Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 24, 2023

It’s the same budget

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

I promised that I would share the test scores for economically disadvantaged students across the district’s elementary schools but first wanted to post these numbers that I pulled from the District’s slides from last night.

To note, these are not spreadsheets from the District, but these are their numbers. I took the numbers and rather than rolling them into one lump sum and then divvying them up by number of students I separated the unrestricted dollars including unrestricted general fund and parcel tax money from the restricted dollars. The total unrestricted is money that the district can distributed more subjectively. Restricted dollars are just that. They have to be allocated in a very specific way because of how they are allocated to the district. So when we say that we are distributing money with a lens toward equity we are, but we aren’t. We have to send Title 1 dollars (restricted) to Title 1 schools. That’s why you see only three elementary schools receiving Restricted General Fund money.

In hindsight I should probably have not rolled together LCFF Supplemental and Restricted General Fund because there is a level of subjectivity when distributing the LCFF Supplemental because even though it comes into the District based on need, it’s not strictly restricted like, well, Restricted GF. Because if you look at how, say LCFF Supplemental money is allocated to Maya Lin which has the highest unduplicated population of the non Title 1 schools, they’re only receiving $774 per unduplicated student. Compared to that Edison with 22% unduplicated students is receiving $1310 per unduplicated student.

If you look at where the LCFF money is going to it’s all staff. With the exception of Ruby Bridges and Love which have higher LCFF Supplemental allocations (which they should) all of the other schools are getting an extra staff person with that money. Oh and except Franklin which is only getting half a person. So, essentially, regardless of need, nearly every single school (exceptions are Ruby Bridges, Love, and Franklin) is getting the same as the benefit as the next school: an additional certificated staff person using LCFF Supplemental money. Ruby Bridges, with an unduplicated count three times that of Bay Farm is receiving enough money to fund 3.4 staff people which is sort of just the baseline established by allocating LCFF Supplemental to each school site to fund an additional staff person. So it’s not as though we’re doing more for Title 1 schools in Alameda. We’re just kinda doing more of the same and hoping for a different outcome.


  1. Last night on the AUSD BOE meeting: “The Board and District Team are doing great work and making hard decisions.” Kisses and hugs all around…

    Comment by smh — May 24, 2023 @ 8:56 am

    • In every column you presuppose that spending more money equals student improvement or that somehow the district “experts” will do the right thing (“we are changing a lot right now” according to Susan Davis, district mouthpiece) That does not necessarily follow. In Chicago public schools they have a city full of highly competent and well paid teachers and administrators (as rated by themselves) but horrible tests scores. In Baltimore they have the 4th highest expenditure per student in the nation, and high graduation rates, but few students who can read or do math. Don’t blame the pandemic. California public schools were doing a poor job of educating lower income students of color before the two years of lockdowns.

      As the uneducated kids face a bleak future we are arguing over the arrangement of deck chairs on the Titanic. Maybe the system is irrevocably broken.

      Comment by Sad but true — May 24, 2023 @ 10:04 am

      • 100% agree – It’s a irrevocably broken system. Was hopeful that in a small city full of wanna be change makers we could do better. But the disingenuous love fest of “we are doing so well” last night really shed a light on the reality.

        Comment by smh — May 24, 2023 @ 11:43 am

  2. Lots to sort out in this post, which I’m honestly not sure staff will have time to work on today. But one important correction: Title 1 funds do not have to be spent on Title 1 schools. Districts receive money from the federal government for every student who qualifies for free or reduced lunch in their schools. Districts can choose how they allocate those funds – e.g., whether they distribute them across all schools or target them to schools with higher populations of low-income students. AUSD chooses to channel the funds to four schools (Ruby, Love, Paden, and Wood).

    We recommend that people watch the video of last night’s meeting when it’s posted to get a better understanding of some of the complexities of a public school district’s budget. You’ll be able to find video of each agenda item from last night’s meeting at in the next several days.

    On the last line: “We’re just kinda doing more of the same and hoping for a different outcome,” AUSD is actually changing a lot right now. We realize those changes are not popular with everyone, but the intention absolutely is to create different – meaning better – outcomes for our students.

    Comment by Susan Davis (Sr. Manager, Community Affairs, AUSD) — May 24, 2023 @ 8:56 am

  3. Not seeing the equity vision that they keep talking about if they’re cutting programs at Ruby. Has AUSD answered why Earhart and Maya Lin are able to keep their innovative programs for next year and will be assisted in if ditching ways to self fund that moving forward? There was SO much discussion about how critical that programming is in particular at Maya Lin, why is this different?

    Comment by Doesn’t seem equitable to me — May 24, 2023 @ 3:13 pm

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