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Details on Easy Cuts CUSD Can Make

Superintendent Joseph Farley has said the district can cut $11 million of the $51 million it needs to find without new union pacts. Here's how they'll impact schools.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of the story described funds being moved around were coming from from English-language learners. In fact, they funds are called Tier III funds, which in part serve English-language learners.

The is proposing a number of cuts for the 2012-13 school year that will impact everything from sports to special education to bus transportation.

Although , $11 million are cuts it can make fairly easily, without having to negotiate new agreements with labor unions, Superintendent Joseph Farley has said.

Through a Public Records Act request, Patch has obtained details for the $11 million in cuts.

In recent months, the Board of Trustees has reviewed several lists of possible lay-offs and cuts the district can make without consulting the unions. Among those that will be felt at the schools are:

  • Cutting nearly 16 special education teachers
  • Tightening teaching staff by reducing non-teaching assignments
  • The elimination of many instructional assistant positions, including those for English learners and special education
  • Reduction of , which will result in fewer hours at the middle schools
  • The defunding of all boys' and girls' lacrosse coaches
  • Letting go of two assistant coaches per high school for varsity football
  • Reducing one assistant coach for boys' and girls' basketball and soccer teams
  • The elimination of some high school activities clerks so that the schools have the same number
  • Reducing the number of at the high schools and middle schools
  • Cutting various stipends, including those for elementary student council, peer assistance leadership programs at the elementary and middle schools, academic competitions for the middle school (spelling bee, science fair and others)
  • The elimination of all extra-curricular transportation
  • Reduction of home-to-school transportation

The list will be finalized when the board passes its 2012-13 budget, scheduled for its June 27 meeting.

Moving Money Around

The district is expected to receive $21.3 million in funding targeted for specific needs. However, because of the continuing school budget crisis, the state gives school districts the flexibility to spend this money in other areas.

According to a document obtained by Patch, the district is proposing to move $9.4 million from these programs, effectively defunding some of them, including:

  • Advanced Placement fee reimbursement
  • PE teacher incentive grants
  • Community-based English tutors
  • Intensive instruction for students studying to take the California High School Exit Exam
  • School counselor grants (for grades 7-12)
  • Administrative training program
  • Pupil retention block grants

In addition, many programs will be drastically reduced and offered on a “minimal basis,” including:

  • Almost all of the summer school budget
  • $1.2 of the $1.6 million for deferred maintenance
  • $226,441 of the $333,730 for GATE students
  • Most—$2 million of the $2.8 million—for textbook repair, replacement

In district parlance, the money is “swept” to other areas. The board will hold a public hearing about this shifting of funds at its June 11 meeting. 

Management Layoffs

In addition, the district is proposing layoffs of employees who work at the district’s headquarters in San Juan Capistrano. Among them are:

  • 1 executive director of educational services
  • 1 director of educational services
  • 1-2 facilities personnel
  • 1 manager of fiscal services
  • 1 manager of technology
  • 2 in the transportation department
  • 1 bilingual secretary
  • 1 account technician
  • 4 employees in transportation, maintenance and graphics divisions

Closing Barcelona Hills Elementary

Finally, will eliminate several positions, including prinicipal, lead custodian and attendance clerk.

See the attached PDFs for more information.

