
worried that general opportunity to take the assessment may not translate into a general opportunity students may not be aware of
Curtin: can take back question of districts to offer not only for scholarships but for diagnostic reasons
Stapel: can work on sample letter home
West: "Framing in a positive way"

Hills: very tailored approach
"I don't see any room to move there"
will not approve any limits or any end of MCAS "not in this universe, not in any universe"

Lombos: "I'm on the other end of this"
"I'm in this job because I believe in change."
"I think that MCAS is something I'd like to discuss at the Board level"
anti-racist training...if we switch our thinking to think about MCAS and alternative assessment through a lens of equity, it's much more nuanced than that
"embracing 'and'"
"there's ways to have this discussion, not just dig in"

West: reconvene and jump start process of consideration of competency

Rouhanifard: right solutions given the circumstances
what are new and innovative assessments
think there isn't as much distance between positions as portrayed
were it not for the pandemic, would be talking more about what the Commissioner is working on

Coughlin: this is exactly the type of thing that shows students there are people caring about them
there are very genuine concerns about MCAS that need to be discussed.

Fernández: a lot of change has happened in the past year
tremendous amount of funding coming from federal government
hope we'll be continuously thinking that we're in this "now or never moment"
looking at how we educate our students, higher level where we are interrogating and thinking about what this moment allows us to think and do differently

Vote on CD change for class of 2022 passes

certificate of attainment for class of 2021
Curtin: three times for taking a test is still an issue because we haven't offered it
Would amend to one attempt only
can be made via Board vote as it is a policy, not a regulation
if students have transferred in and have had NO chances to take it, that still qualifies
and passes

solicit public comment on regs on accountability
refrain from accountability issuance for 2020-21 year
classification of all schools and districts each fall; allows to refrain from running that
U.S. DoE waiver for federal accountability received April 6
West: "not changing any schools rating or designation or not having any?"
Curtin: for the purposes of offering assistance and offering federal dollars, "we actually have to maintain the list" 
"we actually will maintain the list"
Moriarty: can hear a lot of calls around nature of MCAS, "I think accountability is another" discussion that needs to be had
"it's accountability for places like Lawrence and Holyoke that are level 5" (they aren't; there's no Level 5)
"haven't been able to take action...and we know they can't change themselves because they never do"

Hills: think language isn't as clear; understand intent
are you certain that two sentences are in conflict?
Curtin: thought they weren't; we will be sure they aren't

Peyser: but reports will come out publicly
Curtin: will report out pieces publicly
would not be "packaged together in the algorithm that spits out some sort of label"

passes, thus out for public comment

charter school 10%
Curtin: creation of list of charter school applications lags a bit
the 2020 administration was cancelled "and need to technically solve for that problem"
two years of data need to be included; regulation does not contemplate there being no data
allow for use of two most recent years for which test scores were released
practical impact is to freeze most recent list (2018 and 2019 data); already been used, already public

passes, thus out for public comment

educator licensure
extension of two shifts: teaching outside of area (50% rather than 20%)
3% increase seen statewide
plus using a long-term sub for a full year
Curtin: only 10% of teachers who were teaching out of field
went from 10 to 13%

Passes, thus out for public comment 

April 2021 Board of Education: world language frameworks

 intro docs are here

vote today proposed is to adopt revised world language standards
product of nearly two years of work
plan then is to develop supporting materials
haven't been revised since 1999
will then have brought all frameworks EXCEPT THE HEALTH FRAMEWORKS into the 21st century (emphasis mine)
comments on social emotional, communication standards particularly talked about
further clarification on communication standards: "high levels of proficiency" mirroring seal of biliteracy
clear that is the baseline programmatic outcome to be developed
asked that comprehension be included

Peyser: positioning of seal of biliteracy as anchoring standards
MassCore has two years of high school required
clarifying that it isn't a failure on the part of a student or a school system if they don't get there
response that it can be done in supporting documentation

