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School Budget Cutbacks Subject Of VIA Luncheon

Business group to hear from school administrators dealing with financial crunch.


Imagine falling $16 billion short in the coming budget year. Now picture tightening the belt with spending cuts so the impact of a deficit would be shared across the board.


That's exactly what California is facing as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger unveils a proposed 2008-09 budget that calls for reductions in most state services, including education. For school districts on the receiving end of those cuts, how do they deliver the same quality service with fewer dollars? That will be the subject of discussion at the next Valley Industrial Association luncheon on Tuesday, April 15, beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Hyatt Valencia, 24500 Town Center Drive in Valencia.


While negotiations expect to take many twists and turns ahead prior to budget finalization, one thing seems certain: cuts will be made and impacts felt. Jaime Castellanos, superintendent of the William S. Hart Union High School District, will speak on the effects expected in local public high schools.


With over 20,000 students in grades 7-12, the Hart District has identified and evaluated potential spending cuts, while attempting to keep reductions as far from the classroom as possible. In other words, focus has been on those expenditures that do not directly affect student learning.


With bulging enrollment numbers of 19,000 plus students and as the only two-year community college serving the Santa Clarita Valley and beyond, College of the Canyons faces equally tough times ahead. Dr. Barry Gribbons, assistant superintendent and vice president of institutional development, technology and online services for College of the Canyons, and Eric Harnish, special assistant to the superintendent/president and director of external relations will be present to discuss the impacts expected for the college in the coming budget year.


The Hart District and College of the Canyons collectively provide workforce training and the educational preparation needed for business vitality and economic sustainability in the Santa Clarita Valley. The keynote discussion is intended to explore steps the business community can take to safeguard local educational funding.   


In other news, representatives from the SCV Jaycees and Brenda Mehling Foundation will provide an overview of the 7th Annual Fight It 5-K event scheduled May 17, 2008.


The business luncheon is open to the public. Cost is $40 for VIA members and $50 for non-members.  Reservations for the April 15 luncheon should be received by Thursday, April 10 and can be made by calling VIA at (661) 294-8088 or by visiting


School Budget Cutbacks Subject Of VIA Luncheon

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