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February 11, 2009 > Financial crisis impacts local education

Financial crisis impacts local education

By Rick LaPlante

The New Haven Unified School District Board of Education received information on local ramifications of California's financial crisis and Governor Schwarzenegger's proposal for another large cut to public education. The Board met Feb. 3.

Chief Business Officer Ted Hood reported on 2008-09 budget reductions and updated the Board on planning for 2009-10 and 2010-11.

After making $7 million in cuts last year, the District must adjust its budget to account for the loss of an additional $4 million in revenue that is being withheld by Sacramento. The state plans to withhold another $1.7 million from the 2009-10 budget, and $2.2 million in 2010-11.

The District has frozen hiring and eliminated overtime, except on an emergency basis, and is funding as many General Fund expenses as legally possible with categorical dollars (state and federal funds earmarked for specialized student groups or programs). The District also is reducing Strategic Plan funding and budgets for materials and supplies.

Still, workforce reductions are necessary. The Board approved elimination of four management positions (Coordinator of Prevention and Intervention Services, Risk Manager, Social Worker, and Supervisor of High School Maintenance and Operations). In addition, after the annual end-of-semester enrollment analysis indicated a need to reduce the teaching staff, three temporary teachers resigned.

Further layoffs almost certainly will be necessary to balance the 2009-10 and 2010-11 budgets, Hood said. Other possibilities include increasing class sizes, reducing or eliminating transportation, and eliminating extra-curricular and co-curricular activities.

In other actions, the Board approved a tentative collective bargaining agreement with the California School Employees Association.

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