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District set to slash child care programs

Submitted by on 1, August 10, 2010 – 5:00 am4 Comments

Alameda Unified School District officials are getting set to cut toddler and school-age child care programs for next year in anticipation of state funding cuts to those programs.

Toddler and school-age programs offered at Woodstock Child Development Center, Ruby Bridges Elementary School and Haight Elementary School will cease after August 27. But the district’s other preschool programs will remain in place, district officials are set to tell the Board of Education tonight, and they’re expected to serve 100 children during the school year.

Alameda Unified is one of many California school districts shuttering child care programs, district officials said, because without a state budget in place, they’re not sure the state will be paying for them this year. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s May budget proposal slashes funding for the programs, though Democrats who control the state Legislature want to maintain that funding.

Woodstock Child Development Center director Carol Barton notified families on July 26 that the programs would be eliminated. The toddler program served 24 children year-round last year; the school-age care program served 120 children.

Also on the school board’s agenda tonight: The board will consider a $320,000 loan to the new Academy of Alameda Middle School, which is set to open its doors in the former home of Chipman Middle School this fall. The district is seeking to loan the charter the money to assist it with cash flow problems district officials said will be caused by deferrals of state funding for the school.

The one-year loan is expected to be paid back, with 2 percent interest, by June 30, 2011.

Also, the board will consider layoff notices that are expected to save the district about $390,000 next year. The bulk of the savings would come from cuts to special education services.

4 Comments »

  • David Howard says:

    If you dig a little bit, I think you will find that the funding for WCDC is separate from funding for K-12 programs. In other words, parcel tax money doesn’t/wouldn’t fund these programs. At least that’s my understanding from talking to some folks within WCDC.

    Also, special ed receives federal funding as well, under IDEA 2004. I think it’s important to make the distinctions about funding streams and not lump everything together.

  • Anne DeBardeleben says:

    This evening was a very upsetting BOE meeting. Alameda families desperate for reasonable childcare are hit hard by the loss of Prop 98 funding which covers WCDC programs.

    Special ed programs are mandated but not fully fundedby the Feds.

    Let’s give these families facing very real, very difficult challanges respect by not turning their loss of support into political rhetoric. Bottom line, if AUSD was fully funded – whether directly by the state or through a parcel tax – these famiies would not be facing these hardships.

  • David Howard says:

    Ann – some have argued to me that it’s our host turning their stories into political rhetoric by writing a story that may leave one with the impression that their plight is rooted in the failure to pass Measure E. (By not identifying funding sources for the program.)

    And what exactly does “fully funded” mean? Does “fully funded” include core education for K-12? K-12 + WCDC? K-12 plus WCDC plus Special Ed? All of that plus separate schools – the Woodstock School, plus the Singleton location, to support it? Who gets to define what’s included in “fully funded?” You?

  • Hot R says:

    What exactly are you arguing David? That the District HAS the money to fund Woodstock (supplied by a generous Federal and State government), but furtively and immorally has chosen to cut the child care services to poor people to tug upon our hearstrings to clear the path for a new parcel tax?

    Even if this preposterous notion was true, it is not a good tactic, given the fact that these people are not the power brokers in our system, and few people in Alameda can see themselves in their shoes.

    Adult education along with childhood education has to be the first thing to go, given the District’s core mission toward its K-12 population, but from an educational standpoint, we are clearly shooting ourselves in the foot. What a shame on all the shortsighted voters who were penny wise but pound foolish when it came to supporting our responsibilities to kids.

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