The Board of Education on Tuesday night received a report on the fiscal emergency declared last month by Governor Schwarzenegger and its potential impact on New Haven schools.
The governor’s proposal means the District must make an immediate reduction of $377,542, an amount that could increase to as much as $755,084 by June 30, and prepare for 2008-09 reductions of $5,293,345 on the unrestricted side of the budget and $1,642,531 on the restricted side of the general fund.
Education experts say the Governor’s proposal will mean “the most significant cuts in the history of California education, even more drastic than the cuts that resulted from Proposition 13.”
“The cuts will go into the classroom this time,” Chief Business Officer Carol Gregorich told the Board, saying there will be “major changes in the way we do business,” including layoffs, reduced services and increased class sizes.
Superintendent Dr. Pat Jaurequi, New Haven Teachers Association President Charmaine Kawaguchi, Board President Kevin Harper and the four other trustees and Mrs. Gregorich all spoke about the importance of opposing the governor’s proposal. A resolution will be drafted in opposition to the plan, and parents and other community members are being urged to contact Assemblyman Alberto Torrico and State Sen. Ellen Corbett to voice their opposition.
Also on Tuesday night, the Board received a report on the School Site Council discussions on student safety and school-site security, held during January, and on the Youth Violence Prevention Coalition proposal that was presented to the City Council on January 29. The District presented a list of 15 actions taken to enhance safety since the tragic shooting of a James Logan High School student outside Barnard-White Middle School on December 21, including several suggestions that were presented during the SSC meetings. The feasibility of incorporating many of the other suggestions is being explored.
Noting the concerns of Barnard-White and Cesar Chavez Middle School parents regarding the closure of BWMS and the move of CCMS to the BWMS during modernization next year, Dr. Jaurequi said the District also is committed to: 1) accelerating activities to help bring together the BWMS and CCMS communities; 2) accelerating elements of the Strategic Plan aligned with the Youth Violence Prevention Committee’s proposal to: A) establish small learning communities at the middle schools, consistent with the “”freshman families” implemented this year at Logan, and B) implement violence prevention programs; and 3) exploring options for funding an additional campus monitor’s position at both CCMS and Alvarado Middle next year.
Also on Tuesday night, the Board:
● Received “sunshine proposals” from both the District and the New Haven Teachers Association for a collective bargaining agreement and established February 19 as the date for public hearings on the proposals.
● Received an update on how the Cycle of Inquiry (“What do we want students to learn? How will we know when they’ve learned it? What do we do if they haven’t learned it? What do we do if they already know it?”) is being used to improve learning at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Much of the discussion revolved around the second question ("How will we know when they've learned it?") and how the implementation of innovative tests such as MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) and tools such as Data Director can help teachers.
● Recognized Logan track and field coach Lee Webb and five of the legendary track and field athletes who are speaking this week at District schools as part of “Olympians Week.” Two-time Olympic high jumper Reynaldo Brown, three-time Olympic pentathlete Marilyn King, 1968 gold medalist Mel Pender, Logan High graduate and former NCAA champion hurdler Mike Louisiana, former collegiate discus champion Ron Mickle and some 60 other track and field legends will participate Saturday in the annual Willie Davenport Olympian Track and Field Clinic at Logan.
Agendas of regular Board of Education meetings and minutes of past meetings are available on the District website.