Susan Luzzaro 6:30 p.m., July 31
State Cuts Funding To AVID College Readiness System -- Schools Now Forced To Pay
Seems as if a new spending cut to education is discovered every day. While administrators and school board members across the state have grown accustomed to handing out pink slips, increasing class size, and selling off valuable school assets in order to fill massive deficits, state legislators and the Governor have also slashed popular education programs as a way to save money.
In late June when Governor Jerry Brown signed the final state budget, he included a line-item veto that cut funding for the AVID College Readiness System, a popular nationwide education program with headquarters in San Diego.
The program assists more than 155,000 students in 1,400 schools across the state struggling to get above-average grades by teaching them new ways to study. The program also helps disadvantaged youth and those in poor neighborhoods apply for college.
California has been the only state in the nation to fully fund the program. But that will end after this coming school year -- the California Regional System has agreed to help fund the program for the 2012/2013 school year. After this school year, school districts will be on their own.
According to a spokesperson from the AVID Center, each school site wishing to use the program will be required to pay an annual membership fee of $3,300, cheaper for some districts based on the number of schools. In addition to the cost, a principal or district administrator will be needed to oversee the program.
Currently 43 middle and high school sites in San Diego Unified School District use the program.
"We are now working with school districts to provide transition to the national model," said a company spokesperson.
And as for the impact it will have on the AVID Center, the spokesperson said it is still too early to predict. "We will have to see how many schools see the value the program and stay with AVID. It will definitely have some impact because California is the most populous state with the highest number of schools."