GUSD Board Faces Budget Woes

Deficit and cuts pose challenges that November election could relieve.

By Timithie NORMAN

The Glendale Unified School District Board of Education met Tuesday evening to discuss the 2012-13 budget and end-of-year personnel matters among other business.

Eva Lueck, chief Business & Financial officer for GUSD, gave a lengthy presentation on the proposed 2012-13 budget, which was revised on Monday.

The budget currently anticipates increased special education and other costs and cuts to funding that will amount to a structural deficit of approximately $15.1 million for the 2012-13 school year. The district’s average daily attendance (ADA) has increased despite decreased enrollment, which means the current funding of $5,222 per student should remain flat for the next school year. But the amount is not nearly enough to maintain schools and programs at the current level of operations.

“This is very discouraging,” said the board’s Vice President Nayiri Nahabedian. “I want to stress the fact that there is an election in November and we need to be aware of propositions and make an effort to vote.”

November’s election ballot measures have the potential to relieve some of the financial stress of California school systems. However, if the ballot fails, there will likely be state-wide reductions to K-14 education by $5.5 billion, and a potential reduction to the school year by 15 days. The impact to GUSD is uncertain, Lueck said, but could be approximately $450 per ADA.

“Much rides on the success or failure of the November tax election,” Lueck said. “Right now, the budget impact is truly an unknown.”

The budget conversation will continue in future meetings as numbers solidify and necessary expenses and funds are confirmed.

In the recognition portion of the meeting, over 100 GUSD employees were honored for 10, 15, 20, 25 and 35 years of service milestones. Additional year-end awards were presented to students throughout GUSD for outstanding performance and service in special programs.

Crescenta Valley Health and Science Academy juniors Easun Arunachalam and Richard Cho placed first in their respective categories at the 62nd Annual Los Angeles County Science and Engineering Fair at the Pasadena Convention. Both students represented L.A. County at the California State Science Fair at the California ScienCenter.

Five students from GUSD qualified at the regional SkillsUSA competition at Cal State L.A.  in February and competed in the state competition in San Diego, with Crescenta Valley High School’s Jillian Kauffman and Chas Turansky winning bronze and gold medals in desktop publishing.

The board also acknowledged the services of high school students who served on the Student Advisory Council during the 2011-12 school year, including: Anna Baburyan, Sipan Beglaryan, Sipan Ghazaryan and Christopher Sagherian from Clark Magnet and Amber Alsamman, Priscilla Casper, Steven Chik, Taylor Ebert, Salar Hajimirsadeghi, Madison Huske, Christine Lee, Ruth Shin and Katie Szabados from Crescenta Valley.

The entire school board meeting is available for public viewing online at