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Should Oakland restore funds to GED, family literacy?

The Oakland school district can keep family literacy and GED programs at 2010-11 levels next year if the school board gives back $900,000 that the school district administration has proposed taking away, Deputy Superintendent Vernon Hal told school board members in a memo posted on the Wednesday night agenda.

They could do that in two ways:

1) Reduce the district’s cash reserves from 3 percent to 2.8 percent, which would still be above the 2 percent minimum the state requires (earlier this month, a version of Hal’s proposal included a 2 percent reserve, but the state trustee recommended 3 percent, and so did some board members).

2) Take $900,000 of the $2.5 million (swiped) adult ed funding that has been set aside to pay off the district’s early retirement incentive in one fell swoop (along with other funds; the early retirement plan will cost OUSD an estimated $10.4 million). This option would mean the remaining $900,000 originally earmarked to pay for the plan would have to come from future budgets.

Hal made it clear in the memo, however, that he doesn’t think the board should make any changes to the budget. He says it wouldn’t make it to the county superintendent by July 1, and that the state trustee doesn’t recommend changes. But he suggested such changes — in funding allocations — can occur after the budget is submitted, saying the budget is “a living document.”

Do you agree with Hal? What should the board do?

You can read his entire memo here:

Memo on Adult Ed

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • livegreen

    Isn’t lack of enough reserve funds part of what caused OUSD & the Board to drive us towards bankruptcy just a few short years ago? Either Director Kakishiba has a short memory, or he likes taking risks…

  • Katy Murphy

    Actually, Kakishiba’s original proposal for budget adjustments — first publicly discussed at a Finance & HR Committee meeting this month — was to boost the reserve from 2 percent to 3 percent.

  • Katy Murphy

    The meeting’s just getting started. You can watch the live video by going here: http://ousd.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3

  • Katy Murphy

    The motion to restore $900,000 to adult education failed. Kakishiba, Dobbins and Spearman voted to restore the funds; the other four board members voted `no.’

  • Nextset

    I wish there was money to work with all age groups when they are ready to take appropriate education. Money is now short. You can’t finance everybody. The electeds now have to pick and choose who they are primarily interested in. These choices are going to get a lot more unpleasant very soon

    Good luck to all.

  • Livegreen

    Katy, I assume the budget reserve was already at 3%? (I don’t see the Board increasing it from 2 to 3% given all the cuts, unless it was already there).

    Also, I’m not following Kakishiba’s budget recommendations re. the reserves. In summary, in Committee he supports the reserve at 3%, then at the full board mtg (that I watched) cutting it back to fund Adult Ed?