Penny Arévalo (Editor) May 30, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Gov. Brown said during his budget press conferences that high-speed rail remains a priority.
OC Mom May 30, 2012 at 07:40 PM
The train to nowhere isn't necessary. Who are the politicians and businesspeople who will profit from this boondoggle? Wake up Californians. Don't make our children suffer for this ridiculous idea. Perhaps Mr. Obama could inject this stimulus money into schools rather than this kooky idea.
Yeparoo May 30, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Gov Brown's commitment to HSR is well known. I am just wondering when the CTA, et al, will say: 1) Police 2) Fire 3) School ___________________ 4) Everything Else Not only is their "fat" in 1, 2 & 3, but CA has allot of "Everything Else" that has jumped ED on the priority list. And now all we have parents, teachers, tax payers fighting. I'm just saying, is their even one ED group that can issue a press release to the media saying enough? Creepy Sacramento as usual.
Pam Sunderman May 30, 2012 at 10:06 PM
SCN, API is not determined individually. It is a score given to a school based on many factors...including test scores of all populations...including ethnicities, ELL's, and some special ed students. Your child will probably take the test but will not be given an individual API. The virtual school may receive a score that includes every student. Will you be teaching your child after work hours? What time will that be? Will he be working on his own on the computer during the day? What else will he be doing? How will you know? He is a freshman? Being on a team is not the way students learn to problem solve academically. I am not judging the virtual school. I just hope that your expectations are realistic. Surely you realize what value Ms. R brought to your student. If not then I can't really relate to your experience. As far as volunteering...if you google and look you can probably find out what I have been up to during my retirement. Of course I am not obligated to justify my existence to you. Or you could even ask Ms. R the next time you see her. She is an amazing teacher and person who does indeed love her students and I am sure that Ambuehl is thrilled to have her come back to help. She will be disappointed to read that you are willing to throw her to the wolves as far as her retirement goes...since you never really needed her and certainly don't need her now...right?
Yeparoo May 30, 2012 at 10:33 PM
SCN - It looks like Pam Jolly is making a case for keeping STAR testing so you can know your child's individual score as API is for a group. It's a good thing she has brought that up. Plus many other questions you probably will not be able to manage as a parent such as - "when will you feed your children?" - "How will you know if they are sick?" - "Are they attentive?" - "Do they need to have play/activity time?" - "Should they use a computer or pen/paper?" - "How does the computer teacher compare to Khan Academy?" And why wouldn't you want to make up for the boogie defined pension the union lied about? The Union did say they could have a Roll Royce pension. After all, after the 8+8 contributions, some investments went down and they weren't any good at the real estate game and GE stock has sucked for 5 years. I mean, Jack is pissed at Walmart bribing politicians in Mexico to show "he cares," but keeps the stock because they are a good NOT-UNION company that makes mucho $$$. So if your investments go down, too bad and suck a rock. But don't be an evil thrower to wolves mean momma.
O T May 30, 2012 at 10:53 PM
I am furious that once again, Special Education is being targeted again for even more budget cuts. The weakest and the most vulnerable in our communities are always the first to be. "$11 million are cuts it can make fairly easily, without having to negotiate new agreements with labor unions, Superintendent Joseph Farley has said." According to this article, "Cutting nearly 16 special education teachers" and "The elimination of many instructional assistant positions, including those for English learners and special education" are "among those [cuts] that will be felt at the schools". Educating, properly educating, our special needs students is an investment. Learning work skills or preparing for degrees through our special education programs leads to those with disabilities becoming involved not only in the labor force, but also in the community, which is beneficial to us all. Needless to say, having the skills to earn one's income not only unburdens the government's economic/welfare/social programs, but creates wealth for the overall society. Rethink these proposed budget cuts, rather than claim that you have cut expenditures, merely by creating much larger debts and expenditures in the future. Rather, let's invest in our future.
Yeparoo May 30, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Furious - Yep. Now I understand why the TT are in hiding. This could be a nasty summer. First Wisconsin, then Illinois ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhbRcDZiJJc ). What will this mess look like when it hits the California windmill?
OC Mom May 31, 2012 at 12:06 AM
@Shelly, Yes, teachers are just doing another job or profession. Last I checked they couldn't walk on water, turn water into wine, or rise from the dead. If they could do those kinds of miracles maybe they could solve CUSD's budget problems. Till they can, they are just like the rest of us. They provide a service and meet a need in our community. Appliance repairmen, mail carriers, nurses, piano teachers, construction workers etc. all provide a service. Teachers are not more important than any other profession. The union has deluded some of them into thinking their needs are more important than the other 99% of the population, but they need to wake up to the fact that that is a fallacy. I have to hope that most teachers live in reality and are aware of the tough times some of their students' parents are experiencing financially. I do not work in finance at CUSD so I don't know how much teachers should be paid in order for the budget to pencil out. As I've state before, I think there are other wasteful programs in the State that are redundant or not as vital as Education. I think the Govenor should look at cutting those agencies before cutting schools budgets any further.
Pam Sunderman May 31, 2012 at 01:30 AM
OC Mom, as far as I know, no one is suggesting that teachers are anything other than people trying to do their job with reduced resources. They are perfectly willing to do their part and will be taking a pay cut.
