Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chula Vista elementary district plans for $6 million deficit

School deal with police questioned
Community letters: on school funding, library hours and more
The San Diego Union-Tribune
January 6, 2011

...In response to “Funding deal reached for police at schools” and “Elementary district plans for $6 million hole” (Local, Dec. 29): One article states that the Chula Vista Elementary School District is projecting a $5.9 million deficit in next year’s budget. Right above it is an article stating that the Sweetwater and Chula Vista Elementary school boards are choosing to pay $915,000 to supplement the School Resource Officer program.

My question is where is Chula Vista Police Chief David Bejarano’s allegiance in all of this, since he also serves on the Chula Vista Elementary school board? Does he care more about saving his School Resource Officer program or about serving the needs of Chula Vista elementary school students?

The city is facing a deficit and so is its elementary school district. One of Bejarano’s jobs on the school board is to oversee teachers, who contribute 8 percent of their salary toward retirement. However, his police officers pay absolutely nothing toward their retirement.

Bejarano should convince his police officers to pay their fair share toward their retirement to help reduce the city’s deficit instead of using money from the school district to supplement a police program.

Harvey Petty
Chula Vista

Chula Vista elementary district plans for $6 million deficit

By Ashly McGlone
December 28, 2010

The state’s largest elementary school district is looking at a $5.9 million deficit in next year’s nearly $193 million budget, according to preliminary estimates.

Chula Vista Elementary School District officials said the deficit could rise if the state makes additional midyear cuts.

No cuts, however, are proposed to next year’s budget, according to assistant superintendent of business services Oscar Esquivel. He said the district’s reserve — currently at $31 million — will help cover the shortfall.

State law requires the district to set aside an amount equaling 3 percent of its general fund — about $5.7 million — in reserve.

Some $1.1 million of the district’s reserve was used to satisfy the deficit in this year’s $192 million budget.

Managers are taking seven furlough days this academic year and next, classified staff are taking two to six furlough days and teachers are taking 5.5 furlough days.

Also, this year is the first year the district’s cap of 20 students per class has been removed. Average class sizes this year are 19.9 children for kindergarten through third grade, up from 18 students last year, and 28.9 children for fourth through sixth grade.

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