News

Schools prepare for deep cuts

Trustees holding budget workshop today

The school board was handed a possible script for the pending deep cuts, at its meeting Feb. 10, and few programs were left unscathed.

"Some near and dear programs will have to be cut," said Board Member Greg Marvel.

San Ramon Valley Unified School District staff prepared the list, making it clear that these were not recommendations but "Potential Reduction Considerations."

Superintendent Steven Enoch had predicted that nothing would be the same, and indeed the list included the words "eliminate," "reduce," "modify" and "decrease." Teachers, counselors and librarians are imperiled.

The wake-up call included larger classes; some classes may be eliminated, as well as crossing guards; swimming pools won't be heated in December and January; no fifth-grade music; managers forced to take furloughs; maintenance and custodial service reduced; no stipends for coaches, band and art instructors.

A few of the lowlights from a reading of the Considerations were as follows:

• Teachers: Between 220 and 235 teachers eliminated by increasing class sizes, reducing the number of teachers on special assignment, and reducing elementary school specialized prep teachers. Savings: From $6.3 million to $8 million.

• Counselors: Elimination of 27 counselors. Savings to be determined.

• Librarians: Eliminate six (half) of the secondary school librarians. Savings: $0.5 million.

• Assistant principals: Eliminate three. Savings: $0.5 million.

• Management: Mandate two unpaid furlough days for a number of managers, to be determined. Savings $0.2 million.

• District office: Reduce the number of staff in the superintendent's office and the Human Resources, Educational Services, and Business Services departments by a number to be determined. Savings: $0.7 million.

• Downsize the Facilities Department for a savings of $0.6 million.

Trustee Rachel Hurd urged the board to be thoughtful about Special Education

cuts, but said she wasn't advocating for any certain program.

"We need to start prioritizing," she said.

The full document, and related materials, are available at the district Web site Look under Budget Information then District Financial Crisis.

The trustees are scheduled to discuss these items at a budget workshop beginning at 2 p.m., Friday, Feb. 13, at the district offices, 699 Old Orchard Drive in Danville. They are expected to address not only the layoffs but use of the reserve funds and deferring of scheduled maintenance.

Initial layoff notices for teachers must be sent out March 15 with final notices out by May 15, said district spokesman Terry Koehne. He said the board is to act on these notices at the Feb. 24 meeting.

Comments

Posted by Steven Minchen, a resident of Danville
on Feb 13, 2009 at 10:21 am

It is a shame to reduce our education standards due to a short term financial situation. This loss of education services hurt the community, property values and our future. I recommed we vote for the parcel tax of only $144 per home per year. This is a cheap investment for education. Danville and the surrounding areas benefit from strong home values because the education system is deemed strong. If we lose that then I am sure property values will decrease at some point. California spends less per child than most states, I believe Texas spends lower. This does not seem like the image we would want to project, being the 6th largest economy and home to world class universities and business.

I do not propose reducing our education needs for a short term problem. The cost is too great for the long run


Posted by Steven Minchen, a resident of Danville
on Feb 13, 2009 at 10:21 am

It is a shame to reduce our education standards due to a short term financial situation. This loss of education services hurt the community, property values and our future. I recommed we vote for the parcel tax of only $144 per home per year. This is a cheap investment for education. Danville and the surrounding areas benefit from strong home values because the education system is deemed strong. If we lose that then I am sure property values will decrease at some point. California spends less per child than most states, I believe Texas spends lower. This does not seem like the image we would want to project, being the 6th largest economy and home to world class universities and business.

I do not propose reducing our education needs for a short term problem. The cost is too great for the long run


Posted by Marie, a resident of Danville
on Feb 16, 2009 at 11:33 am

Why don't we see the cuts in Management and overhead reduced as sharply as those in the teaching areas. Let's get rid of more assistant principals, managers and staff in the school district office. DO we really need a full time PR person on staff? Cuts are going to have to be made, that is for sure. Let's try to keep them away from the classroom.


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