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Sacramento Road Trip 2011 - Hart District Position Paper

william s. hart UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT
Sacramento Road Trip 2011

Issue # 1 – Impact of State Budget Cuts

It is understood that the State of California is in serious financial trouble. Local school districts should not be held responsible for making budget cuts to reduce the State budget deficit. K-12 education has shouldered the burden for a disproportionate level of funding cuts when compared to other State agencies. Additionally, it is just plain wrong to continue the practice of deferring local revenues while expenses continue to mount daily. Many local school districts must take out Tax Revenue Anticipation (TRAN) notes in order to cover operational expenses. School district employees rightfully expect to be paid each month, districts cannot “defer” employee salary and benefits.  

Requested Action:  Place a measure on the June ballot to give the citizens the opportunity to decide if they would like to extend the temporary taxes to avoid further cuts to education. Restore the Base Revenue Limit to 2007-2008 funding levels.  Abolish the practice of deferring revenue payments.

Issue # 2 – AB3632 Funding/Mandate

This past fall, Governor Schwarzenegger suspended the funding that supported the mandate to provide essential mental health services for students with severe disabilities. Suspending the mandate has become yet another unfunded mandate for local school districts. The Hart District has been forced to divert $2.5 million in funding from other programs to cover this unexpected expense.

Requested Action: Fully fund and support legally required mental health programs

Issue # 3 – Reduce State Mandates

In an era when local school districts’ budgets have been slashed and staffing levels are at the lowest point since the passage of Prop. 13, it does not make good business sense for local school districts to continue to try to provide the same level of service when we have experienced massive reductions in funding resulting in a reduction in force.

Requested Action:  Eliminate all non-essential mandates until mandated cost reimbursements are fully restored and revenue deferrals are eliminated.

Issue # 4 – Categorical Program Flexibility  

Local school districts are over burdened by restrictions placed on categorical program mandates. Millions of dollars are earmarked for categorical programs for which local communities have no control.

Requested Action:  Provide maximum categorical program flexibility. Allow local districts to determine the best use of funding to support the needs of students.