News

School officials report grim day in Sac'to

School District officials from the traveled to the state capitol Tuesday for a firsthand view at the budgeting process, and that evening Superintendent Steve Enoch reported a discouraging scenario.

"We face an additional $7 million cut for next year," Enoch told the school board of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District at its meeting. "Our budget scenario already shows us running out of money and I wanted to give a heads up to the board."

"I see us slipping into 'qualified' status," he noted. "There are red flags."

State school district certifications are classified as positive, qualified or negative, according to the California Department of Education. A district receives a positive certification if it will meet its financial obligations for the current and two subsequent fiscal years.

A district is assigned a qualified certification when it may not meet its financial obligations for the current or two subsequent fiscal years. A negative certification means a district will be unable to meet its financial obligations for the remainder of the current year or for the subsequent fiscal year.

"Because of the sharp downturn in our economy and deep cuts to education, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of districts that are on the negative or qualified certification list," said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell in a press release in June. "Unfortunately, the cuts to public education that are part of the state budget are likely to result in even more districts being added to this list."

The governor is hoping for increasing funds from the federal government, Enoch reported Tuesday, adding, "But I had a sense that was wishful thinking."

He said the good news is that the COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) is going to be fully funded this year.

Enoch went to Sacramento for the presentation and examination of the governor's budget proposal with the district's budget director, assistant superintendents for business and education services, and a representative of one of the employee unions.

"Hope is not a plan – they opened the session with this statement," said Enoch. "The state missed its financial goals by $6 billion for 2009-10. The proposed deficit for '10-'11 is $13.6 billion."

"I'd like to say there was a silver lining but we couldn't find it," he concluded.

Comments

Posted by Gunslinger, a resident of Danville
on Jan 18, 2010 at 5:09 am

Thank God. Believe it or not, money actually doesn't grow on trees, and if it did the libs would have long ago chopped down all the money trees to pay for their superfluous teachers, illegal immigrants and cultural welfare abusers. Meanwhile, our infrastructure, something that we have to maintain or else suffer mass catastrophe, is going to crap. Have you seen many of our roads even in this area? And the bridges around the nation are about to collapse. At this rate, Americas soon gonna end up looking like Haiti


Posted by Chris Hopkins, a resident of Danville
on Jan 18, 2010 at 11:33 am

Education is the backbone of our future. We are leaving an enormous debt to the next generation! I say we provide them with the best education possible! This will at least give them a chance to pull themselves and us out of this mess!


Posted by Gunslinger, a resident of Danville
on Jan 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Our education system can never deliver the education our kids deserve. Throwing money at a pathetically engineered system accomplishes nothing. And the type of education coming out of today's Cali schools is not forming any sort of backbone. The present system is full of entitled unionists fighting for themselves, not the children. So stop thinking you got us fooled


Posted by Andrew Gardner, a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Jan 18, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Gunslinger

Thanks for providing a solution to our education issues in California. Not that I totally disagree with your simplistic post regarding a complex problem but clearly you have no intent of fixing the problem, only complaining about it.

Education is the very foundation of economics. Without educated people making sound economic decisions, we are doomed to fail. California receives far less money per student than 49 other states in the union. I don't think throwing more money at a broken education is the solution but taking it away is clearly inhibiting our children from being successful individuals in the future.


Posted by Gunslinger, a resident of Danville
on Jan 18, 2010 at 4:56 pm

I have stated umpteenth times simple measures to help our kids learn with greater clarity and efficiency, as they were intended. Of those I mentioned, some include broadly: provision of better nutrition, more physical education, and a greater sense of discipline in the classroom. All of these topics I have many a time subdivided into the why and how specifically these would work. For one, kids don't have ADD. THERE'S NO SUCH THING! They are underusing their energetic bodies. They need to move. If you know anything about the brain you know it's abilities are directly linked to the strength of ones heart and metabolism. Also, when the kids are relaxed naturally and their minds pumped, you can teach as they used to, with a reasonable amount of kids in the class, far greater than 22. The truth is, without a calm and disciplined class, even ten kids is too many. I guarantee you the teachers would be demanding 10 kids per class if they didn't know that the people would finally realize the system's strategem is completely off. Teachers unions want small class sizes because that means we have to hire more teachers. The kids are irrelevant in their equation. If we up the class sizes, we have less teachers, which means we can give the ones we keep on board, the better ones, a slight pay raise. We can also pay for stellar nutrition and other amenities for our children. Think about it people. Teachers salaries are pretty much the biggest chunk of the education budget


Posted by Patty, a resident of San Ramon
on Jan 19, 2010 at 10:09 am

I am really surprised that someone who wants to cut out "superfluous teachers, illegal immigrants and cultural welfare abusers" would want to spend education dollars on nutrition in the schools. Isn't it our responsibility as parents to send our children to school with a good breakfast and nutritious lunch? I would prefer they worry less about the school providing food and more about them providing quality classroom instruction in an environment that is conducive to learning (fewer students, less distraction, better teachers). I am well aware that outside of the San Ramon Valley, food at school is the only meal some children get, and they aren't complaining about it! They are grateful.


