Friday, August 29, 2014

School closures, shorter year eyed if measures fail

From page A1 | October 05, 2012 |

The Davis school board — while hoping that California voters will approve Proposition 30 in the Nov. 6 election, and Davis-area voters will support school parcel tax Measure E — began preparing for the possible alternative outcome at Thursday night’s meeting.

The trustees instructed staff to bring back financial scenarios for how the school district could adapt to an immediate $3.7 million mid-year budget cut — the hit Davis would take if Prop. 30 fails at the polls. Proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown, it would raise taxes temporarily to fund education and public safety.

Staffers also were asked to prepare financial scenarios for how the district would respond if Measure E fails, and Davis must slash another $3.2 million from the budget. That money, currently provided by Measure A, will disappear when it expires in June 2013.

Together, the combined cuts would be $6.9 million — a figure that Superintendent Winfred Roberson described as “a $6.9 million cliff” that the school district’s budget is facing.

The superintendent noted “how painful” it was when Davis reduced staffing by the equivalent of 51 full-time positions earlier this year, increasing class size to 30-some students in grades K-3, with larger classes for students in higher grades. The cuts were necessitated by state funding reductions and deferrals of payments, which are essentially IOUs.

Roberson said the $3.7 million cut that will occur if Prop. 30 fails would translate to the equivalent of 67 full-time positions. If Measure E loses, that $3.2 million translates to the equivalent of 58 full-time positions.

“We cannot cut 125 positions and still educate students,” Trustee Sheila Allen said.

Roberson briefly outlined some of the possible actions the board could consider. Closing an elementary school would save the district somewhere between $300,000 and $400,000 annually, by eliminating a principal, some secretarial and custodial positions, and consolidating the students onto another campus. Closing a junior high school could save between $500,000 and $600,000. Either of these alternatives would involve redrawing attendance boundaries.

Another possibility would be to reconfigure the schools, switching to campuses for grades K-8 and a high school for grades 9-12, rather than the current system of schools serving K-6, 7-9 and 10-12. This would save money since the K-8 schools essentially would serve both elementary and middle school students. The current system is somewhat more expensive, since certain more costly-to-offer ninth-grade courses are divided among three junior high campuses, rather than being offered together at Davis High School.

Roberson also mentioned possible employee concessions and furlough days. He said each one-day reduction in the school year saves about $225,000. A 1 percent reduction in salaries saves $450,000.

Trustee Gina Daleiden said the prospect of shifting the district’s program  from the current trio of junior high schools to a pair of more crowded middle schools “is the kind of stuff we’re going to have to look at. … I’m not saying it’s pleasant, or that I’m advocating for it.”

Added school board president Susan Lovenburg, “It (will be) hugely upsetting when (this information) appears in The Enterprise. … We’re not trying to scare people. But we are trying to plan. We’re thinking through the best way we could deal with the (possible) loss of $7 million to the school district.”

Trustee Richard Harris said, “There are going to be some real tough conversations (if we have to make these cuts). I’m not sure people get how bad this really is.”

Jose Granda, a school board candidate who opposes the parcel tax, objected to the tenor of the school board’s discussion, saying that while it had been billed as a budget workshop, “I see this meeting as your campaign rally for Measure E.” Granda maintained that the school district, by placing parcel tax measures before local voters four times since 2007, is “treating (taxpayers) as if you are entitled to their money. This is the fourth trip to the ATM machine.”

The trustees instructed staff to come back Oct. 18 with more information, including how many students each of the district’s campuses can accommodate, and how much money might be saved under various school closure and program reduction options.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at or 530-747-8055.



  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Saving Putah Creek: a quiet concert at sunset

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1

    Mr. Dolcini goes to Washington

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Winton to be feted for her many years of community work

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Researchers solve mystery of Death Valley’s moving rocks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    California extends review of $25B delta plan

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Assembly approves statewide ban on plastic bags

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Forum explores local mental health services

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Solar-cooking workshop set at Food Co-op

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Celebrate the Senior Center at Sept. 9 luncheon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Equestrian eventing competition slated

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Dinner, auction benefit Yolo County CASA

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Kids can sign up for a library card and get a free book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Explorit Science Center: Volunteers supercharge summer camp

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Tee off for Davis’ continued prosperity

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

    Bodega Marine Laboratory hosts open house

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Local group charts a year’s worth of beauty in flowers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Free blood pressure screenings offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Name Droppers: UCD honors two of its own

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6



    Let’s sell the MRAP on eBay

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    Seeing both sides of ‘tank’

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    What if we need MRAP?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    How could tank be helpful?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: C2

    Don’t sentence our police to death

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C2, 1 Comment

    Will Davis see river water?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: C2

    Travel buddy is getting too fat

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5



    Forget the score; focus on the energy brought by Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Returning seniors, new faces lead promising DHS links squad

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devil golfers return from Scotland with smiles on their faces

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils scrimmage with Sac

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD-Stanford: the clock is down to counting the minutes

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Sports briefs: DHS girls fall by the slimmest of net margins

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6 | Gallery

    Wire briefs: Aces cruise past Cats at Raley

    By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B6





    ‘The November Man’: Who can be trusted?

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    B Street’s ‘The Ladies Foursome’ is aces

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery



    Technology makes a great car better

    By Ali Arsham | From Page: C1 | Gallery



    Margarita Elizondo

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Elaine Dracia Greenberg

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4