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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hayward School Board Cuts Funding to Adult Education Program

HAYWARD | The Hayward School Board struck down a $375,000 expenditure to Hayward’s adult school program last board meeting to help stave off deficit spending despite staff’s recommendation to approve the fund part of the second interim budget report to help keep the adult education program afloat until school year’s end.

The second interim report included the $375,000 to help the adult education program for the rest of the year despite it already depleting reserves made available to it for the past three years. Most districts in the state have cut their adult education programs when the state made cuts to education. Hayward opted to maintain their adult education program despite the heavier financial burden. Now the adult education program is expected to be able to sustain itself, as planned, and if not may face being cut.

The district once appeared to have been on the road to a state takeover because of its cumbering financial woes but by including early teacher retirement incentives and cutting back on recycling costs last spring the district was able to present a balanced budget. The second interim budget report presented by staff said the district is once again positively certified and will be able to pay its bills this year, a conclusion that’s compliant with a similar analysis last December. But according to board member Luis Reynoso, who was not present for the budget report but spoke to The Citizen later, the district is currently deficit spending $6.5 million.

But despite the large deficit figure the district will end the financial year with a $12.2 million fund balance. Although this is down from $13.1 million projected at last year’s first interim budget report. The reduction is due to Tier III flexed state revenue to the Adult Education program and Special Education.

The principal of Hayward’s adult school, Ryan Whetstone, who recently stepped into his administrative role, expected to have the funds available to meet financial obligations for staff for the rest of the year. But school board President, William McGee and Vice President, Annette Walker, wanted to see more aggressive action to reign in the program’s spending and McGee criticized the principal for not meeting the program’s required obligations to self sustain by 2013. Whetstone reminded the board that he inherited the program’s financial woes when he was hired this past year and was beginning to look at potential cuts now, but this argument did not appease McGee.

“You say ‘I’m about the cut,’ when the response should have been ‘I am cutting and I need assistance in this.’ The board has been asking about this for awhile,” said McGee, “You may have inherited this but it is your job to manage it correctly.” McGee noted the previous board, that was under Jesus Armas’s leadership, for overspending. “We had to cut elementary music to save money but we kept adult education. I have people calling me telling me we don’t need adult education, but we kept it,” said McGee.

McGee’s tough stance on spending marks a continued trend that is stark departure from the previous board. The former board was racked by controversy because of Armas’s affair with former board member, Maribel Heredia but Armas was also criticized by fellow board members McGee and Reynoso for what Reynoso has called called, “rubber stamping,” excessive spending.

McGee said the board, nor staff, needed to take the blame on the adult education program's lack of cuts whose budget is the principal’s responsibility. Walker agreed with McGee and questioned staff on the budget interim report’s inclusion of funding the adult program. “I’m hearing doom and gloom outside of positive certification. It’s very disconcerting at this point because we are way off from the first intro report as far as the numbers lining up. I’m almost in tears that that we are now accepting the fact that we are cutting back books and supplies because we are deficit spending on Tier III funding,” said Walker.

McGee added that he was not going to "rubber stamp," this expenditure and rejecting it shows that they were not continuing "business as usual." "We shouldn't be making these decisions, it should be made at the school site," said McGee.

Board members John Taylor and Lisa Brunner questioned staff and the principal some but without the same rigorous questioning that Walker and McGee gave and less frustration over the deficit. Both Taylor and Brunner wanted to pass staff’s recommendation to accept the report as is but McGee opted to pass it only if the $375,000 allocated to the adult program was taken out. It was and the board passed the budget with four yes’s. Reynoso had left previously and did not vote on the subject. The principal of the adult education program will return this Wednesday to discuss further on how the program will stay solvent.

Shane Bond is an East Bay Citizen contributor.

20 comments :

We need the adult school I just wish the board would do the right thing to keep it open.

