Sweetwater and Southwestern Scuffle Over Grant Funding

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP

    Sweetwater Union High School District wants Southwestern Community College to help them tap into state grant funding for adult education.

    But, the two South Bay school districts are in a bit of a dust-up over how the new endeavor was presented.

    The disagreement stems from Governor Brown's budget proposal to shift adult education funding to community colleges.

    Sweetwater Superintendent Dr. Ed Brand wants Southwestern to access state grant money, and then hand it over to the high school district.

    The state grant funds would help operate a $14.7 million adult education program at Sweetwater. 

    Brand reportedly told Southwestern Superintendent Dr. Melinda Nish that if she didn't sign a memorandum of understanding between the two agencies immediately, he would be forced to lay off his adult education staff. He declined to comment through a spokeswoman.

    Trustee Humberto Peraza, Jr. sent a letter to the Sweetwater school district saying the layoffs were premature.

    "I am at a loss to understand the rush," Peraza wrote. "It is our process - and I would hope it's yours as well - that major issues like this are brought to the attention of the Governing Board for discussion in an open, publicly noticed meeting (his emphasis)." 

    Read the proposed memorandum of understanding (MOU) here, along with the trustee's communication to the high school district.

    A Sweetwater district spokeswoman said the arrangement would benefit both districts.

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