Moriarty complains that Holyoke stopped teaching Latin in 2019
is this not supporting this? what about seal of biliteracy
and yes you can get a seal of biliteracy in classical languages 

intent was for "all human languages to be equally lifted up in this"

Frameworks pass

April 2021 Board of Education on vocational admissions

 Backup is here
Proposed amendments are here 

Move straight to questions
Rouhanifard: concerned over notion of "minor" infractions that might get back to same place
Chuang: issues that are safety issues in the shops as opposed to other issues
middle school students are going to learn from mistakes
Looby: note that students made really good points in speaking of their own experiences
Rouhanifard: importance of restorative approach
Chuang: non suspension infractions and even for those causing suspensions, being thoughtful about them
Lombos: "this is the kind of community partnership with the Board that is exemplary"
Moriarty: "I know urban districts can do some really tough things to their CTE programs...also know...the value of technical education"
vast array of schools that provide Ch.74 programs
notes skepticism of those watching to see if Department can keep up with equity checks on admission
"and yet, I think that's the stronger approach, as ultimately, I think you'll end up with better schools"
"complete silence" about Madison Park bugs him (this change doesn't impact Madison Park, BTW, as it's Boston Public Schools, not regional)
"a real diamond in the rough" 
why can't it be open to Chelsea students?
Chuang: "opens a whole can of worms" with out of district tuition
Craven: likewise Dean, Worcester Tech: quality (she doesn't mention "or equity")
Hills: "significant impactful more tailored approach"
how do you take something that's important and make it "guidance" rather than part of the regulations in order to give you the teeth you need?
Looby: guidance allows to spend more time "giving life" to what that term might mean
a school overidentifying students of a particular infraction would turn up in the data
Hills: "going to park that aside" and come back in a couple of months
can a lottery be put in place to address non-compliance? or can it be put into place regardless?
Looby: DESE as a whole; if there is a school that is out of compliance and it comes to our attention, we could revise their admission policy to correct for that
hope would be to work with school on revision
Hills: put in place to rectify the problem
"if you think that clearer language would be better, I'd be open to it and appreciative of it"
Chuang: language is crafted as an intervention approach
"even better than a lottery"
motivates some middle school students to work harder to go after what they want
want to honor student interest, prioritize student interest
interview, perhaps a lottery after minimum requirements have been met
there are urban regional schools with no gaps for students of color
worry about discourse about lower standards rather than removing barriers
Craven: there isn't a way through this process to change the agreement of regional school districts, right?
Chelsea is the one city in a multiple district vocational school, of which most others (may?) be majority white
Chuang: distribution of seats are in regional agreements "inked in the 70's" and those people are no longer around
a single pool rather than distribution by community
changing regional agreements not done by regulation
Looby: are there other ways of solving the issue through a second shift program, for example
Craven: want to make sure we're solving for the right problem and not making a new problem
Bennett: not only access but opportunity
Chuang: Chelsea has huge gap in eligible students who are applying
districts not wanting to give regionals access due to the students being selected
"not either/or; it's both/and"
middle school students to chart their trajectory
"whole host of ways to improve the current system without losing the student agency"
Craven: mythology and folklore around who gets into programs
Chuang: tools for students and families to understand the lay of the land
"multi-front" effort "not just changing some letters in the regs"
Moriarty: work with community organizations to give families information
Stewart: right of appeal by disappointed parents?
Chuang: may not use selective criteria if you have seats
hear of that happening; now will allow enforcement
actual appeal is at the school level; need formal process
systemic disproportionalities will look into
Stewart: anti-discrimination standard is clear and specific
ensuring student body matching that of a district
primarily students who are poorer, less white, less often speaking English
on balance, want to have as few barriers as possible
looking at that "it's setting something up"
Chuang: concern is around underrepresentation
Extreme overrepresentation can be a mark of concern at the national level as well
"not any intent in here to deny access"
concern is around underrepresentation
Stewart: underrepresentation "of protected groups"

