Patterson Community Forum tonight will gather ideas on spending priorities

03/09/2014 5:03 PM

03/09/2014 9:20 PM

The Patterson Joint Unified School District will hold a community forum tonight at Apricot Valley School to gather public comment on where schools should spend their money.

Patterson and districts throughout the state are meeting with a mix of parent groups, English-learner committees, student leadership and business panels to gather suggestions for budget priorities.

Added taxes voters agreed to in passing Proposition 30 in 2012 required all California districts to take community concerns into account when deciding where the money goes. The process, called the Local Control Accountability Plan, will guide creation of each district’s 2014-15 budget and lay out the district’s goals and how it will evaluate whether it has reached them.

The nonprofit Education Trust-West on Wednesday released a list of funding suggestions parents and others could consider:

•  Academic support: Individual planning and counseling; mentoring and support for college preparation and application; summer learning programs; bringing back classroom aides; better supports for homeless and foster youth
•  Social and emotional support: Positive behavior management strategies; youth development programs; expanded access to counselors, social workers and mental health services; mentoring; restorative justice programs
•  Help for families: Dental and vision screening and care; school-based health clinics; better attendance monitoring and support; parent engagement programs in other languages; preschool expansion
•  Educator support: More training on English-language development strategies, needs of foster youth, behavior management and instructional strategies for struggling learners; giving principals in high-need schools priority in hiring; offering incentives and supports to teachers and principals at the highest-need schools.

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