Board of Education Meeting March 24

The board did not vote on the budget at this meeting.  Board member Charles Ramsey was absent, but all other members were in attendance.  About 12 students from the Older Adult program were came to the meeting with their teacher, Jan Duckart,and they were all sitting right up front with brand new signs. They intrepidly sat through several hours of this long meeting, and two spoke in support of their program during public comment. 

Richmond Vice-Mayor Jeff Ritterman came to the meeting to speak on behalf of adult education and stayed for three hours, but had to leave before he was given a chance to speak.

Community members who came in support of adult education included several members of Richmond Progressive Alliance, who brought an enormous sign that just said “Adult School”.  This sign was up during the entire meeting.  For a picture, click on this link: www.richmondprogressivealliance.net.  Adam Kruggel of CCISCO also came for a while, after participating in the march of immigration reform in San Francisco.

The board did vote to move  $2 million from the deferred maintenance fund into a special reserve to be used for class size reduction.  This is the money that was discussed at the special budget workshop on March 15.  There was also a report on the funds that have become available due to changes to the guidelines on the use of Title I and Title II monies; the amount available turns out to be about $4 million.

Older adult students and some other adult education advocates made comments during public comment on this item (the moving of the $2 million), as did several P.E. teachers who will have as many as 60 students in their classes next year.  Both groups pointed out how devastating the cuts to their programs were going to be, and requested that the board find a way to help them as it had found a way to help elementary school programs by reducing class size.  As a result of this discussion, Board Member Tony Thurmond moved that a committee be assigned to look at the affects of the proposed cuts, and this motion was passed unanimously by the board.

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One Response

  1. Thank you, Tony Thurmond! Definitely a move in the right direction. Instead of looking at the actual needs of the program components and populations that will be most severely affected by the proposed cuts, the district has been taking a bean-counting, shifting-of-assets approach. A detailed examination of real-world consequences is what is called for now.

    What would be equally helpful is genuine transparency regarding the budget, especially regarding actual expenditures.

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