And vote to go out to public comment 

April 2021 Board of Elementary and Secondary Education: opening comments

 The agenda is here. The livestream will show up here

updating as we go once it starts

Public comment

on schools reopening
Andover mother: high school student
Three foot guidance requires students to be in hybrid model
hybrid model with half the students in a field house attending classes remotely being floated for next year
noise of 500 students in field house
"imagine if a school shooter entered" the field house
Andover has applied for a new high school for ten years
"how can I go to a bar and sit next to a stranger unmasked" and my child can't sit two feet from another

West Springfield parent says parent rep on Board didn't represent parent interests
asks Mary Ann Stewart to resign
thinks labor rep repped MTA
asks that districts not be held harmless for enrollment
districts need to understand that 
asks teachers to be opted out of MTA if they don't think they're essential workers
says he is running in West Springfield and other parents should do

testimony on career and tech ed admission
Dan French, Citizens for Public Schools
testifying on disportionately impacts of current admission process to vocational schools
students from Chelsea:
impacts of students who are not first language speakers
disproportiate disciplinary impact on students of color
Black and brown children more adultified than their white peers
are handed higher expectations with less resources
"if we want our children of color to succeed, this policy needs to change"

comprehensive health framework
lack of revised health framework which is 20 years old
two rounds of revisions; last feedback last June
"students cannot learn if they are not healthy"
critical in educating the whole child
"absence of equity in the frameworks"
reconvene the panel; share the feedback; make public comment available
so the revision can be completed

Chair Craven:
Thank you to Board members for those who have participated in anti-racism training 
"really intensive training to what the Department has been doing"
members have immersed themselves in vocation school issue

Commissioner Riley:
FAFSA completion campaign
campaign on getting it completed: billboards, social media
Dyslexia guidelines released with early ed; promoting document far and wide
Student advisory council and mental health; will have a presentation on DESE work and grants
"a lot of good work there...and a lot of it spurred on by the students"

Secretary Peyser:
Mass STEM summit coming May 6

Update on reopening:

Riley: 90% of elementary schools open for five days a week
those serve about 300,000 students (so less than a third of the full K-12 public school students)
(that doesn't mean that many kids are back in buildings) (I've since been told that this does represent actual students attending; the state's collecting this?)
6-8 by April 28
serving almost 200,000 students (again, not all of those actually in buildings)
high school "sometime next month" but "in process" and will let people know ahead
84 waiver requests, 35 approved for grade 5, 43 for incremental return, 10 denied
pool testing: program has found low positivity rates
state using federal funds to pay to the end of the year
excellence road map for next year
Hills: any elementary waivers still open? Riley, all decisions on elementary made

Large scale longitudinal study on student sleep and changed start times out of Colorado

I'd missed that this had been released last week:
Since many districts stagger their school buses in order to pick up everyone, the elementary school students began school an hour earlier over the course of the study so that older students could be picked up later, said study author Lisa Meltzer, a pediatric psychologist at National Jewish Health in Colorado.
She said the research team found no significant difference in elementary school students' sleep times after the hour change.
The middle schools delayed their start times by 40 to 60 minutes, and high schools delayed theirs by 70 minutes to ensure they started at or after 8:30 a.m.
Middle school students went to bed an average of nine minutes later, but slept in an additional 37 minutes, giving them an average of 29 minutes of extra sleep. High school students went to bed an average of 14 minutes later, but slept for an additional 60 minutes, allowing them to sleep 46 minutes more on average.

That's from CNN reporting on the study itself (linked above).  Some additional links here

Editing to add that Massachusetts House bill H.663 would study this issue (and could use co-sponsors!).

Monday, April 19, 2021

The Board of Ed meets Tuesday, April 20, 2021

 You can find their agenda online here. Note that IT BEGINS AT 1 PM!!

