Your Stimulus Dollars At Work At Chico Unified School District

According to Contra Costa Times (emphasis mine):

The Chico Unified School District will use a portion of its federal stimulus dollars to retain the equivalent of 40 full-time positions.

The district planned on using $4.4 million of about $8.5 million in stimulus to reduce further budget cuts. On Wednesday, the board approved a plan to direct the money to eight programs, and retain about 40 teaching and staff positions.

Stimulus funds could have been used to re-hire 58 teachers who were laid off which had the impact of increasing class sizes of kindergarten through third grades. Returning to 30 students per teacher.


Assistant superintendent Jan Combes said the district decided to use the stimulus dollars toward categorical programs that weren’t swept up in earlier cuts.

Trustee Rick Rees said the stimulus needed to be something to help the economy.

So, let me see if I’ve got this straight. They decided to ‘save’ 40 jobs ($100,000 per job – teachers and staff) instead of  ‘create’  58 jobs ($75,862 per job – all teachers); hire staff instead of teachers; thereby disregarding the needs of hundreds of children to focus on eight programs that will impact fewer children.

Yup, that just about covers it. The interesting thing is their choice of a couple of programs that they’ve chosen to support instead of the kids.

International Baccalaureate – read this one (emphasis mine)!

It is suggested that schools approach the topics of the IB community theme through guiding questions, pitched to the level of students, for example:

  • What do we mean by poverty?
  • What are the causes of poverty?
  • Does it matter that some people are much poorer than others?
  • Why do countries fight?
  • How do conflicts arise?
  • How are conflicts resolved?
  • What can we learn from our everyday experience of resolving conflicts within our own lives?
  • Can we apply our experience of resolving conflicts within our own lives to resolving large-scale conflicts (for instance, between countries or warring groups within countries)?
  • What is terrorism?
  • Terrorist or freedom-fighter – is there a real difference between the two or is it just perception?
  • Is education for all a right?
  • Does improved education help to remove people from poverty?
  • What are the implications of uneven access to digital technology?
  • Is a “natural disaster” only a disaster if it affects people?
  • How can the effects of natural disasters be mitigated?
  • What are the links between disease and poverty?
  • Why are some diseases common in some parts of the world and eradicated elsewhere?
  • What actions are being taken to address the global issues of the theme?
  • What can we do, individually, to play our part in responding to these issues?

This site has been developed to help schools to integrate activities around this theme into school life … and to share results, successes and stories with the global IB community.

Academy For Change

Academy for Change (AFC) is the community day school serving Chico Unified School District. AFC enrolls students in the following categories:

Other special program

  • Expulsion from another school
  • Probation referral
  • Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) referral

Safe Schools

Provides training, resources and technical assistance to establish a school/community environment which is physically and emotionally safe, well disciplined, and conducive to learning.

Pupil Retention Promotion Block Grant

 The Pupil Retention Block Grant (PRBG) combines funding for the following programs that target pupils who require additional assistance to succeed in school: Elementary School Intensive Reading, Intensive Algebra Instruction Academies, Continuation High School Foundation, High Risk Youth Education and Public Safety, Tenth Grade Counseling, District Opportunity Classes and Programs, Dropout Prevention and Recovery, Early Intervention for School Success, and At-Risk Youth for Los Angeles Unified School District.

So, this is the way If you are a kindergarten through third grade student at Chico Unified that is a good kid, studies hard and hasn’t been expelled, etc. – you’re out of luck. However, you will know how to perform an earthquake drill – thank goodness!

As far as the International Baccalaureate – are you kidding me – “Terrorist or freedom-fighter – is there a real difference between the two or is it just perception?


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