New funding possible for area after-school programs
As much as $150,000 could potentially find its way into the budget of the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe if a request for funding is approved by the state.In accordance with Proposition 49, which was signed into law Sept. 15 by Gov. Schwarzenegger, California will fully fund the After School Education and Safety Program (ASES) to the tune of $550 million.Schools in Truckee and the North Shore are now vying for a piece of the piggy bank.The [school] board has approved the memorandum of understanding, and we are moving forward with working out the logistics so that if we do get the funding, we will be ready to go [with new programming] by the first of the year, said Superintendent Dennis Williams.If awarded locally, Proposition 49 could provide annual grants of up to $50,000 for North Tahoe Middle School, Kings Beach Elementary and Truckee Elementary to expand after school educational and enrichment programming until 6 p.m., according to Isabelle Rodriguez, director of the Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe.All California public schools are eligible to apply for ASES funding, but schools that serve a large portion of their students with free or reduced-priced lunches are given priority. Other indicators, such as neighborhood socio-economic trends and the percentage of limited-English-language families, are also considered.North Tahoe Middle School, Truckee Elementary and Kings Beach Elementary all serve free or reduced priced lunches to many of their students. Many students at those schools also come from households where English is not the primary language, or from lower income neighborhoods.[Prop 49] requires that the money be used in a collaborative effort, and as a result the school district wants to partner with the Boys & Girls Club to expand services in the district, Rodriguez said. The grant requires that the [money] be applied to academic support and enrichment programs, and the Boys & Girls clubs are the model of that. Money from Prop 49 means the exploration of new facilities and new services in new areas, Rodriguez said, though Williams was quick to counter that there is enough existing space, and the money could be better spent on programming alone.The school district would be required to match funds at 33 percent, but the up-side is that matching funds need not be in cash, but could be paid instead through the use of existing facilities, assets, teachers and more, according to Lauri Martin, director of the districts Community Youth Development. District officials are not yet prepared to discuss what forms of educational and enrichment programs they might pursue, but the school board will continue to discuss the options in coming weeks. Grants could be awarded in about six weeks.
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