Six hours later …
Here’s the quick and dirty rundown from the school board’s six hour gabfest last night/this morning:
*As expected, unanimous no for Renaissance Leadership Academy charter school. It remains to be seen whether they appeal to the county board of ed like the Alameda Community Learning Center, whose expansion plans were nixed by the school board last month.
*The board deadlocked 2-2 on plans to clear space for an overflow of kindergartners at Otis, Edison and Ruby Bridges, on Trustee Tracy Lynn Jensen’s request to hold off on plans to kick Girls, Inc. of the rooms they’re using for day care, since the school is apparently facing a lottery either way.
*Folks were none too pleased about the district’s proposed $3.5 million in cuts over the next two
years, and dozens of them let the school board know it. Apparently, people don’t think cutting little “extras” like high school sports, elementary music, class size reduction, and a couple of schools is a good idea. And some felt were the cuts inequitably meted out (particularly to Encinal High School, which would lose its JROTC program, a vice principal and clerical help). Board Vice President Mike McMahon said he would vote no on any cuts, dumping the problem back in the state’s lap. Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed $4 billion less for education this coming year, which translates into a $4.5 million cut for Alameda schools. The board, which has to hand out pink slips to teachers and staff by mid-March, will vote on the proposed cuts Tuesday. The governor will release a revised budget proposal in May.
*The board appears likely to place a parcel tax on the ballot June 3. It could be temporary, like the last two parcel taxes passed here – that’s what folks at veteran political strategist Larry Tramultola’s firm say could pass – though some parents think it should be permanent. A group of parents organized under the banner Keep Alameda Schools Excellent is supporting the tax (they’re at http://www.alamedaschools.org/). Homeowners are looking at $120 a year, though some argue it should be more. The board will probably vote to put some kind of tax on the ballot next Tuesday.
More to come …