Thank you Shane for your article on the Board meeting of March 13, 2013. Without it people would believe the denial of mistreatment, rudeness and attack mode McGee was in when dealing with the principal of the adult school. McGee's conduct at that meeting made me cringe. I would have never thought that he would behave in such a manner. At last night's meeting it was as if there had never been a discussion of the adult school problems at the meeting of the 13th. Whether this gentleman was the sole cause of the financial woes of the adult school or not, to treat him in the manner McGee did was wrong. The principal clearly could not say publicly that he had no real support, advice or assistance from the district during his first year at the adult school. To do so would have led to charges of insubordination. However, it is clear that the district offices did not monitor the finances in a pro-active way. Instead they ignored it until it was too late and let this poor man take the brunt of the criticism. How typical of HUSD administration. They never accept responsibility for the mess the district finds itself in!

I am extremely disappointed in the leadership of Mr. McGee as president. He has become a heavy handed, snide person now that the gavel is in his hand. It is almost as if Jesus Armas has invaded McGee's body! Once again the conduct of William McGee as the president of the board shows that Power Corrupts!!! Shame on you William McGee!

Will MvGee, John Taylor, and Annette Walker are the new majority. Finally we get a good smart board. Is about time african-americans get a say so in schools in Hayward.

Look at Special Ed funding! Do all the students who require out of district (or even within district) services ACTUALLY live in our district? Has anyone checked for a valid address? Or does Hayward just "rubber stamp" this huge expenditure because, just because?

Look at Administrator's contracts! Why do some administrators get to stay on the job when their schools don't perform and others get booted even when their schools do perform (at least show improvement) because they are the right or not right "fit"?

The list goes on and on, with Board members who have an agenda so they can get elected again and administrators who are hired with the expectation that 1) they will improve test scores in one year or 2) they are the right "fit" for the community based on the Superintendent's viewpoint.

Get real, Hayward is a diverse community, the only "fit" at a school is someone who can move things forward in a positive way for all children. I admire the guts of any principal who sincerely wants to work in Hayward to improve student acheivement. I am sickened by those who come to work here because no one else would have them. BTW you are open to a lawsuit if you give someone a bad recommendation in this state so every one if very careful!

Just cause we have black folk school board not mean no cares about kids get real you hater. Diverses is works bests when you gets a diverses school board. Is good that we gots africanamerican school board.

9:56 You sound like one of the board trustees in HUSD. Ebonics is not a real language.

7:29 For your info ebonics is more like a language as you see in wikipedia.

The word Ebonics was originally coined in 1973 by African American social psychologist Robert Williams[1] in a discussion with linguist Ernie Smith (as well as other language scholars and researchers) that took place in a conference on "Cognitive and Language Development of the Black Child", held in St. Louis, Missouri.[2][3] His intention was to give a name to the language of African Americans that acknowledged the linguistic consequence of the slave trade and avoided the negative connotations of other terms like "Nonstandard Negro English":[4]
We need to define what we speak. We need to give a clear definition to our language...We know that ebony means black and that phonics refers to speech sounds or the science of sounds. Thus, we are really talking about the science of black speech sounds or language.[5]
In 1975, the term appeared in Ebonics: The True Language of Black Folks, a book edited and cowritten by Williams:
A two-year-old term created by a group of black scholars, Ebonics may be defined as "the linguistic and paralinguistic features which on a concentric continuum represent the communicative competence of the West African, Caribbean, and United States slave descendants of African origin. It includes the various idioms, patois, argots, idiolects, and social dialects of black people" especially those who have adapted to colonial circumstances. Ebonics derives its form from ebony (black) and phonics (sound, the study of sound) and refers to the study of the language of black people in all its cultural uniqueness.
So there...

