Jul 29, 2014

Los Gatos Union Slashes $1.2M

Trustees OK cuts to district's maintenance and operations, administration and music instruction in kindergarten through second grade, among other reductions.

Los Gatos Union Slashes $1.2M Los Gatos Union Slashes $1.2M Los Gatos Union Slashes $1.2M Los Gatos Union Slashes $1.2M

A school resource officer, art and technology mentor positions, several curriculum consultants and custodial and administrative services were slashed Tuesday evening as trustees plugged a $1.2 million deficit in their 2012-13 fiscal year budget.

During a packed meeting at , trustees approved the following cuts: 

  • Maintenance and operations, $195,000
  • Administration, $302,000
  • Program administration, $186,700
  • Elementary school, $301,000
  • Middle school, $250,000

According to Leslie Paulides, LGUSD assistant superintendent of business services, maintenance and operations cuts would amount to reducing custodial staff.

Administrative cuts would include a reorganization of the district office, but she was short on specifics.

Elementary schools would decrease music instruction for kindergarten through second grade and eliminate positions for a science mentor and technology specialist, Paulides added.

Elementary schools and Fisher Middle School would also lose state discretionary monies to fund counseling, school improvement and library block grants, professional development for teachers, art and GATE programs, according to Superintendent Diana Abbati.   

Even with the drastic cuts, a new parcel tax will be needed after the current one expires in June of 2014, said Paulides. The current parcel tax contributes approximately $2.6 million to the district's annual budget.

To help ease the reductions, the will contribute an estimated $500,000 to the 2012-13 fiscal year budget through grants based on a conservative estimate, Paulides added. 

This year, LGED has raised more than $813,000 as of Feb. 28, according to the LGEF Board in a letter sent to parents this week. The LGEF fundraising campaign is ongoing and hopes to raise $1 million, according

She talked about the district’s strategic goals, its budget planning process, the current financial landscape, the proposed deficit-reduction plan and future possible scenarios.

Paulides repeated the same message that Abbati has been sending to district parents in emails and her blog: the state has significantly slashed the district’s budget, local property taxes are not enough, and the district started the school year with a deficit.  

She also said that with the proposed cuts, class sizes will remain at 24 children per classroom for kindergarten through third grade and 29 children per classroom for fourth and fifth grade and at 29 for sixth through eighth-grade core classes. 

Paulides said the reductions are farthest away from the core classes which are English, language arts, math, science and social studies and “ farthest away from the kids.”  

Everyone in our district will be touched by these decisions.” 

She encouraged parents to attend the meeting and they listened. More than 30 addressed the trustees about the budget issue.

They spoke passionately about the importance of music education, maintaining small class sizes and good communication between the district and parents. 

Abbati said she had read all the comments written by parents in the recent annual parent/teacher survey and took them into consideration while making budget decisions.





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