Alameda’s Board of Education rode herd on a contentious discussion Tuesday about space for Alameda Unified’s charter schools that exposed the rising tensions over space.
Updated at 12:53 p.m. Thursday, January 9 in bold
Schools leaders are expected to put a bond measure on the November ballot for repair and replacement of Alameda’s aged schools. So how much will you pay if voters approve it, and what will the money pay for?
The board’s likely electoral route – a vote under the rules of Proposition 39, which allows bonds to be issued with 55 percent voter approval – will mean limits on the amount of money property owners can be charged to pay for them each year and also, the amount of debt the district can take on.
Alameda’s public school parents have been pushing for security upgrades in the wake of a mass murder at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. and a rash of frightening incidents at schools here on the Island.
The school district is accepting proposals for new magnet schools and innovative school programs that could be open for business by the fall of 2015.
Assistant Superintendent Barbara Adams said some schools have expressed interest in starting a new program, but nothing specific is in the works yet. Proposals for new programs will be due in June, while those from schools seeking to copy existing programs are due a few months earlier, in March.
Brand-new programs that win school board approval would open in the fall of 2016, while programs that replicate existing innovative or magnet programs would open a year earlier, in 2015.
Alameda's Board of Education discussed new opportunities for school choice programs, money for the Common Core rollout, did a quick seat shuffle and more. Here's the tweet by tweet.
Alameda’s school board got a rundown Tuesday on what one trustee called the “brave new world” of school funding that school districts across California are entering as the state begins its rollout of a new school funding formula this year.
The new funding formula could mean more money for Alameda’s schools over the eight years it is rolled out, though it may also mean greater oversight of the way school districts spend the state money that makes up the bulk of most districts’ funding.
“Local control is an illusion, people,” said school board member Mike McMahon, referring to the title of the new funding program, local control funding formula.
Leaders and parents from the Nea Community Learning Center pitched the Board of Education on renewing the school’s charter at the board’s meeting Tuesday night.
School districts across the nation are implementing new Common Core State Standards intended to bring schools’ college and career readiness efforts into the 21st century, and exercises like Lee’s offer a glimpse of what parents and students can expect to see more of when the effort is fully rolled out next year.
Alameda’s schools leaders are facing a fresh teacher contract issue this fall: Whether to approve a fresh raise for teachers that would take effect next July – or face the possibility that the contract could end up back in the hands of a mediator.
The contract approved at the end of February offers a 2.5 percent permanent raise that was retroactive to July 2012 and an additional raise of 0.75 percent for the 2012-2013 school year that was concluding as it was inked. Teachers got an additional 1.25 percent raise for this school year alone.
Denise Langowski is excited to be a participant in the school lunch revolution. On Monday, she dished out 100 orders of chili cheese fries for students at Will C. Wood Middle School, and during a visit to the district’s central kitchen at Wood on Tuesday she proudly displayed cartons packed with beef teriyaki, perfectly browned baked chicken and a neat tray of lovingly crafted and quartered chicken salad sandwiches.
The district rolled out new school menus this year that feature a broader range of meal choices, created using more fruit, vegetables and whole grains.