I watched that school board meeting and I thought it was really "funny" that Mr. McGee was taking potshots at Dr. Reynoso about changing his mind regarding saving the Adult school. I remember that a year or so ago Reynoso was questioning the value of the Adult School as it was operating. Now a year later he seems to have had a change of heart and mind. Mr. McGee seems to think that there is something wrong with a person changing their mind! He made several comments that showed he was disgusted with Reynoso's change of heart. It was almost as if there was some policy that Reynoso had violated when he stated his support for the Adult school. Does Mr. McGee think that changing your mind once you have had time to consider all facts is against some law? Has Mr. McGee never changed his mind about an important issue? Mr. McGee is a pompous a..!! Guess somebody should go back an look at all of his statements/votes and see if he ever changed his mind about HUSD issues...if he did then he should be chastised and his motives questioned.

Always picking on the Brothers. Too much racism.

Funny if people of color are criticize then it is racism. wow

I am a student at the Adult school and this is my first time typing here and I will be getting my GED in a few months. I wish the school board would understand how difficult it has gotten for us that are over 30 with out a HS diploma. I salute Dr. Luis Reynoso for standing up and defending the principal of the adult school and the adult school. I have heard of Reynoso but I have never seen him. I got to see him on the school board on Wednesday and he is one tough smart man to take so many punches from the other board and still sound good defending the school and my principal Mr. Whetstone. That Reynoso is true that he is over the top above the rest in that board. Mr. William McGee and Mr. John Taylor you gossip too much just look at the video and you will see when others speak. Ms. Lisa Bruner and Dr. Ann Walker are just as bad and sound awful and do not make anything easy to understand. Thank you Dr. Reynoso for standing for us at the HAS even when people attack you.

Divide and conquer true people here are trying to divide the Latino and African American from improving HUSD. Sounds like people with a grudge with HUSD?

As soon as racism is brought into the discussion the true issue is just erased. Why is it that people cannot communicate, in whatever manner they choose, without someone diverting from the real issue; the fate of the Hayward Adult School. Who cares how many times a board member changes their mind about a subject, as long as when the vote happens they are looking out for the best interests of ALL students; be they k-12 or adults! Many of the students at the adult school are there because they fell through the cracks at one of HUSD's comprehensive high schools and did not graduate. It is the job of public education to educate all of our students, the first time around; and if HUSD didn't get it right the first time then that's what the Adult school is for. Every citizen in this town, county and state deserves a second chance when it comes to education.

3/28 10:46 Power Indeed Corrupts, Shame on you Will McGee for attempting to publicly shame the Adult School Principal, regardless of color. McGee you've been on the board long enough to know principals especially new ones have no power nor authority. Why have you not publicly questioned or admonished any of the crooks at the district level, specifically Chien Wu-Fernandez, Lety Salinas, as well as the others getting paid for doing nothing.

4/2 @11:27 Keep asking Mr. McGee those questions. He needs to have his feet held to the fire!

Will McGee, Annete Walker, and John Taylor a big disapointment. All are clueless and very weak. They do not keep their word. The first afro team and they are just like the rest. For shame.

There is a lot of waste at the Hayward Adult School! This has been ongoing for years and no one has even wanted to fix the waste. Actually, the previous principal brought in her friends from Oakland Adult School to take hours away from Hayward’s own longtime adult school teachers. Maybe this principal will finally take care of the problem. I sure hope so! Waste? What’s this about waste? What waste? Let’s look at the numerous non-teaching certificated employees there. They do NOT generate any funds yet there is always money taken from one account or another to pay their salaries. These positions must be abolished once and forever. The certificated non-teaching duties can be accomplished by site administration and classified employees. Send these non-teaching certificated employees back to the classroom and watch them retire or leave rather than teach for a day. Some have not been in the classroom for more than 15 years. It’s time to put an end to this charade in education at the adult school. Then let’s not forget about the full time contract teacher at the adult school who teaches only part-time but is paid for all day. This is called a gift of public funds and is illegal. Since the Fall Quarter of 2010, the student day was shortened as well as the number of days in the school year. Yet, contract teachers continue to be paid the same salary as prior to the Fall Quarter of 2010. Please, adult school principal, clean up the adult school, save funds from being mismanaged, and return the Hayward Adult School to the glory days of the past. Thank you in advance for your actions!

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