Below is a letter from the Coronado Unified School District in regard to proposed budget cuts to the school system.
Financial Catastrophe for Schools Made Worse by Governor’s Proposal
Every January leaders of public organizations summarize the year’s events and forecast the near future of that organization. This year I have chosen to make this presentation in two parts because of the enormity of the financial crisis facing the Coronado Unified School District (CUSD). This crisis was further exacerbated on January 8th when the Governor of our state outlined his financial plan for California next year.
The Governor’s plan was to “protect education” but in fact the budget proposal for next year includes billions in additional education cuts. Locally we must add this to the already unbelievable revenue loss planned and we find ourselves facing the reality of well over $2.7 million in ongoing cuts for just next year. The total loss of revenue to CUSD from 2007 through 2011 equals a staggering $5.8 million or approximately 23% of total revenues. These are actual numbers and have not been adjusted for inflation. To add insult to injury, it does not appear that our state has any hope of increasing revenue to education over the next five years.
You are probably thinking you have heard this before, that the district has for years warned of severe cuts, yet academic performance never seemed to be affected, and in fact test scores improved. It is true that the district continued to improve academically even through this period of fiscal insecurity. Credit the excellent faculty and staff for taking on the increased workload after fellow employees are laid off. However, people have a limited capacity to take on extra work without losing their effectiveness. The stress caused by a heavy workload and the time spent on work previously done by others can be the “tipping point” that depletes any energy people have left, eroding the quality of their work and personal life.
These tragic cuts will result in a loss of services to this community and, most importantly, to our children. Whatever we considered to be “normal” will be gone forever not only because of the depth of the cuts, but also because of the length of time we will need to endure this loss of revenue. Instruction in the core subjects will be protected, but subjects other than core classes may be reduced, class sizes will be increased, and many teachers and staff will be laid off. There is no doubt that the next two years will be the worst CUSD has financially ever experienced.
The full PowerPoint presentation is available online at www. coronadousd.net/. Just click the “Superintendent” link under contents.
Jeffrey P. Felix, Ed. D., Superintendent
Coronado Unified School District
201 Sixth Street
Coronado, CA 92118
619) 522-8900 x1025