Original post made
by District Observer, Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Nov 9, 2006
Palo Alto City Council is about to adopt a policy which states gifts to the city don't buy influence.
I wish the Palo Alto School Board would also consider adopting a policy statement around this as well, before it approves any new programs currently under consideration.
It may be more difficult for the school district to craft such a policy, because the school district is so reliant on gifts from the kindness of its neighors and surrounding business community to continue to function.
However, it would seem only appropriate that those who truly care about the long term health of the district and community, would have no issue whatsover with arms length contributions, and fully transparent disclosure.
We currently have a special interest group, (with unknown backers in unknown amounts), giving PAUSD $140,000 for the study and start up of a new specialty alternative choice program. That might seem like a good way to get things done for a school district used to begging for every incremental dime. But consider that a typical school's PTA earnings for a whole year are in the $20K - 40K range. $140,000 is a whole lot of money, which can carry a whole lot of influence, unless PAUSD is very careful to avoid this.
The School Board should protect themselves from the appearances of influence peddling by making sure special interest groups can not buy slices of the school district for private purposes.
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Posted by Grace Mah
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 17, 2006 at 9:57 am
$12.9 Million in Grants Awarded for Critical Foreign Language Instruction
Arabic, Chinese, Russia, Hindi, Farsi Among Languages Targeted for Learning
October 13, 2006 Contact: Jim Bradshaw
(202) 401-2310 or firstname.lastname@example.org
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today announced the award of $12.9 million in grants to school districts in 22 states to help dramatically increase the number of Americans learning foreign languages deemed critical to national security and commerce.
The grants, part of President Bush's National Security Language Initiative, are intended to address the shortage of critical foreign language speakers by supporting new and expanded programs in grades K-12.
"Languages like Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Hindi and Farsi are not only essential for trade in the global economy, but also to our national security," Secretary Spellings said. "When it comes to foreign languages, our students get started too lateand too few study critical languages. We can and must turn this around."
Less than 1 percent of American high school students combined study Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Russian or Urdu, according to the State Department.
The $12.9 million in new grants being announced today, together with continuation of funding for existing Foreign Language Assistance grants, total more than $22 million that has been awarded throughout the country in recent days to help address the shortage of critical foreign language speakers.
For example, Chinese is the most widely spoken first language in the world, but less than one-half of one percent of American students taking a foreign language in grades K-12 study Chinese.
President Bush's National Security Language Initiative is designed to significantly increase the number of Americans learning critical need foreign languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Hindi, Farsi, and others through new and expanded programs from kindergarten through university and into the workforce.
An essential component of U.S. national security in the post-9/11 world is the ability to engage foreign governments and peoples, especially in critical regions, to encourage reform, promote understanding, convey respect for other cultures and provide an opportunity to learn more about America and its citizens.
To do this, Americans must be able to communicate in other languages, a challenge for which most citizens are totally unprepared. To address these needs, the departments of Education, State, and Defense, and Office of the Director of National Intelligence have developed a comprehensive national plan to expand U.S. foreign language education beginning in kindergarten and continuing throughout formal schooling and into the workforce with new programs and resources.
For more information on the initiative, visit Web Link.
