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School Board Public Hearing & Workshop on Funding Priorities

Faced with continuing financial strains, the school board for West Contra Costa schools will hold a public hearing and special workshop Wednesday night on setting priorities and finding funding.

The board of the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) will hold a public hearing and workshop Wednesday on what the district's limited revenues should be spent on and potential revenue opportunities.

Most of the meeting will be set aside to hear public comment, the school district said.

The session will be held from 6-8 p.m. at Lovonya DeJean Middle School, 3400 Macdonald Ave., in Richmond. The five-member board acquired two members in the Nov. 6 election, Randall Enos and Todd Groves, who were sworn in on Dec. 12.

Even though the school district benefits financially from the recent passage of Measure G, an extension of the current West Contra Costa parcel tax for academic programs, and state Proposition 30, which is expected to channel more funding for schools, the district says its funding is still below what it was in 2005-06.

A notice for the Wednesday meeting sent by Marin Trujillo, WCCUSD Community Engagement Coordinator, said:

Dear WCCUSD Families,

The passage of Prop 30 and Measure G only provide the resources to prevent even worse budget cuts than the District experienced over the last four years.  With no additional revenues, the question before the community and Board is how to set priorities and look for funding sources when state revenues have not yet reached the level of funding the District received in 2005-06. The West Contra Costa Unified School District Board of Education will hold a special workshop on setting priorities and identifying funding sources and opportunities on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Lovonya DeJean Middle School, 3400 Macdonald Avenue in Richmond. The majority of the meeting will be set aside to hear from members of the public. 

The meeting agenda is attached to this article.

Michael O'Connor December 17, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Put a dollar a week into an account to cover the over-half-a-billion dollar, unfunded retirement liability that the WCCUSD now carries on its books. Many of these retirees "earned" their life time medical coverage by working in the WCCUSD for a short time AFTER retiring from other school districts or agencies.
Giorgio C. December 20, 2012 at 05:46 AM
One item stood out tonight. A parent of a child enrolled at Mira Vista Elementary School pleaded with the board for help with a matter regarding her son. He requires an epi-pen for possible anaphylaxis. The mother reported that the principal told her that there were no teachers trained to administer the epi-pen if needed, that they didn't have the resources to train teachers. A school nurse provided some assistance tonight. Why did this parent have to come to a board meeting for assistance with a medical problem? The principal at this school should have made the effort to resolve this pronto. I am stunned.
Ira Sharenow December 20, 2012 at 07:33 AM
"the district says its funding is still below what it was in 2005-06." WCCUSD Per Student Revenues 2005/06 $9,039 2010/11 $9,735 http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/App_Resx/EdDataClassic/fsTwoPanel.aspx?#!bottom=/_layouts/EdDataClassic/finance/MC-FinanceResults.asp Is it possible to do follow up on the district's assertion?
Giorgio C. December 21, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Class size reduction was the theme of the evening. I am puzzled that this is even an option. How can this be offered when the district has gutted the medical benefits of new hires? We cannot afford to pay our teachers, but now we are being told we might have the option of hiring more? Really? We need to be honest and realistic with our wants. Currently, we are using non-fully credentialed employees to teach. These employees are given the same amount of responsibilities as a credentialed teacher. Either the teaching credential is invalid (a sham) or many kids are being robbed of their right to an education in our district. Which is it? Will we be able to see the data-results of those students who were paired with these non-fully credentialed teachers? I had been a proponent of fully credentialed staff, but I now realize such decisions should be data driven. I will be meeting with the WCCUSD HR Director soon to discuss issues regarding the variety of qualifications that our teachers possess. If anyone has questions, I'll be glad to ask them for you. Someone communicated to me that a newly credentialed teacher does not produce much better results than a partially credentialed Teach For America employee. Maybe the best indicators of success are experience, maturity, and competency, not credentials. If there is a possible paradigm shift with respect to teacher qualifications, our district is primed to take the lead.

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