Over the past few years the LEARNS Afterschool Program has had several challenges in meeting the operating budget. LEARNS has experienced a reduction in funding caused by the impact of the general state of the economy, the expiration of our 21st Century Community Learning Center, and the reduction of ASES funding from the State. These reductions, along with increased costs of personnel and other expenses, have had a negative impact on the LEARNS Afterschool Program budget.
Currently, the LEARNS Program is spending more to run the program than the combined income received from grant funds and parent fees. Luckily, LEARNS currently has a reserve account which has helped close the budget gap. This will not last forever. We must be pro-active in increasing income to keep the program as rich and vibrant as it is. One way is to reduce program costs. Another is to look at ways to increase revenue to continue offering quality programs to our students. LEARNS staff is currently conducting an analysis of program expenditures and possible solutions to this issue and have already identified grant funds for which one or more of our LEARNS schools may qualify. Our goal is to NOT reduce program offerings or quality.
There will be a School Board meeting in the near future at which staff will be presenting an analysis of the budget, projected income and expenditures for 2012-13, and possibly proposals to increase revenues and decrease cost as we plan for next year. Your feedback and input is welcome; please contact 510-883-6146.