Foreign Language Assistance Program
Office of English Language Acquisition
New Grants to Local Education Agencies for FY 2006
AK ANCHORAGE, Anchorage School District, $217,887
CA BELMONT, Carlmont High School, $70,444
CA GLENDALE, Glendale Unified School District, $300,000
CA IMPERIAL BEACH, South Bay Union School District, $273,520
CA LOS ANGELES, Academia Semillas del Pueblo Charter School, $101,392
CA LOS ANGELES, Wilton Place Elementary, $147,121
CA MISSION VIEJO, Saddleback Valley Unified School District, $294,335
CA REDDING, Shasta Union High School District, $135,000
CA SACRAMENTO, Language Academy of Sacramento, $150,000
CA SACRAMENTO, North Sacramento School District, $299,812
CA SAN FRANCISCO, San Francisco Unified School District, $300,000
CA SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Capistrano Unified School District, $121,880
CA SONOMA, Adele Harrison Middle School, $167,971
CA SONOMA, Sonoma Valley Unified School District, $172,092
CA VALLEJO, MIT Academy, $105,754
CA WALNUT, Walnut Valley Unified School District, $251,965
CO FORT COLLINS, Poudre School District, $178,854
CT WEST HARTFORD, West Hartford Public Schools, $70,178
FL FORT LAUDERDALE, Broward County School Board, $188,813
FL LARGO, Pinellas County Schools, $147,917
FL MIAMI, Miami-Dade County Schools, $237,263
FL ORLANDO, Florida Virtual School, $300,000
FL TAMPA, Hillsborough County Schools, $274,777
IA WELLMAN, Mid-Prairie Community Schools, $200,809
IL BEARDSTOWN, Beardstown Community Unit School District #15, $300,000
IL CHICAGO, Chicago Public Schools, $297,137
IL HIGHLAND PARK, Highland Park High School, $22,423
IL WOODSTOCK, Woodstock Community Unit School District #200, $120,103
IN BROWNSBURG, Brownsburg Community School Corporation, $55,611
IN INDIANAPOLIS, Metropolitan School District of Washington Township, $268,610
KS GARDEN CITY, Unified School District 457, $124,096
KS PITTSBURG, Pittsburg Unified School District 250, $232,803
KY LEXINGTON, Fayette County Public Schools, $300,000
KY LOUISVILLE, Jefferson County Public Schools, $145,735
MA AMHERST, Amherst Pelham Regional School District, $148,746
MA CAMBRIDGE, Cambridge Public Schools, $280,764
MI DEARBORN, Dearborn School District, $291,611
MI LANSING, Lansing School District, $245,822
MN BIGELOW, Worthington Area Language Academy, $100,000
MN COTTAGE GROVE, South Washington County Schools, $175,000
MN SAINT PAUL, St. Paul Public Schools, $179,757
MN WILMAR, Wilmar Public School District #347, $127,615
NC WINSTON-SALEM, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, $57,745
NJ DEMAREST, Northern Valley Regional High School District, $5,192
NJ FAIR LAWN, Fair Lawn Board of Education, $28,420
NJ FORT LEE, Fort Lee School District, $191,370
NJ HIGHSTOWN, East Windsor Regional School District, $125,288
NJ VERNON, Vernon Township Public Schools, $2,750
NY FORT EDWARD, Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex, $156,452
NY GOSHEN, Orange-Ulster BOCES, $250,230
NY HORNELL, Hornell City School District, $83,464
NY NEW HARTFORD, Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES, $254,298
NY NEW YORK, New York City Department of Education District 1, $300,000
NY NEW YORK, Ross Global Academy Charter School, $73,269
NY ROCHESTER, Rochester City School District, $128,495
NY ROOSEVELT, Roosevelt Union Free School District, $237,981
NY SCHENECTADY, Schenectady City School District, $202,728
OH CLEVELAND, Cleveland Municipal School District Buhrer K-8 School, $238,369
OH COLUMBUS, Franklin County Board of Education, $267,911
OR EUGENE, Eugene School District 4J, $184,170
OR PORTLAND, Multnomah County School District No. 1 , $207,852
PA PHILADELPHIA, Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School, $297,674
PA PHILADELPHIA, The School District of Philadelphia, $247,678
PA PHILADELPHIA, The School District of Philadelphia, $116,162
PA PITTSBURGH, Pittsburgh School District, $235,911
TX HOUSTON, Houston Independent School District, $165,684
TX KATY, Katy Independent School District, $117,085
TX KATY, Katy Independent School District, $50,119
TX PLANO, Plano Independent School District, $177,073
VA FALLS CHURCH, Fairfax County Public Schools, $188,511
WA SEATTLE, Seattle Public Schools, $182,507
Foreign Language Assistance Program
Office of English Language Acquisition
Grants to State Education Agencies for FY 2006
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Raleigh, $95,367.
Ohio Department of Education, Columbus, $100,000.
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Madison, $201,269.
Wyoming Department of Education, Cheyenne, $157,410.
State Grant Total $554,046