There is, of course, an update on pandemic learning (that memo doesn't say anything new). One question is if the Commissioner will publicly say what he has already told the superintendents privately: that he'll expect high school students back five days a week May 17. As that is less than two weeks before most seniors are done for the year, as well as being in the middle of MCAS, it's additional demonstration that this continues to be about checking a box rather than ensuring students have the best education that can be provided. 
Of course, as one of the members of the Board has recently been spending his time and press reach denigrating the work of local districts whilst demonstrating how little he knows about it, perhaps that isn't surprising. 

The big news on the agenda, as Commonwealth broke earlier this week when the agenda posted, with additional coverage so far by The Herald News and The Boston Globe, is a proposed change in the admission regulations for regional vocational schools. We did know this was coming, as they had an extensive presentation in their special evening meeting in February, clearly laying the groundwork for a change. It's important to note that regional vokes can, even now, admit their students by lottery; they just have chosen not to. As the Department noted in their February meeting, and as advocates have noted for some time, this results in schools whose demographics don't reflect the districts they serve, in many cases, as well as not necessarily meeting the real needs of students. 
Commonwealth's summary of the proposed change is solid:

Under new regulations being proposed by Riley, vocational schools will not be allowed to use admissions criteria that disproportionately exclude students in those protected classes unless they can demonstrate that those criteria are “essential to participation” in voc-tech programs and there are no other admission standards that could be used that would not have that effect. 

The strikethrough version of the proposed reg change is here. Note that the vote proposed Tuesday is to open public comment; the vote would be taken in June. 

The World Languages frameworks have been out for public comment and are coming back for a vote at this meeting. 

There's then a list of modification that the Department is requesting due to the pandemic, some of which we knew about:

  • there's the competency determination for the class of 2022; this is the junior class not having to take the ELA and math MCAS (which they would normally have taken last spring) in order to graduate. 
  • there's also a proposed modification to the certificate of attainment, which is the recognition that a senior has met all local graduation requirements and has tried to pass the MCAS at least three times; this would modify that to one for this year's seniors.
  • there's also a request that the Board send out for public comment a change to the regulations such that the Department would not issue new accountability determinations for 2020-21. The proposed change to 602 CMR section 2 is to add a subsection 11: 
    (11) Commissioner’s authority to refrain from issuing annual performance determinations for districts and schools The Commissioner may, for good cause arising from the state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, direct the Department in the fall of 2021 to refrain from issuing any or all of the reported measures and annual performance determinations for school year 2020-2021, as described in 603 CMR 2.03 (2) – (3). The Commissioner may direct that schools and districts maintain their most recent accountability determinations for an additional year.   

    That, one assumes, then becomes an easy thing to delete later. 

  • There is also a proposed change to the charter school regulations (also proposed to go out for public comment): no MCAS means no lowest 10% of districts from which to draw in determining where charter schools can go. This would freeze the current list.
  • There is also a request to send out for public comment a change in 603 CMR 7 on educator licensure, extending the current changes another year. Those are the ability for a teacher to teach out of field of licensure up to 50% of their time (usually it is 20%) and allowing a long-term sub for the entire school year without a state waiver. 

There is, finally, a budget update.

Off agenda, but for information, there is a report on grants and a report on charter school matters.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

FY22 House Ways and Means

 The House Ways and Means budget was posted today at noon. 

Amendments are due by the end of the day on Friday.

I tweeted out a thread last night with some perspective on the main questions for Chapter 70, and then today, I tweeted out a thread of the K-12 accounts. I have been updating this spreadsheet as we move through the budget cycle. 
Cherry sheets are not yet updated, as of this posting.

The major news today, of course, is that the Ways and Means budget, while it does implement a 1/6th step toward the Student Opportunity Act goals--the Governor's House 1 budget in January implemented a 1/7th step--but it did not, despite calls starting in January, use a hold harmless methodology for counting students.

