Community Budget Meeting at LoVonya DeJean, February 2

The meeting at LoVonya DeJean had more attendees than the one in Pinole, and quite a few adult school students were present.  Many people came to the meeting because COSAS members had visited their churches to talk about the meeting the preceding Sunday. Superintedant Harter and Associate Superintendant Sheri Gamba both said that the adult school program is valuable and remarked that it has a lot of support.  When the idea of eliminating the adult school went down to a resounding defeat there was applause. This is new — in Pinole the idea was defeated, but the audience response was much more staid, except for one Vietnam veteran who had been disabled in the war and been rehabilitated with the help of adult school classes. He spoke quite passionately and said the  idea of eliminating adult education made him very angry. 

However, at LoVonya DeJean  the vote on taking another million dollars away from the adult school was a tie, with large numbers both for and against it and a few in the middle.  This was an improvement over Pinole, where the idea of taking a million dollars away won narrowly, and El Sobrante, where it won handily (66% for). 

People attending these meetings  may not understand that the question of eliminating adult education all at once and the question of taking a million dollars away are essentially the same question. Adult Education is unlikely to survive another million dollar takeaway.  People at the meetings aren’t given any context as to how much money has already been taken away, how much adult education has left, and how much it takes to run the program.

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7 Responses

  1. Maybe at the next meeting statistics should be made available to the audience as to just how much money has been and is being taken away from Adult Ed. Does anyone have that information?

    • Hi Joann,

      We have been passing out a fact sheet, which includes the fact that the district has already taken 3 million dollars from adult education. We have also brought it up orally during the presentation.

  2. Was the presentation any different from El Sobrante or Pinole?

    • Hi Charley,

      It’s pretty much the same presentation. It’s a power point, so there isn’t a lot of room for variation. I have been to three presentations so far, and I would say they have evolved slightly, with Sheri Gamba altering her comments based on the audience. But the questions are always the same.

      • Are there many Board members around to directly lobby. When I was at Hercules there was Madeline and Charles.

        Also, you really need to consider Adult Ed. going under the County Offices of Education like ROP as a possible long-term structural priority. Not that it matters right now.

  3. Hi Charley,

    Good question. Madeleine Kronenberg and Antonio Medrano were at the meeting in El Cerrrito and Antonio Medrano was at the meeting at LoVonya DeJean. There weren’t any board members at the Pinole meeting.

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