January 21, 2010

Guv's vow for "no new cuts" means $4.8 million loss and 50 possible lay-offs in Acalanes district

John Stockton, the superintendent of the Acalanes Union High District, which includes Las Lomas and Acalanes high schools, disputed Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggers' claim last week to not reduce public education spending anymore.

However, Stockton says, the budget the governor released January 8 includes $2.4 billion in new education cuts statewide. The district is holding a series of public meetings, which finish up today, to explain how these cuts will impact just this one district. That impact could mean laying off 50 teachers and other staff positions, including 11 English teachers, 3 math teachers, 11 social science teachers, and 11 counselors.

Here's a notice that Stockton sent out to the community.
On Wednesday, January 6, California's Governor expressed his intention not to reduce spending to public education. However, the budget he released on January 8 includes approximately $2.4 billion in new education cuts statewide. The Acalanes Union High School District's share of the reduction is $1.4 million. With $3.4 million in cuts already planned for the district budget due to the 2009-2010 state shortfall, AUHSD must now prepare for a total of $4.8 million in reductions for 2010-2011 to remain solvent.

At the January 13 AUHSD Governing Board meeting, a list of approximately 50 teacher and support positions was reviewed for personnel release action. Unfortunately, funding reductions of this magnitude will impact all programs. The scope of the instructional program must contract to fit the available funds.

On January 21, sessions will be held at 7 am and 4:30 pm. All meetings will be held at the AUHSD Office at 1212 Pleasant Hill Road in Lafayette.

These information sessions have a variety of goals.

--Review the financial status of the district

--Explain layoff procedures to the community

--Allow educational community members to express program priorities should revenues to the district increase

--Inform educational community members of organized efforts to increase revenue to the instructional program

With over 50 positions at risk of layoff, no programs can be removed from the list of reductions. During the last three years, district and classified positions have been trimmed. The new budget cuts force course offering reductions to be a primary consideration. The Governing Board and district staff know these cuts will be painful, but must reduce staff to match revenues.

These are very trying times for our educational community. Lack of state funding could transform the foundational mission of AUHSD. The district and parent organizations will be providing regular updates regarding efforts to maintain the historically high quality associated with an Acalanes Union High School District education.

For up-to-date information regarding district budget issues, please refer to AUHSD website Budget and Negotiations Updates.

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