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By now, you have probably heard that district funding for our school’s science program is in jeopardy. Additional discussion on Innovative Program spending will happen at the January 24th Board of Education meeting, but the vote will be taken on this topic at the Board’s meeting on February 14th. Read on for steps you can take and the background surrounding this issue.

 

What Can You Do?

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, January 24th, at 6:30 PM and Tuesday, February 14th, at 6:30 PM. We encourage you to share your concerns with the School Board in one of these two ways:

  • Speak at the upcoming January 24th Board Meeting (each speaker gets 2 minutes max.)
  • Send your comments via email (emails must be received by 5:00 pm on the day before the meeting)

 

Speak Out

The PTA has developed talking points that we would like to raise at the January 24th meeting and are looking for parents to speak. If you are interested in reading one of the prepared comments at the School Board meeting, please contact Jen Russo ASAP. Of course, it is valuable to share your own personal narratives and reasonings as well, so you are welcome to share your own personal comments. And yes, students can make comments as well!

Send an Email

If you prefer to send a comment via email to the board, it must be received by 5:00 pm on January 23, 2023, so that it can be distributed to Board Trustees before the Board meeting. Public comments can be sent to publiccomments@alamedaunified.org. Here are email addresses for the Superintendent and Board Members as well: pscuderi@alamedaunified.org, hlittle@alamedaunified.org, msweet@alamedaunified.org, gklym@alamedaunified.org, rlalonde@alamedaunified.org, jennwilliams@alamedaunified.org.

 

If you do not want to draft your own message, we have developed two templates for you to choose from:

Regardless of which version you opt to use, please be sure to include your personal information where noted.

Join the Meeting

You can access the virtual 6:30 pm January 24th Board of Education Meeting at:

https://alamedaunified.zoom.us/j/82769129867?pwd=cXFWWXl0V2hBcy9BT2lqaXBsYTc3Zz09

Meeting ID: 827 6912 9867

Passcode: 057427

Background

January 10th School Board Meeting Recap

The full Budget Proposal presentation from the January 10th Board of Education meeting can be found here. The video recording of this topic can be seen here and includes the Superintendent’s presentation, public comments, and board member discussions.

 

In budget planning for the 23-24 school year, it was identified that only two elementary schools have Innovative Programs funded through the school district’s General Fund–Science at Earhart and Arts at Maya Lin. Three other schools (Paden, Love, & Ruby Bridges) have Innovative Programs that are funded with LCFF supplemental funds related to their Title 1 status. Earhart’s Innovative Program funding via the district was approved in January 2012. (Page 30)

 

Superintendent Scuderi recommends gradually reducing this funding by 1/3 beginning in the 24-25 school year and by 2/3 in the 25-26 school year. The remaining 1/3 of funding is projected to come from Prop. 28 monies. His reasoning boils down to inequity–if only two schools are being funded through the General Fund, then to make it fair, funding should be eliminated. He states that the program’s value is not under question; rather, that General Fund monies should go towards district-wide actions, services, and initiatives. He cites an “alternative revenue stream” to cover the funding cut, assumedly local site funds (of which Earhart has very little) or PTA fundraising dollars. (Page 35)

January 24th Meeting

The full Budget Proposal presentation from the January 24th Board of Education meeting can be found here. Below is a summary of the information specific to Earhart.

 

The approval of Innovative Program funding in 2012 for Earhart & Maya Lin was meant to serve as a district model and was conditional based on multiple goals:

  • Developing partnerships with other AUSD schools by January 2013, with the end goal of those schools seeking funding for comparable implementation by the end of the 13-14 school year.
  • Submit a science programming guide by April 2013 to be considered alongside the future of the program funding.

 

Additionally, the funding received from the general fund is supposed to be used for “base programming.” LCFF supplemental funds (received by Title 1 schools) are not supposed to be used for “base programming.” In short, the argument sounds like it will be: if Earhart & Maya continues to receive general fund $$ for science, then that implies science is “base programming.” Since Title 1 schools cannot use their LCFF funds for base programming, then those three schools (Paden, Love, & Ruby Bridges) would also need to receive comparable allocations from the general fund.