OC Mom May 31, 2012 at 02:25 AM
How many more cuts will need to be made as more and more producers leave? http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/california-356374-state-billion.html
Pam Sunderman May 31, 2012 at 04:02 AM
South county, we actually know nothing about each other except that we disagree in some rather major areas. That doesn't make either of us necessarily wrong. I do know more about my profession and what is happening in schools than you do and you know much more about your own individual preferences and situation than I ever will. I wish you well with whatever you choose to do with your choices about your children's education. It is not necessary for you to label other decisions made by parents as wrong either. In my opinion public schools are a very crucial part of our democracy. Vouchers have not proven to be the answer in the majority of cases because there are so many other factors involved. When schools can reject students for any reason we are denying equal opportunity for all. The bottom line is that the parents and teachers in CUSD have worked well together for decades to build an exemplary school district which will continue to offer excellence. The budget is a challenge they can handle together.
shelly May 31, 2012 at 04:10 AM
southcountynative, It is the law to educate all. I know you want to call kids out for being illegal immigrants but currently we educate all in the USA. You feel it is wrong. I feel that we should educate all because it is better to live in an educated society. I understand you do not agree. We have good schools. We have good teachers. Teachers work with the kiddos. You can spend money on buildings, technology, books, paper but if you have no teachers you do not have much of an education. Not all people are as awesome at you and so are unable to teach their kids and do such a great job as you. 100% spent on teachers is spent on the classroom and the kiddos. No one is forcing you to donate.
shelly May 31, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Teachers and illegal immigrants did not cause the current economic crisis. I understand it is the currently in vogue to blame them.
Yeparoo May 31, 2012 at 05:27 AM
SCN - I think Milwaukee must have read that too because they are doing vouchers. Interestingly, even the inner city parents who do not have extensive higher education themselves were able to figure out what to do with their $6,400 voucher for their childrens schools. Then Racine said, "what about doing those vouchers here too?". So now Racine ls doing those evil vouchers. Cheese Head - Voucherists! I suppose next someone will say the low standards for US/CA schools will exaggerate and are a National Security issue. Wackos! Oops, it will come out next week a Stanford professor is saying low school standards is a National Security issue! There goes the Wacko label. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/jun/07/do-our-public-schools-threaten-national-security/
Pam Sunderman May 31, 2012 at 05:24 PM
With all due respect SCN, you apparently have no idea what teachers do. And any request for donations was clearly labeled this year that you had no obligation to do so. Many parents do not want to see such options as field trips disappear so they are more than willing to donate for them. Will you be paying for your educational excursions with your child in the virtual school or will you be billing the district for those? Are you aware that, in private school, you will be making all kinds of donations and purchasing books, iPads and many other extras not included in that tuition you mentioned? Vouchers are not available so you will be paying the whole thing. Why are you so unwilling to chip in for a pencil at your public school when you are willing to pay thousands at a private school? The ACLU has made it clear that public schools cannot demand donations. They are still free to request them. It is your choice as to whether you are willing to do it.
Pam Sunderman May 31, 2012 at 06:52 PM
SCN, taxes contribute a little over half of the contributions to the pension fund. The teacher contributes the rest. Those contributions are invested by the custodians of the fund. It is the proceeds of those investments that pay for retirement checks. I am sure that I also contribute that percentage toward your salary by buying your products or paying for your services in the private sector. There would be no salary or any other benefit for you if I didn't. I realize that I can choose where I shop. You can also choose where you educate your children. But the laws of the land guarantee you a free public education. So you actually receive a service for your taxes. Teachers provide the service. What is the difference between that and how we all support the private sector? You do not pay for my pension...the proceeds of pension fund investments do. I don't know where you travel to, what kind of car you drive, your salary and benefits or any other personal information about you because you choose to post anonymously. When you post under your own name and I can google you then we can discuss personal things. Until then I prefer not to do so.
Pam Sunderman May 31, 2012 at 06:55 PM
As far as the job description of any teacher...I am also sure that you would need a lot of training and experience to do what teachers do. If you do not see the value of a teacher then it is useless to continue that conversation. Parenting is invaluable. So is teaching. Some parents choose to home school. I doubt very much they do it over the phone and in the evenings.
Pam Sunderman May 31, 2012 at 07:28 PM
No SCN...your taxes pay half of the contributions..your share (amongst all of the other millions of taxpayers...including myself) amount to about 13% of a paycheck. Those contributions do not pay for my paycheck. The proceeds from investing those contributions pay for it. I have no idea how good your parenting skills are. I have no idea how much time you put in to support your child's education. So I am in no position to judge that...and I haven't.
Yeparoo May 31, 2012 at 07:30 PM
SC Native - I suppose next you are going to say that a non-government group of employees will be able to put a rocket into space and bring it back safely. You can't privatize the space industry. Only the government can do anything that complicated. PLEASE !! http://www.kbtx.com/home/headlines/Space_X_Dragon_Spacecraft_Splashes_Down_155953805.html
Pam Sunderman May 31, 2012 at 07:41 PM
