Latest School News
- Published: Thursday, November 17, 2011
Last night at the regular Board meeting, the discussion continued on possible options for K–8 reconfiguration. The encouraging news over the past three years is that kindergarten enrollment has grown each of those years. This year kindergarten enrollment is just over 300, the largest it has been in many years. While overall enrollment continues to decline, we are finding it necessary to consider options that will support our growing numbers on the elementary campuses. Foremost in the development of these options is a configuration that best meets the educational needs of the students within the parameters of facility capacity and the responsibility of being fiscally prudent. Several options have been presented, and as conversations continue variations of those options have developed.
After discussion of the options, consideration will be given to: (1) Pre-school, Transitional-K, K, 1st on one site and 2-6 on three sites; (2) Paired buddy schools K-3 and 4-6; (3) K-5 on 4 sites and 6,7,8 at Zane; (4) K-6 with 6 (parent choice),7,8 at Winship. In (1), there was conversation about adding preschool on the campus. In all configurations that include Winship and Zane, enrollment can only support one middle school in the district.
The next steps over the following months will be to evaluate the viability of these options and to provide an avenue for staff, parents, and the community to share their opinions. Town hall meetings will be scheduled at various school sites and other opportunities for input will be developed.
In addition, I am including the latest report from the Legislative Office that relates to our state’s budget picture. While this summary primarily discusses the “triggers”, the state has also indicated that even if the “triggers” aren’t enacted upon, further deferrals to schools could occur.
California Government Department’s Legislative Analyst Office released the November State Budget report yesterday:
Economic Recovery Even Slower Than Expected
One year ago, we wrote that the U.S. economic recovery was progressing more slowly than previously expected. Once again, we have to make the same observation. While the economy has some bright spots, including export growth and strength in technology-related service sectors (which are important to California), weakness in the housing market continues to affect both the construction industry and the financial services sector. The end of the federal fiscal stimulus program and declining governmental employment also are limiting economic growth. In this forecast, we project continuation of this slow, arduous recovery, with California’s unemployment rate remaining above 10 percent through mid-2014 and above 8 percent through the end of 2017.
LAO Revenue Forecast Would Translate Into $2 Billion of “Trigger Cuts”
Our updated assessment of California’s economy and revenues indicate that General Fund revenues and transfers in 2011-12 will be $3.7 billion below the level assumed in the 2011-12 budget package passed in June. Under provisions of the 2011-12 budget package, this revenue shortfall would translate into $2 billion of trigger cuts to various state programs. (This includes all of the “Tier 1” trigger cuts and about three-fourths of the “Tier 2” trigger cuts.) The Director of Finance will determine the actual amount of trigger cuts to K-14 education and several other programs next month based on the higher of this 2011-12 revenue forecast and the forecast of the administration. Our expenditure forecast assumes that this amount of trigger cuts is implemented in 2011-12 and maintained throughout the forecast period.