Governor budgets additional billions for education
The Santa Barbara Unified School District is seeking 98 full-time and 70 hourly employees as part of the district’s new multi-tiered systems of support program. All but two of those positions will be working directly with students.
The district’s board approved the new positions during its regular meeting Tuesday evening.
Multi-tiered systems of support provide interventions to students that are struggling, either academically, social-emotionally or behaviorally.
“When I think of this approach, in a multi-tiered system of support, we’re guaranteeing students won’t fall through the cracks, that they won’t lose their joy for learning,” Dr. Frann Wageneck, assistant superintendent, said.
The 70 hourly positions are spots for college students to work at the district’s PEAC Learning Centers, an afterschool support system for secondary students
Of the 98 full-time positions, 30 are bilingual paraeducators, or one paraeducator for every two grade levels.
To accommodate three-feet spacing between desks, the district intends to hire 20 new elementary teachers and 20 secondary teachers.
If all positions are filled, it will cost the district $9,526,893.
Dr. John Becchio, assistant superintendent of human resources, called the number of positions “aspirational.”
The district will ask the board’s approval on May 25 to sign a contract with SWiFT Education Center to help establish the new program.
The state may soon be providing assistance to public schools and students should state legislators approve Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget.
The governor revealed a proposed $20 billion in additional assistance to public schools during a press conference Wednesday. He plans to announce more education funding Friday.
Gov. Newsom’s plan includes universal transitional kindergarten and post-secondary savings accounts to low-income students with an initial $500, and foster and homeless youth get an additional $500.
He set aside $1.1 billion for support staff, such as paraeducators, with the intention that there be no fewer than five support members in every low-income school.
He designated $3 billion for community schools programs, using the example of the press conference’s location of Elkhorn Elementary in Castroville. The school has washers and dryers available for families.
The proposed budget includes $2.6 billion for accelerated learning programs, such as summer school, and what Gov. Newsom called “high-dose tutoring.”
There’s also $3.3 billion allotted for teacher preparedness and incentive programs.
The budgeted items are all funded through the state’s general fund, which has benefited from a surplus in tax revenue.