Posted by Gunslinger, a resident of Danville
on Jan 19, 2010 at 10:40 am

I'm not even going to dignify that load of drivel with a full and reasonable response. Let me say just one thing, and that is, as adults, one should know that we don't let kids dictate what they eat at school. Otherwise they'd be eating even worse stuff than is often provided at present. The rest of your argument is garbage. Hopefully other sane adults see that


Posted by Duffy, a resident of Danville
on Jan 19, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Perhaps we can forego the solar panels until a more favorable budget climate exists!

Ivory halls and padded chairs do not educate. Good teachers educate. Lets put our money where it does the most EDUCATIONAL good.


Posted by Lisa, a resident of Danville
on Jan 19, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Patty, as a parent with 3 kids in 2 different SRV schools I could not agree with you more.


Posted by Gunslinger, a resident of Danville
on Jan 19, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Yeah, and something tells me you have ulterior motives. I always love when you hear about these "parents" protesting at city halls demanding we keep class sizes small. Then you find out all these parents are teachers


Posted by Andrew Gardner, a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Jan 19, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Thank you for revealing yourself Rick. At least now you are not calling people names and cleaned up your dialogue. I think the editor appreciates that.

Nevertheless, many people make assumptions about teachers and our education system as a whole. Some may be accurate, others could be further from the truth. But, the fact is, is that we have one of the best school districts in the state, for what ever that is worth, and we should not let this status subside in the face of budget constraints.

We are not great because of money. We are great because of this community: educated parents, determined students, qualified teachers, and modernized infrastructures. And we have accomplished this with a slim budget as the norm. If you didn't know, the budget equation for SRVUSD still adds up to a rural district in which we are not. We have managed to acheive greatness with little.

So it is not more money that is needed, although that would be nice, but a lack of money would surely inhibit our consistent success as a district working with limited funds in the first place, ultimately hurting our children and students.

So Gunslinger aka Rick, of course you won't "dignify that load of drivel with a full and reasonable response." You hated school and you have no children in the school system, therefore you have no experience in which to draw from unlike so many parents in this community. They have seen the good and the bad and their collective word would probably be the most accurate, not yours.

And to remark about your other comments. You should be very thankful for those roads you drive on, the people who maintain them and the codes that keep our building strong and intact. If you are complaining about potholes, just keep in perspective when you watch the images of Haiti be revealed to you. Then be Thankful for what this great country provides for you, especially in one of the wealthiest areas of the country.


Posted by Gunslinger, a resident of Danville
on Jan 20, 2010 at 6:49 am

Don't tell me to be grateful as if we Americans are just lucky to be better off than Haiti. We're better off because of people like me, who demand our money be spent on the proper things such as infrastructure. Haitis the way it is because the people there don't think about how to help their government better their infrastructure, but merely how to get their piece of welfare, just like many here do. And when we hire uselessly numerous teachers, spending hundreds of millions of dollars in just this state just to keep class sizes down, then we are doing the same as Haiti, letting our infrastructure go to crap like the third world. And don't tell me about what interests I have in the education system. You don't know what kids I do or don't have in the system. And I am young, which means that, even if I don't now, I will one day have kids in our schools. And am I not a taxpayer? Do I have no say in how my moneys spent? Do you, Andrew, actually wanna insist that the only way for our children to get a good education is in a small class? Or do you wanna grow a brain and recognize that that's a minor luxury not worth allowing our infrastructure to degrade.

Finally, I would absolutely argue that 90% of a childs abilities in the classroom are a result of family upbringing. Therefore, this areas kids do well in school because of their parents, not these self-anggrandizing teachers who wanna take all the credit.

I am grateful for my country, especially what it used to be before everyone started raping it for their own benefit. This country is great because people like me stood up to oppressive taxation and misuse of other peoples money. Time to reassert


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