Measure A funds agreement made
The Citizen’s Review Committee (CRC) voted yesterday to approve the budget allocation of Measure A funds for the next school year.
In a unanimous decision, the committee voted to accept the budget recommendations made in a previous meeting by Tahoe Truckee Unified School District administrators, including Superintendent Pat Gemma.
Some controversy had surrounded the budget, which allocated only $17,000 out of an estimated $2.6 million to Prosser Creek Charter School.
But after a recent school board decision to form a task force to examine the relationship between the district and the charter school, PCCS Executive Director Jayna Gaskell told the committee she was willing to accept the budget.
“We had some very productive meetings in the past few weeks,” said Gaskell. “We don’t want to negatively impact programs that are currently in the district, but we would ask that we be considered for monies that might come available in the future, since these numbers are not set in stone.”
Chairperson of the CRC, Nancy Davis, says the committee has tried their best to allocate funds appropriately to all the schools in the district but says the committee had to look to the greatest needs first.
“Our struggle is to find ways to fund educational opportunities … public schools get a lot of money with strings attached,” said Davis. “It is our job to access the needs of schools and apply funds where they are best suited.”
Julie Cooley-Rieders, a parent at PCCS, was upset with the budget.
“As a voter I object to the proposed budget as it does not allow PCCS to access tax dollars promised in the resolution. Of the 10 categories on the TTUSD Board approved resolution, only one category is budgeted to PCCS by the committee,” said Cooley-Rieders.
The new budget will continue to fund school programs in several areas like music, physical education, art and computer labs.
But the budget will not become final until the Tahoe Truckee School District Board approves the CRC’s recommendation.
Davis thinks the recommendation is fair and will be approved.
“We try not to micro-manage schools,” said Davis. “There is not a per student allocation, it is done by site and by program, each situation is different.”
Davis says the involvement of the district administrators was helpful to the committee and the administrators because the administrators are the ones who are most familiar with budget issues.
“We thought it would be more productive to have them participate … it’s not like we gave them a blank page, but we wanted their input,” said Davis.
But having administrators put together the budget was one of the primary concerns of parents at PCCS who thought that was a job to be done by the committee members.
To address those concerns, the committee reviewed a legal statement from district counsel, Linda Rhoads Parks, before the budget was approved.
The letter addressed several concerns, even admitting that some agendas were not posted in a timely manner and in accordance with the Brown Act.
The committee promised to address the problem by having district personnel copy and make public all agendas.
The Measure A budget will now go on to review by the TTUSD board. It will be left up to them to make the final approval.
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