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LWV of Alameda County Position Statements

Alameda County Position Statements

Do you know what the county positions are?

Alameda County

The Alameda County Council, composed of the seven League of Women Voters in Alameda County, have adopted these positions.

Education

ALAMEDA COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION, ALAMEDA COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, ALAMEDA COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION (Adopted 2007)

I. Position in Brief: Support an efficient, effective and equitable balance of responsibility and authority among the levels of governance with accountability to the public and that results in providing services that best meet needs of students and the local school districts.

A. Efficiency: Provide those services (education, training, fiscal, oversight) to county school programs and district school programs that do not duplicate those provided by districts or other agencies

B. Effectiveness: Provide those services that best meet the needs and interests of local districts. Constantly monitor services to determine their effectiveness and remove or improve those that are not meeting district goals.

C. Equitable Balance of Responsibility and Authority for Governance

1. Establish policies that delineate the powers and functions of each entity where not covered explicitly in the Education Code to ensure an equitable balance of responsibility and authority for governance and to enhance accountability.

2. Provide for consolidation of functions between and among county offices of education to deal with area-wide problems. Consider consolidation of functions to achieve cost savings and improve the quality of service and equity.

D. Accountability to the Public

1. Ensure that both the Board and the Superintendent abide by the tenets of the Brown Act, and the Freedom of Information Act and the California Public Records Act.

2 Maintain public visibility by utilizing technology to keep constituents informed about actions taken by the Board and the County Superintendent.

3. Advertise upcoming elections for Board members' and the County Superintendent's seat to encourage contested elections. This will allow the public to learn about the candidates' credentials and the issues so they can make informed choices.

4. Develop a collaborative Annual Work Plan to set up measurable goals to be used in the annual evaluation of both Board Members' and Superintendent's performance. These evaluations will then be helpful in the Superintendent salary-setting process and for measuring progress toward established goals.

II. Monitoring

The League's role should be to:

  • Continue observing County Board of Education meetings to ensure compliance with the Brown Act and Education Code.

  • Monitor the County Office website to ensure that constituents have access to current and complete information concerning actions taken by the County Office/Superintendent and the Board.

  • Review Grand Jury comments and recommendations pertaining to the County Board and County Superintendent and support those that support the improvement of efficient, effective, and appropriate governance and fiscal management of those entities.

  • Monitor the governance model to determine if there is any interest by the public in changing the method of selecting a County Superintendent.

  • ALAMEDA COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION and ALAMEDA COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION (1996)*

Assignment of education services to be performed to the most appropriate level (local district or county office) with that determination based upon the following criteria:

  • Most economically feasible, as related to size and wealth of district

  • Availability of funding

  • Economy of scale

  • Best meets the needs of students

  • Best meets the needs of local districts, their interest and demand for service

  • Frequency of use of the service at the local district
  • Priority of local districts

  • Equality of distribution of services to all students in large and small districts

  • Makes best use of expertise

  • Enables the teacher to best utilize the services

  • Services are not duplicated at another level

Programs should be evaluated by:

  • Comparing performance against pre-determined goals

  • Placing 'sunset' provisions on those services that perform below expected outcomes

Juvenile Justice

The Alameda County Council of the League of Women Voter's supports policies which promote services to meet the needs of Alameda County and minimize delinquency.

A. The County Council supports effective and responsible decision-making for youth at the county level. Specifically, the Council supports:

1. Continuing evaluation of the Alameda County Probation Department Juvenile Division to ensure that its goals and functions are clear and effective

2. Continued citizen input into all Countywide juvenile justice programs

3. Coordination of all community program for Alameda County youth to ensure that the needs of the communities are met and that duplications of services is avoided.

4. Citizen involvement in setting priorities for diversion and prevention services

5. Continued evaluation and accountability to the public of programs funded by public moneys.

6. County decision-making bodies:

a. Appointment to commissions that reflect the diversified population of the County

b. Guidelines for commission members which are clear statements of their responsibilities and authority

c. Assessment of limited number of terms

d. Reimbursement to commissioners for personal expenses, i.e., transportation and baby-sitting.

B. The County Council supports a coordinated multidimensional concept of service which could include:

1. Vocational training

2. Programs that provide jobs and job training for youth

3. Recreational opportunities

4. Counseling for youth and their families, both long-term and for crises

5. Mental health services which meet the needs of youth, supported by adequate funding, i.e., residential treatment centers for juveniles

6. Youth diversion programs

a. Staff volunteers having close ties to the community of the juveniles being served

b. Involvement of youth in program planning, implementation and evaluation

c. Integration into projects available with other than just delinquent youth

d. Adequate program facilities

C. The County Council encourages school districts to deal effectively with pupil welfare and pupil attendance, i.e., truancy, child neglect, child abuse and severe behavior problems.

D. The County Council supports greater community awareness of the problems and needs of youth and programs that are currently available.

Children's Mental Health Services

The Leagues of Women Voters of Alameda County support the need for Children's Mental Health Services and recommend the following:

I. Increase the priority given Children's Mental Health Services in the County Mental Health program and budget

II. Retain present services and expand Day Treatment Service to South County

III. Focus on prevention and early intervention by:

A. Increased education of parents and public

B. Utilization of school resources where feasible.

IV. Finance these services by:

A. Active pursuit of all available sources of funds.

B. Coordination of county, state and federal budget deadlines

C. Sufficient funds for a service from the level of government that mandates that service

V. Make most efficient use of funds by:

A. Retention and expansion of contracts with private providers

B. Support for Case Management system of services

C. Increased coordination and communication among all public and private service providers and continuation of the Interagency Council.