Worcester, of course, has been talking about this all year, but this is actually a national issue; just today, we had new research advising districts to prepare for the kindergarten bubble coming. 

Here's what it looks like for us in Worcester: 

The enrollment drop is a $9.5M drop in the foundation budget.

If we instead don't lose that, it makes a significant difference in the bottom line.
Brian Allen's slides, of course, from our February presentation.

Without the cherry sheets being posted, we don't completely know what this works out to for Worcester--or any--district, as we need to know how much comes out in charter tuition and what that that reimbursement is.
What I can say is that the difference between the Governor's January budget and the House Ways and Means budget for Chapter 70 is $22M.
Of that, Worcester (as a whole) gets $2M. So tell me how that works out across the state?

Now the House Ways and Means proposed solution to this issue is a $40M grant line (7061-0011) for districts: 
which have experienced pandemic-related disruptions in their enrollment that negatively affect their chapter 70 aid for fiscal year 2022, or which have significantly increased their transportation needs in fiscal year 2022;

BUT the districts have to: 

 demonstrate a significant reduction in student enrollment on October 1, 2020, followed by a significant increase in enrollment on October 1, 2021, and which can further demonstrate that said enrollment volatility has materially and significantly impacted their chapter 70 aid distribution, and/or increased their required transportation costs for fiscal year 2022

And as a result, the state can't even start considering this until every district has their October 1 enrollment in, which, believe me, doesn't happen the first week of October. 
And THEN they have to go through the enrollments and THEN they have to distribute the grants and THEN it's Thanksgiving and some handful of districts have gotten a little money.

You're not going to hire a teacher then; you're not going to split your overcrowded kindergarten then; you're not going rent or create new space in your building for your preschool then. That isn't when the funding is needed.

And how far is $40M going to go across the state? That isn't nearly enough.

This really is a gesture to show something was done without something materially being done. 

I'm going to post this much tonight; I'll come back to add the account by account with some commentary later. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

of cosponsorship and the Open Meeting Law

 Among the odd little items on this week's Worcester City Council agenda is this, coming back from the Law Department: 

Transmitting informational communication relative to a proposed Home Rule Petition to provide the city of Worcester an exception to the Open Meeting Law to authorize the city clerk to publish, prior to the start of a city council meeting, the names of city councilors who have signed onto items as co-sponsors

 It is accompanied by, no lie, the actual text of an actual home rule petition that the Council would file with the Legislature to grant the Worcester City Council an exception to the Open Meeting Law. 

It is hard to describe how silly this is.

The Open Meeting Law is a requirement, in brief, that public business be discussed in public session; that if a government body is going to make a decision about how things work or how money is spend, then the public has the right to hear about it.

This led, back in 2013, to a finding from the Attorney General, barring the City Council from posting an agenda in which the items already had a list of co-sponsors. The Council was reminded of this, in response to their inquiry, in February.

Let's be clear about something: the whole system of co-sponsorship is a weird Worcester thing. In many places, an elected official puts an item on the agenda, and the agenda is then worked through at the meeting as posted. Each item must then receive a second from a member, and the item, after discussion, is then either voted up or down by the body. Thus each member by virtue of the action of the body stands for or against each item.

In Worcester, someone submits an item to an agenda, and, historically, that list then goes out to all members, who let the clerk know if they wish to add their names as co-sponsors. 
If the agenda is posted prior to the meeting with that list of co-sponsors, however, an item can (and frequently does) have a quorum in support prior to any discussion, thus entirely circumventing the reason for having a meeting at all. 

The Worcester School Committee last week changed its rules: we now get the list of items, let the clerk know what we wish to co-sponsor, but the agenda comes out with only the initial sponsor. Co-sponsors are added to an agenda that is shared only as the meeting begins. 

Co-sponsorship being posted prior to the meeting adds literally nothing to public process. It serves only to get a little extra portion of credit from something accrued to an individual. 
And having it posted ahead certainly is a violation of the open meeting law.