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City grants get doled out

ENCINITAS — School-related programs found themselves on the short end of the funding stick when Encinitas officials doled out dollars through its community grant program last week.

The City Council on June 18 reduced funding from several school-related programs from the levels that the city’s grant application committee had recommended.

One of the programs was a request by the Ocean Knoll parent-teacher association for $5,000 for its International Baccalaureate Spanish Program, which would provide Spanish-language instruction for the school’s 550 students.

The city’s committee recommended they receive $4,000, but the council voted to reduce the funding to $1,000.

“I don’t see that as a high priority for city funds as opposed to school district responsibility,” Councilmember Lisa Shaffer said. “If they want to have an IB program, it seems that the school district ought to be funding the instructors to teach in that.”

Teresa Barth echoed Shaffer’s sentiments.

“While I commend all the school projects, I think the Encinitas Union School District is going to get $10 million in unrestricted funds soon,” Barth said, alluding to the city’s recent purchase of the Pacific View Elementary School site. “Maybe that might go a long way to pay for that baccalaureate project.”

The city has, since 2007, issued the grant funds as part of a matching donation from the Mizel Family Foundation. Programs must spend the proposed dollars first, and then are reimbursed with the grant funding.

The City Council also voted to reduce a funding allocation to the San Diego Symphony Orchestra Association to provide free tickets to the symphony’s Berton Family Young People’s Concert from $4,500 to $2,000.

City leaders also voted to fund or increase the recommended funding amounts to several programs, including:

  • $2,000 to the Cardiff 101 Main Street Association for its utility box painting program, which the committee didn’t recommend receive funds
  • $1,000 to the Encinitas Theatre Consortium for its IMAGOmoves Contemporary Dance Theatre, which includes an educational component, which also was not earmarked for any funds.
  • $5,000 to the Los Angelitos de Encinitas toward defraying the cost for 200 low-income boys and girls to play in a community soccer program. The committee originally earmarked $3,500.

School district leaders took the news in stride, pointing out that in spite of not receiving the amounts recommended by the committee, they received funds when a number of worthy organizations didn’t.

“I am appreciative that the (programs) were awarded grant money,” Encinitas Union School District board member Carol Skiljan said. “I am pleased to see that several organizations that benefit our students and their families, and often work with EUSD were also funded.”