I am writing the members of the Jefferson Union High School District Community today to inform you of the financial situation that is now facing the students of our District. As you know, California, along with the rest of the nation, is confronting an economic crisis of epic proportions. Due to this financial uncertainty, all state and local public agencies are facing drastic reductions to their already depleted budgets, and the Jefferson Union High School District is no exception.
As of this writing, it is projected that the school districts across the State will be subject to even further cuts to their current funding. Estimates are that the Jefferson Union High School District could lose up to $1.5 million for the 2012/13 school year. This is on top of the $3.5 million that the JUHSD Board of Trustees had previously been required to eliminate from the 2009/10 budget. These budget cuts included the reduction of salary and benefits to teachers and administrators, reduction of support staff, the elimination of student transportation, the elimination of four instructional days, the elimination of some academic counseling and support positions, increased class size, as well as the elimination of summer school, GATE, and portions of the Adult Education program.
The members of the Board of Trustees have the twin responsibilities to ensure that our students access a rigorous, standards-based curriculum and that the JUHSD continues to remain financially solvent. To this end, I have established the JUHSD Budget Advisory Committee, an ad hoc committee composed of parents, teachers, administrators, and staff members, who will identify and recommend possible future budgetary reductions. The Budget Advisory Committee’s role is not an enviable one, as any reduction to the budget will ultimately impact all of our students. Once the Budget Advisory Committee finalizes their report, I will use their recommendations when making the final budget recommendations to the Board of Trustees in January 2012.
Because of the far reaching implications that the decisions made by this Committee will have on our students, the Budget Advisory Committee has asked me to inform the community about the current financial situation that faces the District and to solicit your input regarding suggestions for possible budget cuts.
Please forward me your suggestions or any questions you may have and I will forward your comments to the Budget Advisory Committee. You may contact me by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by telephone – 650-550-7969.
Your thoughts on this matter will be greatly appreciated.
Thomas H. Minshew