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RE: Adult School Dilemma

 

 

Dear Editor:

The ABC Adult School should not find itself in the dilemma it is now in.  In talking to adult school educators, I learned the following facts regarding adult education in ABC Unified:

The former principal left a $6 million dollar reserve in the adult education fund.

He did this in spite of the fact that adult school revenue is about 70% lower than the K-12 revenue per student revenue.

Adult schools are not funded with K-12 funds as state law provides for a separate fund for adult education.

For the last three years, the district has been using the adult education reserve and regular adult school funding to “bail itself out” of K-12 deficits caused by poor budget decisions.

The district has had a structural deficit for many years.  A structural deficit is a fancy way a saying that the district has been spending more than it receives year after year and bases its future budgets on overspending.

Before the recession started, districts were not allowed to use adult education funding for K-12 programs.

School districts as do other public agencies seem to operate on the philosophy that it’s better to have a deficit than a surplus—this way you can always justify to Sacramento and taxpayers that you are underfunded.  It was reported to me that many public agencies, including school districts, actually go on year-end spending sprees to use up all funding in order to qualify for more money the following year.

As demonstrated by the former adult school principal, the problem is not lack of adequate funding.  It’s lack of adequate funding management.  Perhaps, the district should resurrect the former adult school principal’s skeleton and find out how he was able balance expenses with revenues to generate surpluses year after yea–instead of asking taxpayers for more and more.

Brian Nelson,

Lakewood

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