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Alternative Education Programs with PUSD

Original post made by Sally, Foothill Knolls, on Jun 21, 2011

Tonights Board report failed to give us a picture of who the students are that make up the enrollment of the Alternative Programs with PUSD. How many of the students in the alternative programs are students of Pleasanton Unified and how many are being served on inter-district transfers?

How many pregnant teens attending Horizon are Pleasanton students?
Does the ADA collected for students enrolled from outside PUSD pay the full cost of providing services to pregnant teens, or identiifed special ed students enrolled in Alternative Ed programs?

The staff statement there is a misperception in who makes up the enrollment of alternative ed programs at Horizon, Village, Home Schooling, Independent Study.
Show us the data? What are the numbers of students, how many are transfers in, how many of Horizon students are repeat students, how much money is received in ADA from outside Districts for these services.

What is the cost of these programs in comparison to small enrollments being served??? The staff described sounds very costly.

Comments (12)

Posted by Jill
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 21, 2011 at 9:58 pm

A few years ago a board member did ask for the data for Horizon. It turns out that most of the students at Horizon were not from Pleasanton. They are inter-district transfers. The source districts were also not contributing to the cost for the special program so Pleasanton was picking up the tab for the additional services.

One of the services our district provides for Horizon is transportation. We we are picking up students from outside of Pleasanton and bringing them back, all being paid for by PUSD.

I do not know if changes have been made in the last few years to change any of this. Horizon is a great program but it is not cheap. It is also not right that we are taking funds out of our general fund, which the district tells us is insufficient, to pay for programs for students for other districts.

The amount of money we pay for childcare plus transportation for Horizon is quite a bit. If a lot of the students are not from Pleasanton then we should probably look at making this a regional program where each district that uses this program pays their share. While the Horizon program is successful and a great program, paying for this does mean that we do not have money for other programs like reading specialists.

Posted by Educated
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Just another example of waste and mismanagement. Truly, this is not rocket science. It is also mis-management. If you ran a business, and let outside people come in and use your desks, phones, computers, use your vans for personal delivery, use the accounting department to do their billing ... that manager would be gone in a heartbeat. Not in education, where administrators are seen as especially "keen" if they can finagle the budget. (You know this is a true statement). It's pure mis-management. No and's, if's or but's. More importantly, it would take 10 minutes to point at the 1 or 2 people that are allowing this to happen. Okay 9 minutes, cause it's not that hard of a problem.

Posted by Not just Horizon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm

The problem with out of district students is not limited to the alternative programs or to Horizon. I know of students who live out of the district and attend the traditional PUSD schools.

These students bring ADA money but since it is now not enough, is it time to change the way we run things?

The high schools are very crowded for instance and yet they have allowed out of district students in. The ADA money we receive for them is not enough to finance their education, so why is PUSD allowing out of district students to attend an already crowded school?

Posted by Marie
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Although there are valid questions being asked here, please keep in mind that we are talking about students. The children benefit from these programs The goal of every adult should be to educate and nurture all students. To consider disbanding any of these programs without an equitable resolution would be ludicrous.

Posted by Not just Horizon
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2011 at 7:43 pm


they may be students, but not Pleasanton residents. So are you suggesting that we educate every student in need? It should be up to each district to educate its students.

I like the idea proposed above about making the Horizon program a regional one and make every district that wishes to participate to share the costs.

PUSD cannot afford to educate its own students! How can they justify educating students who do not live in Pleasanton?

Posted by curious
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 22, 2011 at 7:45 pm

"PUSD cannot afford to educate its own students!"

Why not?

Posted by I Support Alt. Ed.
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm

We are not talking about large numbers of students at Horizon--I believe tne annual enrollment at Horizon is very small, perhaps 30-40 students? And of that number maybe a few need special ed. services? The district does receive the ADA funding for them; there are only two full-time teachers there.
Horizon is an excellent program for these young women; they have a good grad rate. Students are helped with college and career prep so that they can move on with their lives, even as teen parents. I don't believe that most of them are from out-of-district. The district is pretty strict about inter-district transfers for all students, esp. for alternative ed. Parents must have good reasons to be granted an inter-district transfer.

Posted by jill
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 23, 2011 at 5:29 pm

You should check with the district on this. A few years ago most of the students were from outside the district as this was a special program. I believe part of the issue is if they only had Pleasanton students then the enrollment would be 5 or 6 people and they could not justify doing this program at all. Also, it is not limited to women. They have had men in this program. Yes it is an excellent program. But when finances are tough and we are cutting programs for Pleasanton students and asking the Pleasanton taxpayers for a parcel tax, and at the same time we are providing this program to students outside the district and we have to pay for it, that is the issue.

The ADA money we receive from the state is the same as any other student. The cost of this program is significantly higher than the ADA money so the general fund is making up the difference.

Posted by They've had men in the program?
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jun 23, 2011 at 9:50 pm

I'm so glad they've had men in the program. That's the way it should be - the young women AND men should both go.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jul 3, 2011 at 4:51 am

I believe when budgets are cut drastically.....we should be focusing on the major subject areas, reading, math, writing, etc.....not special programs that provide free transportation. I've always wondered where the equity comes in with Horizon students and special education students being transported to and from their homes. The rest of the student population doesn't get transported to and from school - why are these students? Parents are required to get their child to school in all Pleasanton schools - so why are these students being given free transportation. It doesn't seem right and I feel it's one area we could cut back on. Either transportation for all (highly unlikely) or transportation for NONE. It seems like the correct thing to do in these times.

Posted by joanna
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 8, 2011 at 8:19 pm

The special education students who are provided with transportation are severely disabled. If you've ever had to transport a child in a wheelchair like I have, you would hopefully understand this. The girls ar Horizon are either pregnant or have an infant or toddler to take to school, along with the strollers, diaper bags, backpacks, etc. Transportation may be provided to them also, to enable them to earn their diplomas while facing the challenges of being a teen parent as well. Educating "at-risk" students does cost more than students who do not have these challenges. Not every child has family members who are available or willing to help them out. I am proud that our community has these programs to help these young people continue their education.

Posted by p-town mom and teacher
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jul 19, 2011 at 8:50 am

As a past employee of Horizon HS, yes there is a large number of students out of district that attend and yes they are at high risk status. Should we educate our own first? Absolutely, however this is public education and it serves all children including out of district. Theses students are held to CA standards are successfully placed in internships during while completing their units and caring for their children. The aim is to break the perpetual cyle of teens having babies, their own districts are not safe and do not offer the quality education we do. Many of these students move onto Las Positas College or work in our community. That is an asset and they give back to their communities. With that said. These are bad economic times and we need to weigh out the benefits vs the long term affects of this societial problem.

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