Friday, January 23, 2009

Under The Knife

The state budget crisis looms like a big rain cloud while legislators are scrambling to reduce a deficit expected to surpass $40 billion by next year. While lawmakers in Sacramento have not settled on a plan, government-funded institutions — including schools — are preparing for massive cuts in funding. Effect to the school budget here in Los Gatos? Haven't heard.. It would be nice to know that perhaps movement was afoot to inform the community. Informational meetings would be a great start... I heard from another parent that staffing cuts have been discussed at the elementary school levels. Potentially teachers and classes being reshuffled. Anyone else hear rumblings that may substantiate the rumors? Please share with the class...

The school board website was without mention of any potential reorganization. No mention of how state budget cuts factor in to the local scene. Although the 37 page pdf of the 08-09 budget gives us the following nugget lifted from the report: The 2007-08 local property assessed valuation growth has dropped significantly from 2006-07 levels. This represents a drop from 10% to 5.7% or a loss of $929,000 in local property tax collections. The report fails to offer any true analysis of how the shortfall will be made up.
The budget also outlines 2008/09 district revenues are projected to increase 2.6% with no clear indicators of how or why. Expenses are projected to increase 2.6%, no surprise other than the numbers match. Why the wash? Any accounting wonks out there care to help me out? The most puzzling piece of data from the budget was a projected 4% assessed valuation growth for the school district. If all economic indicators are falling like a knife then where will the potential growth come from?
The proactive approach would be to get the community involved sooner rather than later. Even if it's just a Q & A session to help quell the fears.
Overly optimistic: Always. Gotta be a bright side: somewhere, somehow. Just wish we didn't live in a complete information vacuum.

Could our community be the Truman Show, but with foul weather? Hope not.


Kelly said...

I too have heard the same bad news. My kids attend Blos Hill and some discussion has taken place for parent input. I agree sooner is better especially if it involves a bond measure.

Anonymous said...

Why not attend the school board meetings if you really wanted to know what's on the horizon? The website has information that's two years old.