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Fremont Unified School District Board meeting report

By Miriam G. Mazliach

January 22, 2013

The following are highlights from the Fremont Unified School District Board meeting held on January 9, 2013.

Community Leadership/Superintendent’s Report:
Superintendent James Morris stated how proud he was of the district’s staff and employees in light of the tragic school incident at Sandy Hook, across the country. Fremont schools are in communication with the Police Department and work with other schools on how to keep our schools safe.

Assistant Superintendent of Business, Raul Parungao addressed the Board regarding the Governor’s preliminary budget projection, for 2013-2014. Parungao stated, “It is key to our district’s budget for next year.” In May, the Governor will make final revisions and in June, the FUSD Board will need to approve the district’s budget. Additionally, by March 15 the district is required to notify its employees of potential lay-offs. However on a positive note, Parungao said that the district is not anticipating any layoffs, due to the increase of class size initiated last year and through the natural attrition of employees, etc.

Agenda Item – Finance/Facilities:
The Board voted on the appointment of community members to the Measure K Parcel Tax Citizen’s Oversight Committee and the Financial Advisory Committee.

Oral Communications/Public Comment:
The majority of speakers were teachers who work for FUSD. Many detailed the rising costs of their employee health insurance, and asked why the district’s healthcare coverage is so high. Several stated that personal rates could be obtained at a better rate than those offered through the district. They explained that their family premiums range from $1,500 to $2,000 per month, causing extreme financial hardships. Irvington High School teacher, Rebecca Devakumar remarked, “Healthcare is a human right, not a luxury.”

Agenda Item – Student Achievement & Learning:
This item dealt with revisions to the Board Policy on the selection of Supplemental Instructional Materials to be utilized by teachers for curriculum enrichment and to enhance the learning process. After listening to an update from the Director of the Instructional Materials Center, Jan March and the Director of Secondary Education, James Maxwell, several board members requested a more fully delineated list of the recommended authors and books, before they would even consider approval. Therefore, the Board delayed action at this time, but will bring it back for a Second Reading at an upcoming meeting.

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