The Board of Education of the New Haven Unified School District, forced to deal with the local impact of California’s financial crisis, will be asked tonight to accept a recommendation for $5.9 million in reductions in the proposed budgets for 2009-10 and 2010-11 – on top of $4 million in cuts and internal borrowing for the current budget recommended earlier this month, and on top of $7 million in cuts made last year.
“When you consider the compound effect that the reductions we’re recommending now will have in future years, the cumulative impact of these cuts will be $17.6 million,” Superintendent Kari McVeigh said, “and that’s not including the $7 million from last year.”
As school districts throughout the state wait for Governor Schwarzenegger and the Legislature to act on a budget proposal that includes another huge cut to public education, New Haven must adjust its budget to account for the loss of promised revenue now being withheld by Sacramento: $4 million in the current school year, $1.7 million in 2009-10 and $2.2 million in 2010-11.
“We’ve tried to formulate our recommendations to take into account the feedback we’ve received from parents, staff and students -- from site leadership, in School Site Council meetings and through the New Haven Community Forum,” Superintendent McVeigh said.
“The cuts that they’ve told us they least want to see – class-size reduction (staffing at a student-to-teacher ratio of 20-to-1 in kindergarten through third grade and in ninth grade), transportation and co-curricular activities – as well as possibly closing an elementary school, we’ve delayed as long as possible, to 2010-11, to give us time to try to find funding alternatives.”
Still, the Board will be asked to consider issuing layoff notices, including “precautionary layoff notices,” Ms. McVeigh said, “for teachers who might be affected if the state budget mess gets even worse and we are forced to eliminate class-size reduction in the fall, instead of in 2010-11.”
The Board will be asked to consider sufficient reductions to cover $1.5 million in internal borrowing necessary to balance the 2008-09 budget and an additional $4.4 million previously budgeted for 2009-10 and 2010-11. Those reductions include $290,000 from cuts carrying forward from current budget, plus:
• Eliminating “Staff Development Days,” three days at the start of the school year when teachers are paid if they choose to take additional training
• Staffing middle school and high school classes at a ratio of 30:1 instead of 29:1
• Reducing classified positions, pending consultation with the local leadership of the California School Employees Association.
• Eliminating eight counseling positions
• Reducing reliance on outside agencies for some Special Education services
• Reducing administrative staffing by three more positions (Director of K-8 Leadership, Data Analyst and Administrative Assistant) and replacing a technology manager with a technician
• Eliminating K-3 class-size reduction
• Eliminating 9th grade class-size reduction
• Eliminating co-curricular activities and activity/athletic directors
• Eliminating K-8 home-to-school transportation
• Eliminating the District’s share of funding for Union City Police officers assigned to James Logan and Conley-Caraballo high schools
• Closing one elementary school
• Eliminating Opportunity School, an alternative program for middle school students
The Board meeting Tuesday starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Educational Services Center, 34200 Alvarado-Niles Road.