Trustees move forward with lease-leaseback request for Aquatics Complex
PASO ROBLES — Trustees made forward progress toward building the Paso Robles High School Aquatics Complex during the Tuesday, Sept. 27, Paso Robles Joint Unified School District (PRJUSD) board meeting.
On Tuesday night, PRJUSD trustees unanimously approved a lease-leaseback Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Aquatics Complex with Harris Construction Company.
According to the staff’s agenda report, the approval is for preconstruction services related to the design and constructability review of plans and specifications for the complex. The total cost for the lease-leaseback is $13,500.
The Aquatics Complex remains in the design phase with a total budget of $8,638,485.
PRJUSD Superintendent Curt Dubost gave an informational presentation on “Equality of Opportunity and Equity of Outcomes.”
The presentation was pulled together after the terms equity and equality were used during board discussions and public comment during the Sept. 13 board meeting. Dubost’s presentation discussed the connotations and denotations of each term with the intention of clarifying the difference between “equality of opportunity” and “equity of outcomes.”
He further explained that while they should strive to build up less fortunate students, that does not mean the district should lower its educational standards for lower-performing students.
“I raise this topic now as I believe the proposed community school planning grant is an excellent opportunity to give a fair chance to our neediest of kids to be at grade level at third grade,” said Dubost. “Let’s do that, but when all kids don’t turn out the same, let’s remember that’s the way it is and always will be.”
In May, the California Department of Education announced the first round of grants of $3 billion for the Community Schools Partnership Program.
According to the state’s May press release, the awards approved by the Board were the first round of grants in a seven-year, $3 billion program that is part of California’s overall strategy to improve learning through a “whole child” approach.
California School Board Association (CSBA), describes community schools as a “place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, services, supports, and opportunities leads to improved student learning, stronger families, and healthier communities.”
Board President Chris Arend later explained in the presentation’s discussion that the grant offers up to $200,000 for planning and up to $500,000 annually to finance the program.
Dubost added, “The fact equality of opportunity doesn’t result in equity of outcomes doesn’t mean we don’t keep trying every way the research suggests we should to improve all student achievement but let’s always close the achievement gap by improving low scores, not reducing our expectations to the lowest common denominator.”
Additionally, Dubost encouraged anyone concerned to join the committee and be a part of the conversation. The board did not discuss next steps they are making towards the grant or when/if it will be brought forth as an agendized item.
The next PRJUSD board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 6 p.m.