“BSD students are benefitting from a top-notch education due to the generosity of our community.”
— Superintendent Maggie MacIsaac
Governor Brown’s recently proposed 2016-2017 Budget focuses on education which is good news for the state of California as a whole. Many news sources have reported a funding boost to $10K per student (an increase of close to $3K per student). However, it should be stressed that these funds will be directed to relatively disadvantaged school districts such as the San Francisco Unified School District where ‘English as a Second Language’ learners, economically disadvantaged and foster students represent a much higher proportion of students than in our own Burlingame School District. BSD will receive approximately $7,765 per student (based on attendance) for 2016/17, an increase of $240 per student, which is far less than the $10K reported in the media.
BSD will also be watching Proposition 30 carefully and its upcoming renewal which may or may not happen. Prop 30 is set to expire at the end of 2018 and will have contributed 6 billion in education dollars by the end of its course.
District Superintendent Maggie MacIsaac took time to clarify the proposed increase at the recent Public BCE Meeting with Advisory Board (January 21st, 2016) and to set the record straight. Thanks to long-range fiscal planning and conservative budgeting by BSD leadership in tandem with BCE, the peaks and troughs inherent in education funding are moderated and our schools are set to benefit from a dependable financial source which fills the chronic gaps in funding. The Annual BCE Grant is crucial in keeping student to teacher ratios comparatively low, providing specialists such as librarians, a dedicated music teacher and PE teacher and integrated technology specialist, providing teacher professional development and instructional aides – all of which are considered the norm in other parts of the country. “Burlingame schools would not have the enriched program we have it were not for our education foundation, Superintendent Maggie MacIsaac stated. She went on to add “BSD students are benefitting from a top-notch education due to the generosity of our community.”
What is abundantly clear is that education in the state of California, although now enjoying some remedial attention, is still seriously underfunded and is set to stay that way for some time. At the beginning of last year, California ranked 46th state nationwide with per-student spending at $8,213 (while the national average was at $11,667). Furthermore, we are in the midst of a challenging period for California schools with initiatives such as Common Core, Technology Implementation and Upgrades, Next Generation Science Standards and College Readiness occupying a greater part of our educators’ and administrators’ time and effort and requiring additional funds.
Donations and pledges to BCE, volunteer involvement, and our partnership with the BSD remain as important as ever, if not more, given the challenges mentioned above. We are dedicated to working with the District to prepare our students academically and emotionally for high school, college, career and life. To help do this, our common goal is to maintain the excellent programs the current BCE Grant has funded for 2015-2016 and to build on these the next school year and in years to follow.