Town Square

flexibility in allocating state funds to schools

Original post made by Sandy, Mohr Park, on May 5, 2009

At the last school district meeting I attended, a list of categorical funds that had been reduced by the state was distributed. For instance, pupil testing (STAR, CAHSEE, CELDT) was originally funded at $29,000 for the current fiscal year, but because of the state's takebacks, the district will only receive $24,534. For next year, the district will receive even less -- $23,229.

Some of those reductions in categorical funds come with no additional flexibility -- meaning that the school district still must meet state requirements in order to receive the funds.

However, other categorical funds have been granted temporary flexibility. For the next two fiscal years, the district could accept funds for a particular categorical line item, but not fund that line item -- and use those funds elsewhere in the budget, instead.

For example, class size reduction in grade 9 receives state funding of $404,353 next year. But if the district chooses, it could end class size reduction in grade 9, and use that $400 thousand dollars for some other expense it considers more important. Perhaps, kindergarten class size reduction?

In addition to the option I mentioned above, here's the list of categorical programs that the district has flexibility to redirect spending for:

849,444 school and library improvement block grant
823,619 Instructional Materials Fund
670,026 professional development block grant
667,421 Adult Education
642,694 Supplemental Hourly Programs
516,645 Deferred Maintenance
515,326 teacher credentialing block grant
404,890 Counselors (grades 7-12)
206,208 arts and music block grant
202,811 CalSAFE
200,485 Carl Washington Safety Grant (at-risk counselors)
107,059 Gifted and Talented Education
175,832 Physical Education Teacher Recruitment Grants
58,682 Peer Assistance and Review
56,711 Community Day Schools
54,120 Community Based English Tutoring
48,927 pupil retention block grant
41,525 high school exit exam

(I retyped this from a two-page spreadsheet that I received at the April 7 board meeting. I also re-ordered it from biggest to smallest dollar amount. Any errors are my own.)

Of the items on this list, which would you recommend that the school district use in some other way?


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Posted by come out, come out wherever you are!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Where did all those folks who know howta balance budgets go?

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Posted by Question for Sandy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Can you tell me what Peer Assistance and Review is?
Also what funds for teacher credentialing block grant and physical education recruitment grants are used for?
Thank you.

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Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 7, 2009 at 6:48 am

Here are the blurbs I have from the district:

AB 825 Teacher Credentialing Block Grant
These funds are used to provide support for the TV/TIP Program which trains new teachers to the profession and allows experienced and talented teacher coaches to work with teachers during their first two years. New teachers who complete the program meet the state requirements for a clear professional teaching credential.

Peer Assistance and Review (PAR)
These funds are used to assist teachers identified by administration as needing additional support to be effective in the classroom, for those voluntarily seeking assistance to improve in a specific area, for stipends for teacher coaches and PAR committee participants, for teacher representatives on the district staff development planning committee and to provide training for all teachers.

Physical Education Teacher Recruitment Grants
These funds have been used to provide additional PE teacher staffing to reduce student teacher ratios in grades one and two and as funds are available, third and kindergarten classes (from 40-1 to 20-1).

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Posted by Question for Sandy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 7, 2009 at 8:37 am

Thank you Sandy

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Posted by Parent who is voting NO ON G
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2009 at 1:10 pm

News Flash Saturday May 9, 2009 (you won't get this info on the PUSD website!)

The California Department of Education just released how much each district gets for ARRA fund (released on Saturday at:Web Link

Pleasanton will receive $4,244,533! So this in on top of the $2.5 million for special ed so so far we have $6,744,533 of federal money coming to our district. And there is more! The CDE website said this $4.25 million is for general purpose. They will release the numbers of how much more we will receive for categorical programs in June!

NO NEED FOR A PARCEL TAX THIS YEAR! The federal money more than pays for all the programs listed in the Measure G wish list.