Education news column leads with item on changing school boundaries.
Here’s the story on the ouster of seven principals as part of Hayward Unified restructuring. A lot of parents are upset, and at least one of the fliers going around advises them to get to City Hall as early as 5 p.m. to make sure they get into the chamber. Could be a crowded house. Here’s the agenda.
While the Hayward Unified school board didn’t actually vote on whether to place a $58 parcel tax before voters come June, they indicated at Wednesday night’s public hearing that a majority of trustees support it.
Board President Jesus Armas laid it out in a manner reminiscent of a geometric proof, asking questions to hear givens from Asst. Supt. of Business Services Stanley “Data” Dobbs that led to his conclusion that yes, a parcel tax should be placed before voters.
Did state triggers recently mean another $900,000 hit to the district? Yes.
Has the district seen a loss of funding to the tune of $26 million over the past three years? Yes.
Has the district taken steps that could be considered Draconian to deal with those cuts? Yes.
Is an increase in classroom size one of the ways that the cuts have been reflected? Yes.
Have employees already made concessions? Yes.
“We’ve already grabbed all the low-hanging fruit,” Dobbs said.
“I have no reservations,” Armas said, adding that as leaders, they need to go forward with whatever measures possible within the district because the state has trashed public education funding to the point where it “is not acceptable.”
The tax would collect $58 annually from about 35,000 parcels in Hayward, with an estimated 5,000 opting for the senior exemption, according to Dobbs. That adds up to $2 million a year for the district, or $10 million over the life of the parcel tax.
While that’s not going to cover an ongoing $7.4 million deficit cited in the staff report for this fiscal year, Supt. Donald Evans called it a “beneficially small yet significant first step to bringing the community together to support local schools.”
Trustee Maribel Heredia agreed with Armas, saying they “can’t wait for the state to do the right thing, we have to take matters in our own hands.”
Trustees William McGee and Lisa Brunner were also supportive, albeit with more reservations. Brunner said the tax must be coupled with an audit of programs so they can make sure the money is being spent wisely and not on things that haven’t been working. She compared it to a house that needs a new roof.
“You can add three roofs before you get rid of the old one, but sooner or later you’ll have to get rid of it,” she said.
Trustee Luis Reynoso said the district is wasteful and that the $2 million that would be reaped annually is about the same as what is “squandered.” He pointed to the hire of Asst. Supt. Francesca Sanchez in the fall as money that wasn’t budgeted but spent without due process, and said the district’s project bidding process is faulty. He also said that homeowners are in trouble, with many foreclosures and vacancies, and that it is also a period of underemployment. He concluded that the tax “might be necessary, it might not be but the way it was put together was very fast and sloppy.” He said they should go to the community first, “find out their needs, not just look at bullet points on a poll.”
About a half dozen teachers and the head of the HEA spoke in favor of the tax. Opposition included John Kyle, who vowed to fight it and said trustees need to go after the parents of truant students.
The tax would need two-thirds approval. Draft text of what would appear on the ballot:
To protect critical education programs, with funds that cannot be taken by the State, including:
- math, reading, writing and hands-on science classes/lab;
- enhancing library services, technology and college preparation programs;
- providing programs for all students to meet State academic standards; and
- attracting and retaining qualified teachers;
shall Hayward Unified School District be authorized to levy $58 per parcel annually, for five years, with an exemption for senior citizens, mandatory citizens’ oversight and all money used for classrooms in the Hayward schools?
Story to come, vote is expected at the next meeting in March. The New Haven district decided this week to go ahead with a much larger parcel tax. Castro Valley trustees said earlier this year that they would not.
Here’s some news from the Hayward Area Historical Society. Each year, they honor local residents, organizations and businesses that are history minded, and for 2011 they’re seeking the public’s help in coming up with some candidates. They’d like to hear from you by the end of the mo nth.
The Daily Review received one in 2006, a few years before I landed at the paper. I took a photo of the black obelisk award, attempting for some kind of dramatic perspective.
Submissions can be made by mail:
ATTN: History Award Nominees
Hayward Area Historical Society
22392 Foothill Blvd.
Hayward, CA 94541-2710
By phone: (510) 581-0223 ask for Alison
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find press release after the jump, but feel free to also bounce some ideas around in the HayWord comments, too, it could be fun! Continue Reading
UPDATE, 9/6: Here’s the story that came out yesterday.
We had an overview story about the API scores coming out, with emphasis on No Child Left Behind. Oakland education reporter Katy Murphy also blogged about it, asking readers what they think of NCLB and whether it should be revamped.
There was a full chart on all schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties in today’s paper. You can find a link to the results in the above story, or find the state’s API report for Hayward here.
I spoke with the principal at Longwood for a while yesterday, will be talking with district regarding HUSD results for a Hayward-specific story slated to run over the weekend. Notables: Longwood, Burbank and Harder, which all underwent a transformation, made significant improvements, with Burbank being the biggest gainer at 79 points. Longwood rose by 75, Harder by 50. New to the Program Improvement list this year are Fairview and Strobridge Elementary and Ochoa Middle schools, although all made their API improvement goals, Strobridge and Ochoa for all subgroups. Ochoa, in fact, saw a gain of 46 API points. Compare that to the district as a whole, which rose by 8 (still making target). Faith Ringgold has the highest score in the district, while Leadership Public Schools – Hayward is tops for all schools within the city, including charters.
Dept. of Ed press release is after the jump, with more links to data. Continue Reading
In addition to a budget revision and report, various items related to employee reduction and a public hearing on HUSD’s contract proposal to the teacher’s union, there will be an update on the progress of school construction related to Measure I funds at Wednesday’s meeting. Still on schedule and under budget, as it was in the January update story. But the packet included some interesting aerial shots of the current state of the sites, here they are. Continue Reading
It’s oral and written history time over at the Hayward Area Historical Society, where they want to hear your fondest memories of Hayward, Cherryland, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, Mt. Eden, Ashland, Fairview or old Russell City. They’re putting together an exhibit for the new museum space, which is under construction in the former Kumbala building at Foothill and Russell in downtown Hayward. The exhibit, scheduled to open in the fall, will feature memories of residents tied to the Hayward area, both of the recorded and written variety.
We were just talking about good ideas for the Hayward mural, here’s another chance to share some of your treasured or poignant moments. Deadline is April 30.
Read some examples, find out how to submit after the jump. Bonus: Historical photos, courtesy HAHS! Continue Reading
You’ve probably heard the tragic story that happened last week involving the Hayward High School students. We’re keeping an ear out for updates, but I received a press release that was e-mailed to me by relatives of the twins. We’re not releasing any names at this point because of the nature of the case.
Here’s the family statement, which they want to be shared: Continue Reading