Between Cutting Programs or
Cutting Rises as Preferred Way
At Emery Unified
|Emery Schools Superintendent John Rubio|
We're going to cut our way to excellence.
Parents, teachers and citizens have pleaded with the School Board to retain the popular Anna Yates Elementary School, but the Board, save member Christian Patz, has indicated they have already made up their minds to close Anna Yates.
Here's the Bay Area News Group story:
Emeryville schools chief sharpens budget-cutting knife
EMERYVILLE -- This tiny school district is teetering on the edge of serious financial problems and will have to cut staff and increase enrollment to balance its books.
The district received a "qualified" budget certification from the Alameda County Office of Education in March, which means it may not be able to meet its financial obligations. The district will have to submit a revised budget to the county in June.
In 2001, the school district ran into financial troubles and had to take a loan from the state and be overseen by the Department of Education after a former superintendent ran up personal charges on his credit card, leaving the district $2 million in debt. State control of the school district ended in 2011.
Its current problems are happening at the same time the district and the city are spending $90 million on a new all-in-one school project on San Pablo Avenue that will house Emeryville students from kindergarten through high school. The new Emeryville Center of Community Life will include a swimming pool, health clinic, city library, recreation center and teen and senior centers.
Rubio said the cost of that project, in which the city is paying $20 million, is not related to the school district's budget problems because the money comes from a capital improvement budget and not an operating budget.
Patz said the district can increase its funding by granting more transfers of students from other cities, called inter-district transfers. He said about 60 percent of high school students already come from other districts. In kindergarten through eighth grade, about 40 percent of students come from outside the school district, he said.
The district's new school, which is set is set to open in January for high school students and May 2016 for all others and has a capacity of 850, could be a big draw for more students, Rubio said.
"This would allow us to add up to another 150 students to our district," Rubio said. "I think many parents and students will be attracted to the new facility that has the latest technology in classrooms for teachers and for student learning."
Patz said fixing the school district's problems comes down to some simple decisions.
"We don't have any extra money, and we have to cut," Patz said. "The only way to balance the budget will be to increase enrollment or reduce staff."
Contact Doug Oakley at 925-234-1699. Follow him at Twitter.com/douglasoakley.