Monday, June 15, 2009 | It isn’t the issue of a request for reimbursement for an 85 cent cookie from a man making nearly $25,000 per month. The issue is that after the expense of the conference that encouraged a quorum of board members (Brown Act), two staff members and the superintendent to be “innovative” in the spending of $60,000,000 in new federal funds, the result is an increase in class sizes across the district and a list of significant reductions of services to students. This kind of innovation will not impress Arne Duncan, or the legislators they met with. While they claim their intent was to encourage the Governor to send the money to the districts without reservations, that is exactly what they intend to do in the district. Instead of supporting all eligible students, they will choose a high school cluster of schools from some board member’s area and give it to them based on last minute plans.
To put this in perspective we should keep in mind the district was only giving half of its $40 million dollar regular Title 1 allocation to the widest range of schools possible. This $20 million was going to serve the academically fragile students that exist in schools across the district based on Free and Reduced Lunch counts. Now the district is to receive and additional $30 million dollars by end of summer, half again more than the initial amount sent to service schools and it won’t get to the students in an equitable distribution without district reservations. The district has yet to communicate with its state mandated parent involvement groups regarding the distribution of these funds. What hope can we have in an organization that chronically doesn’t know what is appropriate or legal when spending money for our most fragile students. It makes you wonder what else they didn’t know was wrong.