Writer supports Antioch school district spending $75K on public relations

Dear Editor:

As a lifelong resident of Antioch and product of AUSD I find the past few days befuddling. It seems most people see that there is and are problems within our school district. Each person has their own solution which probably hits closest to home for them. Truth be told, there are many issues within our School District that needs to be addressed. So the crux of the matter comes down to this….which do we address first and where can we get the best bang for our buck.

Yes, spending up to $75K sounds like a lot of money especially if it is in one of our own personal bank accounts. When compared to a budget of $266 million, it is approximately 0.028% of the budget. Then, take into account that around 50% of the school districts have public relations persons allocated in their budgets that run on average of $180,000 per annum once all taxes and benefits are accounted for. In my simple math that I try to live by it appears they are getting the same function for $0.41 on the dollar. As a resident and person with children in the school district this is exactly the kind of forward thinking I want to see from the people in charge of the money.

As far as my understanding with this and I could be wrong – it happens – the purpose and target audience is not the general public but the actual parents and students. This is to let them know what positive items as well as events are coming to their school, adjacent schools in the district and what is to come as events and timelines. There are roughly 17,000 students which in turn makes roughly 34,000 parents (once again simple math) for an aggregate of 51,000 people. This brings the amount being spent to roughly $1.47 per student and parent. For me as an involved parent I see this as a good investment to be informed what is going on with my child’s school as well as other schools in the district, because the bad items are all over social media and easy to find.

Then I step back and think, what if I was one of the parents that has to commute 1.5 hours to work each day or has to work two jobs to make ends meet, then the $1.47 per person seems to be almost nothing to be informed as to what is going on in the school district. With that said by doing the same math the district has around $15,647 to spend per student per year in totality. This $1.47 would represent 0.009% of that money. In my opinion for AUSD to spend this per year is money well spent.

As I stated in the beginning yes, there are many issues to be addressed and there are many ways to address them. This is just one. I see this as an investment in pride in the school and its students while informing the parents. It is like anything. If all you are told is negative comments, then you have a negative opinion or mindset. When the positive is added to the negative at least a true perspective is able to be held. This is not a cure or fix. It is a beginning to curing the plethora of issues that face every school district.

Kenny Turnage


15 Comments to “Writer supports Antioch school district spending $75K on public relations”

  1. Julio says:

    Kenny, I am fine with the expenditure only if the TRUTH is told. The truth is not a word I associate with AUSD.

  2. Terry Ramus says:

    Well thought out message Kenny. It is easy to just become so negative that no idea can ever be considered. As you suggest,lets try to leave the overly critical dysfunction behind and move forward. As long as the communication is useful to parents, students and teachers, then truthful communication should be part of the program.

  3. Sherra says:

    You have got to be kidding me!

    This is ridiculous money spent. There were quite a few dissenting voices on this expenditure in a prior meeting and they decided to table it. Now I see they did that and let it die down and here we are with them pushing it through! Very sad.

  4. RJB says:

    A turd is a turd despite how much lipstick is slapped on.

  5. Ken TurnageII says:

    OK so RJB and Sherra, you don’t like it, what is your suggestion on how to get the information out to the parents and students? What would be the way that you would spend up to 75K (please be realistic it doesn’t go as far as you think). Sherra and as you may or may not know it passed by majority vote with the school board correct not unanimous but it did pass.

    Or is it just spend it else where and not address this issue because it doesn’t pertain to you?

    • Rjb says:

      Who are you to think we would have the answers to the issues not addressed by AUSD leadership?
      Your comment is both moronic and ridiculous.

      • Ken TurnageII says:


        first I asked what your suggestion is, not for the answer. By reading previous comments of yours on past articles I knew you didn’t have any answers you never do.

        It is great you can be insulting when using an alias instead of your real name…to me that is cowardly and spineless.

        Do you have any suggestions or just a mouth full of bile?

        • RJB says:

          My name is Reginald Jamal Brown… most people here know me by RJB.

          Now to address your pointless comments:

          Ken, I’m so glad that I offended you and you take the time to read my posts. I am glad I can take some time out of your day to make a true impact on your life.

          Please continue to read my posts in hopes that my message will finally get through your dense skull.

          AUSD is a failure, I’ve said it before and I will say it again and again. Antioch as a city has major issues, I’ve said it before and I will say it again and again.


        • RJB says:

          BTW.. aren’t you the Ken Turnage that LOST running for council?

          After reading your comments again… I’m no surprised.

          • Ken Turnage II says:

            MR. Brown,

            Yes I am the same Ken Turnage. Yes I did try and was unsuccessful, but at least I have and will continue to try and make a difference. As for offending me sorry sir you have no chance of being able to do so. I agree the City and the School District have many issues….besides complain and be a nah sayer what have you done….its is easy to sit back and point out faults and flaws ..it’s difficult to try and come up with solutions….as for why I lost, well if it’s because I am direct and don’t placate to people then I will sleep well tonight.

    • Sherra says:

      This is flatly not needed so I do not agree with providing a separate solution. I have no problem staying informed with my child in this school sytem and I am working and very busy! This is not about information, this is about paying for Propaganda.

      I do not care that the board passed this. They wouldn’t touch it last time when parents showed up, wrote in, and gave feedback to the board that this was not ok. Parents I knew, were outraged over this. At that time, they were saying it was 40k then 45k then 50k,now it’s 75k! As well as a conflict of interest with the person they are hiring. We need our papers to be able to comment on this objectively, not be hired by the school system to put out Propaganda. Them tabling it for months waiting for “negativity” of this deal to die down is sneaky.

      No no no, this is not the right thing to do!

  6. I agreed with Kenny Turnage’s well thought out letter. He did the math and this looks like a good investment. We’ve gotten a bad rap from some news outlets, specifically Channel 4’s KRON. It’s time we see our students, teachers, schools and district for the fine contributions they make to out community. I am proud to live in Antioch and proud that my grandson is attending an Antioch school. (My oldest grandchild is a graduate of Dozier/Libbey) I worked for the Ledger Dispatch and the Contra Costa Times for 25 years and have a high opinion of their reporting as well … although some reporters are not as excellent as others. Although I didn’t attend Antioch Schools, I’ve chosen to live half of my life in this community.
    Martha Goralka,

  7. RJB says:

    I completely agree… this is nothing more than propaganda to hide the truth about how much AUSD is a failure. They think they can solve the underlyinig problems by throwing money at it and dressing it up to be all sugar coated with candy canes, sprinkles, and lollipops.

    Don’t agree with what I have to say? Tough. It’s my opinion and I will gladly express it.

    • Ken Turnage II says:

      For someone with the stance if you don’t “if you don’t agree what I say then tough” you sure get a little bent when someone has a different opinion then you….makes you lose credibility and sound like some grumpy person without anything good in life.

      • Rjb says:

        Not grumpy at all. In fact the amount of issues AUSD / Antioch has is so ridiculous, I laugh it off. Also it’s flattering you love to respond to me. However, I do have to say for the record I am a happily married man so you’re. Arming up the wrong tree.

        Your assumptions sure paint a picture of who you are. Now that I think about it. I’m very happy you lost because someone like you as city council will probably spend your way out of every issue. Hence, that makes me very happy you lost.

        Also, don’t get so butt hurt when someone criticizes your opinion. Another fact why you wouldnt have made a good council member. Educate yourself on being a civil servant.

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