School board ponders proposal

By Brandon HENSLEY

The governor’s budget proposal for the 2011-12 fiscal year was discussed at Tuesday’s Glendale Unified School District board meeting, creating an atmosphere of uncertainty for its members.

The state is in a $25 billion deficit currently, and GUSD is just one of many districts seeking more federal funding.

GUSD board president Greg Krikorian said layoffs for teachers might have to come. Notices would be issued in March.

But decisions like layoffs and spending cuts rely on which option succeeds in the state’s budget plan.

The first option is called flat funding, which is best for the district. If state legislature and the voters pass this plan in June, GUSD funding would be cut by “only” $460,000, according to chief financial officer Eva Lueck.

Under the second option, if that election fails, the district could see a loss of around $8.8 million – $8.3 million in revenue – per year for the next several years.

“Should we be making reductions and laying people off because we truly don’t know if we’re $460,000 down or $8.8 million?” asked Lueck.

Glendale has to submit a budget by June 30.

Krikorian referenced to the board an L.A. Times article this week about the Pasadena School District seeking a 10% utility credit, which is something Glendale might do.

“So it’s a fact that we can’t give up on these efforts,” Krikorian said.

Krikorian also said the California of Social Services awarded $900,000 spread out to five other state school districts, and that Glendale was on the short list before being rejected. Krikorian added that he was glad his staff was working hard to seek alternatives like these.

The district still has the hope of Measure S, which could be approved this year, and would generate $270 million in federal funds over a decade. Measure S would be used to better school technology, such as science labs and computers.

The budget would also have an impact on EEELP classes (Early Education and Extended Learning Programs). Cuts would include preschool funding, and according to the presentation made by GUSD, “345 students would no longer have state subsidized child care and preschool services districtwide.”

Board member Mary Boger was not pleased about this.

“I sincerely hope that anyone and everyone who’s watching at home will make it a priority to contact our assembly members that is not appropriate for us to allow these children to be impacted in this way,” she said. “It is not what civilized people do.”