Board Briefs: Oct. 24, 2023
Here are a few highlights from the Oct. 24 board meeting (the full agenda packet is available):
Board hears update on Proposition 28 funding for arts and music in school
Proposition 28 requires the state to establish a new, ongoing program supporting arts instruction in schools beginning in the 2023-24 school year. San Juan Unified’s fund through this proposition is $5,734,578. School districts with more than 500 students must spend at least 80 percent of the funds to employees to provide arts education instruction. The remaining funds may be used for training supplies, curriculum, professional learning, materials and partnership programs. Staff provided the board with information about the district’s plan to increase access for all students to quality arts and music education through the use of Proposition 28 funding. The report also shared information about partner engagement and feedback loops used to inform the ongoing planning processes for use of the funds. The full presentation is available.
Staff provides update on new Learning Recovery Emergency Block Grant Funding
The Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Grant and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds under the American Rescue Plan Act, referred to as ESSER III, have a spending deadline of Sept. 30, 2024. The Learning Recovery Emergency Block Grant (LREBG), one-time funding which may be spent through the 2027-28 school year, was established in response to the emergency caused by COVID-19 pandemic to assist schools serving pupils in the long-term recovery from the COVID pandemic, including addressing pupil learning, mental health, and overall well-being. Staff provided the board with information about the district’s plan to utilize the LREBG funds. They also shared information about partner engagement and feedback loops used to inform the ongoing planning processes for use of the funds. The full presentation is available.
Board discusses proposed fee restructuring for Discovery Club and Early Learning Academy
The Discovery Club program and Early Learning Academy program are the two fee-based programs within the Early Childhood Education (ECE) department. Both programs have experienced financial deficit spending since 2019-20 due to a combination of increased operating expenditures and a state-required freeze on collection of payments from parents due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To support the fiscal solvency of these programs, ECE strives to implement cost-reduction efforts with the least amount of impact to staff and families.
Through Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (ELO-P) ongoing funds, the district can avoid an immediate increase in Discovery Club Program fees. Staff is proposing a restructuring in the fee schedule to be effected July 1, 2024 if approved. For the Early Learning Academy program, staff proposes a 16% fee increase effective July 1, 2024, and a 3% increase annually thereafter to keep up with inflation. With these increases, cost comparisons show that the Early Learning Academy fees remain significantly lower than other preschool programs in Sacramento County. Board action is anticipated at the Nov. 14 board meeting.
In other news…
The board adopted a resolution proclaiming the week of Nov. 6-10 as National School Psychology Week.
Staff reported that no Williams-type complaints were filed with the district during the time period from July 1 through Sept. 30, 2023.
The next regular board meeting will be held on Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m. Visit www.sanjuan.edu/boardmeeting for details. You can also view videos of prior board meetings on the district’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/SanJuanUnified.