Cutting sports, music, staff, teachers and more

Judging by the number of emails flying and heated conversations about town, it certainly seems like all of Alameda is abuzz with discussions of just what will be cut from the schools. All these are on the table: elementary school music, high school sports (schools without sports?), middle school counselors, high school administrators, closing swim centers, cutting advanced placement courses, raising elementary class size, reducing janitorial and secretarial support. And while we all, of course, have different priorities about how we’d go about cutting, the bottom line is all these cuts are painful and ALL of them will take place in the next school year or in ’09-’10 if the proposed cuts at the state level are passed and the district doesn’t find alternate sources of revenue.

In addition to voting on the cuts, the school board, which meets tomorrow at Chipman at 6:30 p.m., will vote on the language for a parcel tax, which they hope to place on the ballot in June. The draft language presented at last week’s board meeting was for a $120 per parcel tax, with a per square footage tax for commercial properties. Seniors can opt out, as can those on disability. Like it or not, the onus for funding schools is being shifted from the state to local communities. Even our giant neighbors to the north across the estuary just made their $195 per parcel tax permanent.


  • lb050nit

    Elimination and cuts from education has to be one of the dumbest ideas in Alameda history. Whats next, genocide? 1st Alameda decides to eliminate the Buena Vista Apartments, eliminate a lot of housing opportunities, on top of forcing elderly and handicapped people out of the west end, and now eliminate sports along with teachers and support staff. Wow! Now I wonder, who will gain from all of this? It feels like a political “Modern Day Genocide attempt.” I know one thing, its time for a change and its not the time to move backwards. Alameda was once a diverse town with different cultures and different opinions. Currently there is one culture bulying all of the rest. A POLITICAL MESS.

  • Susan Davis

    Lb050, I agree, it’s a political (and financial) mess. But it’s not the district’s fault. They’re being forced to cut $4.5 million from their budget, because the governor is cutting the amount of state funding going to the public schools. Given that AUSD has cut $7 million from its budget over the last 7 years, they don’t have a lot of “fat” to cut anymore.

    If you need a focus for your anger, I’d suggest writing to your state representatives, and demanding that the state government provide the schools with the funding that it is constitutionally required to provide. (Right now Schwarzenegger is proposing that the state NOT provide those funds, which is why districts all up and down the state are cutting programs left and right. Truly–it’s not just Alameda.)

    You can find sample letters (as well as addresses) on the AUSD website, under the “Governor’s Budget” menu link.

    Also, I believe that it was the landlord who closed the Buena Vista apartments, not the city of Alameda. And yes, that was a blow to the school district.