David Kakishiba doesn’t think the Oakland school district should swipe another $3.3 million from the adult education fund. Such a move would all but shut down adult education in Oakland, leaving only about $1 million in ongoing funds for a program that once had a budget of more than $11 million.
Kakishiba will suggest that change — and others — to the superintendent’s budget proposal at Wednesday’s 5 p.m. school board meeting. His four “adjustments” (See full document below) were discussed by the Finance and Human Resources Committee this week and unanimously forwarded to the full board for a discussion.
The 2011-12 budget is up for approval the following week, on June 29. The most recent OUSD proposal to date is posted below.
THE CASE FOR LEAVING ADULT ED’S REMAINING FUNDS ALONE: Kakishiba said he believes Oakland’s adult education programs will help the district realize its vision of “full-service community schools,” especially since adult ed’s services — GED and school-based family literacy — line up so closely with OUSD’s mission.
Besides, the board member said he wasn’t convinced the administration’s plans for spending that money on high schools line up with the strategic plan the school board is about to vote on tomorrow. He said the idea of launching a centralized academic counseling team (one of the proposed expenditures of the adult ed money) “makes no sense to me.”
The other items on which the funds might be spent, he said, amount to “very small investments in big issues.”
Lastly, he said, California school districts were given only temporary permission to spend their adult education funds on k-12 programs. OUSD can’t rely on that money forever; it is considered a `non-reoccurring’ revenue source and is included in OUSD’s structural budget deficit total, which is now projected to be $15.8 million (page 31).
To reduce that deficit, Kakishiba also wants to restore other programs put on hold during the budget crisis, such as deferred maintenance.
Kakishiba also thinks the district should use $1 million of Measure G parcel tax money for high school electives, rather than middle school electives. Since that money has already been built into middle school budgets, he has proposed covering the cost this year with money from the district’s ending fund balance.
What prompted him to make this proposal now? After years of accepting reports from a state administrator, he said, “The board is beginning to get used to governing.”
ABOUT THAT ENDING FUND BALANCE: On paper, looks incredibly high: $48 million. Here’s the breakdown, according to Page 30 of the superintendent’s budget proposal:
- $8.8 million – required 2 percent reserve
- $15.8 million – for audit findings and “one-time items” (a number that’s nearly $7 million higher than the same line item in the current year’s budget)
- $12.7 million – money OUSD will get if the state gives schools flat funding for 2011-12, but which Deputy Superintendent Vernon Hal isn’t counting on, no matter what Gov. Jerry Brown says (equivalent to $349/student)
- $10.6 million – to cover the state’s deferred payments to OUSD — one of California’s favorite budget-balancing tricks
- $150,000 – revolving cash fund