District to Let Schools Apply for U.S. Funds

Despite an appeal from Trustee Wendy Leece, Newport-Mesa Unified School District’s board has voted to seek federal funds for a number of school programs.

In a lengthy presentation, Leece argued that accepting money from Washington is akin to giving the federal government the keys to your car.

Once that happens, she said, the government will become the driving force behind school district policy, subverting local control over academic programs.

The rest of the board disagreed, though, saying that the district needs the money and that the grants would pay for programs designed by the individual schools. The government, they said, simply provides the money.


Supt. Mac Bernd assured the board that the grants being considered were free of government mandates and could be discontinued at any time.

With Leece casting the sole dissenting vote, Newport-Mesa trustees approved applications for a total of $412,000 in grants that will be used for bilingual education training of teachers and for career development programs.