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February 4, 2009

WC schools face teacher cuts, class-size reduction, $1 million in lost revenues


As California has sunk further in debt, with its deficit ballooning from $3.5 billion to $42 billion over the next 18 months, Walnut Creek’s school district is grappling with how to navigate this new uncertainty.

In a message to Walnut School district parents, Superintendent Patricia Wool says “It has become painfully clear to the education community that public schools will not be spared in the current round of budget reductions.”

The Walnut Creek School District, which manages five elementary schools and one middle school and 3,200 students, faces the fact that the state budget crisis is still unresolved.

In response, the district will conduct a series of meetings with district employees and parent groups. “We will brainstorm once again, and send our lists to the Budget Review Committee for consideration," Wool says.

Wool warns that the jobs of some teachers are at risk, as is class-size reduction for the early grades. Wool says tough decisions must be made this month because, by state law, lay-off notices must go out by March 15 to teachers who would face lay-offs.

As for class size reduction? Wool says: “It is inevitable that class size will rise in some grades. This is inevitable since salaries and benefits comprise over 85 percent of our budget.”

Wool says the district will host a series of meetings through March 17, so that teachers and parents can supply their input on which programs they are willing to let go of.

Here is the schedule for upcoming public meetings:

Indian Valley PTO, Thursday, February 5, 8:30 a.m.
Walnut Heights PTA, Thursday, February 5, 9:30 a.m.
Buena Vista PTA, Thursday, February 5, 7 p.m.
Walnut Creek Intermediate PTA, Wednesday February 18, 7 p.m.
Parkmead PTA/PALS PTO, Thursday, February 26, 9 a.m.
Murwood PTA, Tuesday, March 17, 7 p.m

1 comment:

Superior Firepower said...

The entire California school system is broken. Even Senator Jackie Spear has echoed these very words. California is now (or very close too) the worst state in the union for education.

This did not happen by accident or some mysterious reason. It happened due to poor management and special interest. Those two things still exist, and untill that is corrected it is not worth throwing a plug nickel at any school anywhere in the state.

The question is: Do we get in the blame game and change nothing? OR Do we gut the whole thing and start all over again? (which is what needs to be done).

The economic crisis we are experiencing is going to change the entire landscape as we know it. Education will obviously be high on the list.

One thing that will have to be addressed is the attitude of entitlements to people illegally registered into schools out of district or here in this country. (The same issue that is destroying our healthcare system and the insurance industry).

We can not be all things to all people when we don't have the money to pay for it.