ARCADIA – There’s the good news and the bad news to the preliminarybudget report released by Gov. Schwarzenegger last Friday, according to schoolArcadia board member Joann Steinmeier and Superintendent Joel Shawn.
First, the bad news for the City, according to SchoolServices, is that the State has recommended slashing administration staff sothat there are merely four to five percent of district positions in theadministrative department.
“We can’t run the district without administrators. It makesno sense,” said Steinmeier. “There are only so many hours in the day.” Theadministrators shoulder the responsibility of pursuing high academic standards,as well as helping teachers better do their jobs and in dealing with thepublic. She said the district must have people moving the school forward.
Arcadia Superintendent Joel Shawn reported on his blog thatthere will be $1.5 billion cuts in 2010-11, with $1.2 billion aimed at “schooldistrict administrative costs.” There are no details as to how the state wouldachieve these savings. He said, “For Arcadia this is projected to be anadditional loss of about $2 million.”
Despite the bad news, Shawn said one positive aspect of thebudget report was the avoidance of midyear district-level cuts to K-12education. The State has not given indication so far that there will be midyear cuts, something the District has had to deal with in the past. Thegovernor has had to make reductions in payments to schools during the winter.
Preliminarily, there will be little change to Prop. 98funding, which provides most of the general funding for schools. The Cost ofLiving Adjustment (COLA) is being reduced by .38 percent. The State is expectedto take $23 per student, totaling $230,000 from Arcadia.
For now, in both San Gabriel and Arcadia, these factors arejust an indicator of where things might head. Board members emphasized thatthese are preliminary reports; May is when the rubber meets the roads. In thattime, the legislature gives the “real working document.”
If things progress the way they seem to be moving, Arcadiamay choose not to fill any of the 15 teaching positions that will be vacated atthe end of the school year. That is the number of teachers retiring, andclassroom sizes look to rise.
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