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June 14, 2011 > New Haven Unified School Board report

New Haven Unified School Board report

Submitted By Rick La Plante

Standing with District teachers, classified employees and administrators, the Board of Education on June 7 voted unanimously to reduce expenses by taking a furlough. Board members will not meet in July, giving up one month's compensation, in solidarity with employees who are being asked to work six fewer days in 2011-12, as part of the District's efforts to meet the financial challenges imposed by the ongoing state budget crisis.

The Board - which also voted to limit participation in the California School Board Association annual meeting and to restrict travel to other meetings - received an update on the budget situation from Chief Business Officer Akur Varadarajan. The proposed budget for 2011-12, conditional to the state budget being ratified and subject to Board approval June 21, is about $6 million less than it was this year and nearly $15 million less than it was just three years ago.

Under the conditional budget, the instructional year will be reduced by five days, to 175, and employees will take one additional furlough day, pending ratification of tentative agreements with the District's three employee groups. Class sizes will increase to 25:1 in kindergarten and 30:1 in third grade. The District plans to fund some - but not all - of the stipends paid to coaches and advisers for after-school activities and retain the media specialists who staff school libraries, but without all previous support positions.

Each of the District's seven elementary schools will have a part-time assistant principal, but the middle schools will have 1.5 assistant principals each, instead of two, and the high schools will lose one administrator each. Four counseling positions and a classified management position also were eliminated.

Middle school transportation will be eliminated (high school transportation was eliminated two years ago and elementary transportation was eliminated this year), the print shop will be closed, and there will be reductions in maintenance and technology.

The conditional budget includes a minimum amount of funding for adult education, allowing the program to continue on a limited basis with federal money.

Also, the Board:
Recognized and thanked student board members Ly Ho of James Logan High School and Ruth Delgadillo of Conley-Caraballo High School for their year of service.

Recognized Logan students Ignatius "Izzy" Nguyen, Mei-Guan "MG" Chen and Ryan Quilala, whose "Freedoms in Motion" video won the Judge's Choice Award at the Project YouthView Film Festival.

Received a report from the Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center on the services being provided at the Logan Health Center.

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