Friday, October 18, 2013

UPDATE: Correction 2:15 on the Video You Decide - Sacramento School Kids Paying for City's Privatization Scheme?

At last night's SCUSD board meeting there was a proposal to "lease" Fremont Adult School to the Studios for the Performing Arts Operating Company. A wonderful concept when you follow the presentation. My first thought was WOW! great Idea! Then I heard the "rest". I assumed who the champions and who the uninformed were by the defenses offered and questions asked. I don't want to spoil it for you by telling you the ending. You can view the video of the meeting  by Tuesday Oct. 22, it will be available at The Fremont Adult School is at the end of the meeting Correction  2:15 on the Video  (but at the beginning of the meeting is a great presentation of the Common Core and Assessment in SCUSD 0:43 on the Video).

There will be more on the Fremont Adult School Deal at the next board meeting (November 7, 2013). I do have a few questions and maybe you will too.   

What has happened to Adult Ed in SCUSD since Fremont Adult School closed? A little data?

If we can't afford to keep 7 schools open for a $1.5 million, how can we gift a multi-million dollar facility for $40 bucks?


Is this the great proposal "that's not a charter school" "that everyone will love" that City Council-member Jay Schenirer mentioned or is there another Privatization Monster hiding around the corner?

If you guys love the arts so much, hit KJ up for some parking revenue instead?

Below you will find some food for thought, tune in to the next board meeting for some interesting answers!

1. Win-Win Collaboration: Conceptual discussion with Performing Arts groups began in January 2013 (except several board members were not informed, oops!)

A District asset is being repurposed through multiple partnerships (SCUSD, City of Sacramento, Studios for the Performing Arts Operating Company [Company]) to instill arts in education and bring education into the arts; to enhance the communities performing arts experience and provide a permanent home to Sacramento’s arts organizations that will be known as the E. Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts
Lease Agreement Between City Of Sacramento and Sacramento City Unified School District for Use Of Fremont Site

Power Point Presentation of Lease Agreement 

2 Sacramento City district trustees vote to close seven schools

By Melody Gutierrez
Trustees in the Sacramento City Unified School District voted 4-3 to close seven schools at the end of this school year after a lengthy school board meeting Thursday night.
The schools that will be closed are Washington, Maple, Collis P. Huntington, Fruit Ridge, Joseph Bonnheim,Mark Hopkins and Clayton B. Wire. Trustees Jeff Cuneo, Patrick Kennedy, Jay Hansen and Darrel Woo voted in favor of the closures, while Gustavo Arroyo, Diana Rodriguez and Christina Pritchett voted against them.
Board members were scheduled to vote on the closure of 10 elementary schools on Thursday, but three were pulled from the list at the start of the meeting. Superintendent Jonathan Raymond said concerns raised about the closure of Susan B. Anthony, Bret Harte and James Marshall warranted a second look.
Raymond said enrollment at Susan B. Anthony and Bret Harte will be affected by residential developments planned near the schools. The superintendent said he heard objections from some James Marshall parents whose children would have been zoned for A.M. Winn, which is transitioning to a Waldorf-inspired school.
The board is scheduled to vote on whether to close Tahoe Elementary or Mark Twain Elementary at a March 7 meeting.
"School closures are a part of what needs to happen in our district," School board president Jeff Cuneo said. "The fact is we have not enough kids for our schools at this time." Read the Rest Sacramento City district trustees vote to close seven schools | The Sacramento Coalition to Save Public Education
Despite these concerns and the closure committee’s recommendations, district officials are waving off the lawsuit as a waste of time and money. In a statement, district superintendent Jonathan Raymond said:
“…it’s unfortunate that the District must now spend tens of thousands of dollars to defend an unsubstantiated and baseless lawsuit. The decision four months ago to close seven of our most under-enrolled schools was precipitated by the current and ongoing budgetary burden of operating and staffing these schools.” AlterNet

3 Arena plan puts the 'king' in parking

City Parking Supply Will Shrink—But Profits Expected To Triple?
The revenue generated by the city’s parking spaces (not just downtown, but citywide) creates a $9 million profit to the city. In order for the arena financing plan to work, it must generate enough money to pay off that $220 million debt in 35 years, and replace a portion of the $9 million in lost revenue that currently goes to the General Fund. A $220 million bond with a 35-year term and 5% interest requires payments of about $16 million per year. The “backfill revenue” chart on the Term Sheet assumes $3 million from increased parking revenue and $625,000 from parking revenue during ESC events. Thus, in order for the arena plan to break even, parking profits have to increase from $9 million per year to $20 million per year, with 70% as much downtown parking, effectively a tripling of parking revenue profits while losing one-third of the parking spaces that supply the revenue. The only way to accomplish that goal is to dramatically raise parking rates, and increase metered hours for the on-street parking spaces that represent more than half the downtown parking supply.
 Sacramento Press /  $212.5 million in bonds to be repaid by future parking revenues.

4 At Fremont School for Adults, State Cuts Take a Casualty

Foster youth students who may have fallen through the cracks in the Sacramento City Unified School District always had one last hope at the end of the education continuum: The Fremont School for Adults. Fremont’s fully accredited High School Completion program provides the opportunity to earn credits necessary for high school graduation, and includes two classes specifically for youths who age out of the foster care system.
Barring a financial miracle, the school will close permanently on June 18.
The FSA closure will displace 2,000 students in the fall. More than 15 classes will be dropped including two classes serving ”aged out” foster youth who use the facility for accelerated credits to graduate from high school.
“The students are the same kids who failed in community college due to weak English skills, or have dropped out of high school, ” said Victoria Hass, a concerned ESL teacher who works for Sacramento Unified School District. (SCUSD)
“We are scrambling with emergency fundraising to raise $1.5 million,” said Susan Lytle Gilmore, Director of Adult Education at Sacramento City Unified School District. A car wash and rummage sale was the student’s last effort to keep their classes going.  
Local business owners of Celia’s, 3 Sister’s Restaurant, Zocalo, Dos Coyotes, La Fiesta Bar & Grill are donating a portion of their profits on June 21 and 24 with little help to the budget shortfall.
Perhaps, the only way the school can remain open is if the voters pass theGovernor’s November tax initiative designed to fund education.
Sacramento Press / Perhaps, the only way the school can remain open is if the voters pass the Governor’s November tax initiative designed to fund education.