ISSUE #1 – Impact of State Budget Cuts
The Hart District’s State revenue has been slashed by $20 million, resulting in increased class size, less counseling support, reduced intervention programs, proposed reduction in instructional days, salary and benefit reductions for both certificated and classified personnel, and lay-offs for classified positions, handicapping our ability to maintain a quality educational program.
Fund Proposition 98 Guarantee. If impossible to fund, then suspend it, but don’t manipulate it.
Do not impose a negative COLA in 2010/11.
If there is no funding for mandates, then suspend them.
Add Home to School Transportation to Tier 3 Flexibility.
Do not impose a mandate for administrative cuts.
Support the governor’s proposal to eliminate the requirement to pay the full daily rate to laid-off permanent teachers working as substitutes and to modify the requirements to give such teachers first priority for substitute positions.
Implement a later deadline date for lay-off notices.
ISSUE #2 – State School Construction Money Release
State school construction funds have been frozen by the State Allocation Board (SAB), of which $10.4 million is anticipated for the Hart District. The frozen funds include modernization funds and new construction funds. The following Hart District current capital projects are reliant upon State money: modernization projects at Hart High and Sierra Vista Junior High, and new construction projects at Academy of the Canyons and Hart High School.
This action by the SAB has caused the District to modify funding plans. Most critical is the Academy of the Canyons project ($5.5 million) which the District already funded using the assumption of a 50/50 match from the State. Another project is the modernization at Sierra Vista Junior High School which has eligibility for $3.4 million from the State, money that can no longer be counted on.
State construction funds must be released immediately.
ISSUE #3 – Reduce State Mandates
Currently the state has over 50 educational mandates. In recent years, the state has not paid these annual K-14 mandate claims. Instead, the state has deferred payments by providing only a nominal sum for each mandate in the annual budget act. Despite receiving virtually no funding, districts must still perform the activities required by each mandate. Despite the important nature of certain mandates, others can be eliminated with little if any impact on students.
The state should assess the merits of each K-14 mandate. If a mandate serves a purpose fundamental to the education system, such as protecting student health or providing essential assessment and oversight data, it should be funded. If not, the mandate should be eliminated.