Send us the money and leave us alone.
That’s the message that Dr. Luis Rankins-Ibarra, superintendent of the Escondido Union School District (EUSD) would like delivered to state and federal officials – and one he shared with the Escondido Chamber of Commerce earlier this week at its March Education Meeting.
Rankins-Ibarra noted that EUSD and other California schools will be receiving “billions”
from the federal $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package. But he said that as the money is divvied up at the state level – a good bit of lobbying occurring in the process – the funds come with regulations and restrictions attached.
In order to support school reopening and return to full in-class instruction, “They need to get out of our way and not tie a bunch of strings” to the financing, he said. “There needs to be some sort of consistency in California.”
He said that the district is constantly monitoring the funds it will have available as it prepares for the rest of this school year, the summer, and the new school year. And he noted “a lot of reasons to be optimistic. We’re planning for as close to normal as we can.”
EUSD last month moved from full distance learning to its hybrid models which provide for a limited amount of in-class instruction. And it is currently exploring a variety of ways to mitigate the learning loss resulting from the pandemic, such as summer school and diagnostic measures to identify areas of greatest academic need (Times-Advocate, March 4.)
Looking to the future, the superintendent said, “What we need to do is be ready.”
Also presenting at the meeting was Yesenia Martinez, the organization school & community outreach coordinator for education COMPACT (220 S. Broadway).
COMPACT (standing for its original motto, Creating Opportunities, Making Partnerships and Connecting Teens) provides services through five programs: Academic Support, Health & Wellness, Leadership Development, Prevention & Intervention, and Workforce Development.
Understanding and addressing the academic and social needs of the area’s children and families is a primary focus of education COMPACT, Martinez said. She described the organization’s vision as supporting the development of “safe communities comprised of contributing, healthy, educated, empowered individuals,” and helping those individual reach their full potential.
The organization’s work is developed through five programs: Academic Support, Health & Wellness, Leadership Development, Prevention & Intervention, and Workforce Development. The activities carried out by each program are detailed on the organization’s website, educationcompact.org.
Asked about the organization’s funding sources, Martinez said that they “run the gamut,” but mostly from grants written in-house. She specifically noted funds from the Escondido Police Department, provided to the department in late 2019 from a $1 million grant for gang prevention. The grant fund share to education COMPACT pays for a family intervention team, community outreach coordinator, and part of two other positions.
Founded in 1989, the organization thus marked its 30th anniversary in 2019.
The organization is always looking for volunteers, and applications to serve as either youth or adult volunteers can be found on its website.