News

Schools brace for cuts

After watching five of the state's six budget measures go down in flames Tuesday, local school administrators had one overarching response: Our schools and community colleges have a rough road ahead.

"We don't know the impact to us, but education is going to be hit substantially," said Joe White, associate superintendent of business services for the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District.

On Tuesday, school administrators agreed it was too early to tell exactly what the election results meant for local districts, which are still waiting to see how much will come from the federal stimulus package.

But even though uncertainty reigned, administrators were sure they would be crunching numbers through the summer in an effort to balance their budgets.

"Everyone thinks when they do the election projections at 8:03 p.m., we will know," White said. "We will not know for the longest time about the impacts." State politicians, he noted, "still have to pass a budget."

The results of the special election came as a blow to the state Legislature, which put Propositions 1A through 1F before voters in hopes of stabilizing California's troubled economy. Instead, voters defeated the first five measures by two-to-one margins.

California public schools have already been hit hard by budget cuts over the last several years, and Props 1A and 1B would have helped to refund $9.3 billion the state owes the schools. 1A would have set up a reserve, and 1B would have used this reserve to pay back money the state owes educational institutions.

Since the Legislature passed a budget in February, California has fallen ever-further into debt, and now suffers from an estimated $15 billion shortfall. But after to the rejection of the ballot measures, local school administrators said that number could grow to $21 billion, and worry that more than $5 billion could be cut from public schools and community colleges, depending on what the Legislature does next.

"These ballot measures are part of the budget solution," Andy Dunn, vice chancellor of business for Foothill-De Anza, said before the election results were known. "Community colleges and K through 12 are really facing some tough budget times."

White and Dunn said the deficit as it now stands could lead to cuts of $2 million from the high school district and $28 million from Foothill-De Anza.

As for the Mountain View Whisman Elementary School District, administrators wouldn't even hazard a guess, in part because the district just became a basic aid district, meaning that it will be primarily funded through property taxes. Craig Goldman, the district's chief financial officer, said administrators are still waiting to see what happens next.

The district does expect cuts to some of its preschool programs since California voters rejected a measure, Proposition 1D, aimed at changing the way the state funds social and educational programs for children under the age of 5.

In his May revise of the budget last week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger predicted more painful cuts in education, depending on election results. These cuts were targeted at revenue-limit districts, which are school districts receiving the majority of their funding from the state.

The state has not yet laid out cuts to basic aid districts, but they could face reductions in funds to special programs and to things like maintenance.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ned
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 20, 2009 at 9:02 pm

The solution seems simple then: cut district administrative and staff positions by half given all the extra programs that will be cut. Leave the teaching staffs alone.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 21, 2009 at 5:34 am

Cut the ridiculous $6,700,000 fire station right now.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by angry
a resident of North Whisman
on May 21, 2009 at 7:12 am

Arnold should take a cut in his pay


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Margaret
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 21, 2009 at 2:19 pm

1) Total Recall of Arnold and entire legislature
2) Eliminate term limits
3) Call for election
4) Raise taxes to pay for schools NOW


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 21, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Re: angry "Arnold should take a cut in his pay"

FYI: Arnold opted not to receive any compensation for being Governor....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Smart Growther
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 21, 2009 at 6:16 pm

1. Lets cut and see what happens.
2. Keep term limits.
3. Lower taxes and see if business's will return from other states


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael
a resident of Castro City
on May 21, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Damm looks like were all going to hell. If you received a stimulus check from Obama, use it to buy guns and ammo. No joke. Always be prepared for the worst. Many educated liberals think this worlds problems are always going to be solved through reason. Yet that only works for those that have been in doctrinated in to believe this world is a perfect world. Reality check will come when a majority of uneducated Americans and non-native populations rise and take control of these streets through force. They are the ones that suffer all the burdens of a perfect society.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rod
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2009 at 9:18 pm

HEY PETER...

Where did you get your information from?

If Arnold opted for no compensation then how does he pay for his food and bills? Is he gonna live off of his wife? Come on.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by taxpayer
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2009 at 9:31 pm

the story is about the MVWSD, not Arnold, can we stay on topic here?

the board voted to spend $15K to hire a political consultant to do public opinion research to help the board decide whether to put a bond measure (somewhere between $17-191 million for facility renovation) on the November ballot.

the board put no information about said bond proposal on the district website, saying that sometimes when you give people information it could influence their opinion before you ask them what they think

during the discussion, 3 board members spoke and 2 board members were silent, then they voted 5-0 in favor of the $15K consultant study

the Tuesday election results might have been discussed earlier in the evening but were not mentioned during this agenda item discussion about a bond measure.

should the district be spending $15K on a political consultant after proposing to cut $60K for science camp and $30K for grades 6-8 class size reduction?

should the 10-year master plan for facilities be a priority item for the school district at this time?

why do so few parents/voters/residents/taxpayers go to the board meetings where these decisions are made?

I want to hear a variety of well-thought out opinions, not complaints about immigration and Arnold. I really want to hear what others think about this.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Reader
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 21, 2009 at 9:51 pm

[Post removed]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by concerned
a resident of Castro City
on May 21, 2009 at 9:53 pm

I agree with reader. Let people post what they want. Who the hell are you


 +   Like this comment
Posted by taxpayer
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Reader -

honest question, are you saying I'm an idiot because I suggested people stick to the topic or because of something about the bond proposal? not sure how you meant that.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by pta mom
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 21, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Ok mvwsd just keep giving the pact program all the money. right


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 22, 2009 at 7:14 am

Re: Rod- another uninformed resident
"If Arnold opted for no compensation then how does he pay for his food and bills? Is he gonna live off of his wife? Come on"

I don't know if you herd but Arnold is a multi-millionaire, gezzzzz, wake up an smell the coffee. Arnold could earn $206,500+ for his stint in office, but he gives it back to the state. Google it you ignoramus....

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ned
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 22, 2009 at 8:06 am

This is the same board and district that plumped up the out-going supe's and asst. supe's retirement packages the last few months before they retired adding a 15-20 percent annual burden to the state for the rest of their lives. Does any one have any historical memory? Retiring teachers were never given this option. The DA investigated. No laws broken... technically all legal... just like the mess behind the TARP. But was it the right thing to do? Was it ethical? Look at the mess we are in now. As long as its legal (or rather not illegal) anything goes.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MR. RODNEY
a resident of another community
on May 22, 2009 at 8:51 am

PETER HOW DO YOU SPELL HERD?? I spell it "heard" which I learned in elementary school. Go back to school and get off my ass. I will post what I want. Sounds like you are butt hurt over my post, get over it. Arnold doesn't know how to budget, do you get it? He gives back only because he is guilty of not doing his job efficiently like he promised.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 22, 2009 at 9:37 am

R: Mr Rodney: "PETER HOW DO YOU SPELL HERD??"
You are absolutely correct. I misspelled. I apologize, how can I ever live with myself.
Nothing like a red-herring argument as a sign of insecurity-good job, keep up the nice work ;)

Have a nice day Rodney....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sc
a resident of North Whisman
on May 22, 2009 at 1:09 pm

sc is a registered user.

PETER:
I may not agree with the governor, but let's give credit where it is due, Rod is correct,governor Arnold Schwarzenegger does NOT take his salary.

See:
Web Link
Web Link
Web Link
Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sc
a resident of North Whisman
on May 22, 2009 at 1:13 pm

sc is a registered user.

rather ROD, Peter is correct, sorry.


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