In various news sources, it has been reported that the Pleasanton Unified School District (PUSD) will receive $2.1 million from the federal stimulus act. That isn't quite the whole picture. To get the full view, we must pull back the camera lens.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), became law on February 17, 2009. The act names almost $100 billion for education with half of that available now and the other half available in six months. The largest programs constituting that amount break down as follows (from link):
* $48 billion in stabilization funds
* $13 billion for low-income students through the so-called Title I programs
* $12 billion for students with disabilities, normally called IDEA
* $5 billion for early childhood programs (i.e., Head Start)
* $5 billion in "Race to the Top"
The $2.1 million currently being quoted for PUSD comes from the funds for IDEA Part B and are intended for students with disabilities. But there's been almost no mention of Title XIV of ARRA, called the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF).
Intended to Prevent Teacher Layoffs
The State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) is intended to prevent layoffs of teachers, administrators, and other staff. California, the first state in the nation to receive SFSF monies as of April 17th, has obtained a total of $4.9 billion over two years from SFSF with $3.1 billion of that going to education. According to California's application which was submitted April 1st, the State intends to use roughly 50% of that money to restore cuts to district revenue limits and the other 50% to categorical funding. Since the State budget cuts to education amounted to about $2.4 million, the money from SFSF could completely wipe out the shortfall. This doesn't excuse anyone from returning to status quo spending though.
The Federal stimulus dollars buy California and PUSD plenty of time to reform the way they spend taxpayer money and it would be disappointing to see this opportunity squandered by any attempt to continue wasteful spending. The District has shown an inclination to call the money from ARRA a "one-time" fund. Not to state the obvious, but Measure G is also a "one-time" fund. Not labelling Measure G as "one-time" also gives the appearance that the District fully expects the parcel tax to be renewed by voters in the future. That makes Measure G nothing more than a foot in the door to your wallet.
There also appears to be further opportunity to PUSD in the form of the "Race to the Top" part of the SFSF, which must be applied for. We'd like to see PUSD pursue all available opportunities.
These scare tactics are commonly used by the Edu Unions.. Same tactic different city...
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