SCN, I know parents who homeschool very successfully. It is an option for some. It is not an option for the vast majority of parents who would rather rely on professionals. That's why it is a choice. As a working parent (and an educator) i would never have made that choice. However my children would not have succeeded as well as they did without our parental support. It is part of the job of a parent. Your children benefit from your support. I hope they have not lost respect for their teachers as you seem to have.
Pam Sunderman May 31, 2012 at 07:45 PM
SCN...as for your analogy to the private sector...I am going to make sure that my child's schools are the best. Thankfully that is what we have here in CUSD...the best! They have achieved that with the help of every stakeholder working together. And they will continue to be the best. By any measure. There are a lot of school districts offering the best today. We don't need an API to measure the best. They were the best before API's. Parents knew it and moved here for the schools. Lucky us!
Pam Sunderman May 31, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Yep, The government space program worked well with private contractors to begin and continue exploration in space. This made it possible for a private company to do so as well. In Southern California we all know people who worked for those private contractors who worked with NASA...my late father-in-law being one of them. Private companies produce most products used in education today as well. The public and private sectors are dependent on each other to succeed. A Yin and Yang relationship, so to speak.
Pam Sunderman May 31, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Most of those choices do NOT involve religious denomination. They involve pedagogical methods and philosophies as well as curricular emphasis. The Netherlands is also quite serious about attendance. Parents are fined by the municipality if their children miss school for any other reason than illness...and even sick days are limited without a doctors note. The teachers are unionized and work well with the administration to determine issues of pay, work conditions, ongoing training, teacher shortages, and respect. Sound familiar? School attendance is mandated from pre-school on...another goal for the teachers union here in CA. Parents are required, not requested, to do their part. Let me check into donations...
Pam Sunderman May 31, 2012 at 08:03 PM
http://www.government.nl/issues/education/secondary-education "Books, teaching materials and trips School books and teaching materials are provided free of charge. Parents must purchase supplementary materials such as school supplies, calculators and dictionaries themselves. Schools may also ask parents to pay a voluntary contribution to cover the cost of school trips and social or cultural activities."
Yeparoo May 31, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Ok Pam, Thank President Obama for shuttering NASA & Cape Canaverl and for privatizing the space industry. Extra cookie for Barack.
Anonymous June 01, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Adding to the problem of less funding is the millions removed from the general fund to support a for profit charter school who's supporters are actively looking for other CUSD campuses to expand their franchise. Nepotism within OPA's management makes the entire thing look sleazy. Within the past week supporters of privatization have said on Patch that they want to shut down and take over Palisades, Wood Canyon, San Clemente High School ( "put them in uniforms to help SC property values" was the post" ) and made statements that Marco is run by gangs and attended by illegals. CUSD has moved on from the politics of Winsten, Beall, Reardon and Lopez-Maddox-name of the week. Members of the Roche family currently working at the Mission Viejo location and paid for out of CUSD general funds: Rebeca Roche – Coordinator of Special Services – OPA Brian Roche – Nutritionist Chef – OPA Dan Roche – PE Teacher – OPA Sue Roche – OPA
Penny Arévalo (Editor) June 01, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Anonymous, we'll have a story shortly where discussion of OPA will be more on target. Hang in for a few minutes. And please, be careful about your accusations. OPA is a non-profit, despite what you believe. Corporation status is something that is documentable. I go by documents. And if there were no OPA, there'd be 1.1 million less of a gap. What do you do about the other $50 million? That's the subject of this article, but again, we're only minutes away from another article where you can take your OPA discussion there more approrpriately.
Penny Arévalo (Editor) June 01, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Here you go, Anon. http://sanjuancapistrano.patch.com/articles/low-enrollment-not-a-threat-to-capo-schools Fire away! :-)
OC Mom June 01, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Here's an article from the LA Times about Marco being like a Mexican public school. http://articles.latimes.com/2008/sep/02/local/me-sanjuan2 These observations aren't new. What's telling is that page 2 of the Times article, the non English speaking father concedes thru an interpretor that moving to Ambuel where it is mostly white was the best thing that they've done. His daughter is receiving a better education, more attention, more homework and speaking better English. Here's one from OC Register: http://images.ocregister.com/newsimages/community/sanjuancapistrano/2008/08/carterresponse.PDF Here's comments about it: http://www.ocregister.com/news/wrote-167204-language-school.html
Capo Parent June 03, 2012 at 04:32 AM
Clearly a union hack. You keep misrepresenting the facts, OPA is a non-profit. As for nepotism at OPA, how about the fact that CUSD pays the salaries, health benefits and pension contributions for the heads of CUEA & CSEA, and neither does any work for CUSD! Also don't forget about the $30,000 CUSD allocated to teacher the teachers union how to negotiate better. As for your claim that OPA will takeover and shut down Palisades, Wood Canyon, or SCHS, to say you are delusional is an understatement of the highest order. What other fairy tales did your tooth fairy tell you? As for your claim that CUSD had moved on from the politics, Beall, Reardon and Lopez-Maddox, you're finally correct. We have gone from a balanced budget to union domination and a $51 million deficit. The current union majority on the board makes the former board look like geniuses.

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