Last night, the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve a resolution to allocate $419,000 from the District’s General Fund to continue operations of the Woodstock Child Development Center child care programs until December. The District is hoping that a plan from Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant to secure Community Development Block Grants for the program will back-fill the allocation. Additionally, rumblings from Sacramento suggest that the State budget won’t cut funding for the child care programs after all.
Later last night, the Alameda City Council, sitting as the Community Improvement Commission of the City of Alameda, the City’s State-sanctioned redevelopment body, received an update from Ms. Gallant on the plan. It will take several weeks for Gallant’s plan to become final and receive City Council approval.
Victor Grayson, a parent with three children in Woodstock child care programs, told Action Alameda News, “Well, we’re not out of the woods yet, but it looks like there may be funding for the duration of the school year. The City has put forth something like a $2 million block grant to help out with the funding, they’re trying to help out the best they can. But everybody has to kind of think outside the box because the funding that was once there is no longer there.”
A State of California Budget Conference Committee budget package also released yesterday indicated that the State would suspend its Proposition 98 guarantee to fund K-12 schools for one year, but would not eliminate State child care funding as previously proposed in the Governor’s “May revise” budget.
At the behest of Trustee Trish Spencer, the resolution passed by the School District last night also included language to bring the matter back before the Board of Trustees on the 9th of November, by which point the State budget is expected to have been passed, to confirm operation of the child care programs throughout the full school year, beyond December.
Ironically, the vote came on a day that Alameda voters were targeted with a mailer attacking Gallant, sent by SunCal under the name SCC Alameda Point LLC, that apparently tried to equate Gallant with corrupt city officials who have been arrested in Bell, California, and which included a link to a website with the text, “Why isn’t City Hall focused on what matters – Our jobs, Our schools, Our economy? NOT City Hall politics.”