NEWS AND COMMENTARY: Valley Oak Charter School Appeal on the Agenda For Tonight And Continuing Budget Crisis At DJUSD

Valley Oak Charter School Hearing

Tonight the Yolo County Office of Education has scheduled a public hearing to receive comment regarding the Valley Oak Charter School petition appeals. The public hearing will be held at the Yolo County Office of Education Conference Center, 1280 Santa Anita Court, Suite 120, Woodland, CA. The hearing will begin at 4:45 p.m.

The purpose of the meeting will be to receive comment from parents, teachers, members of the community, and bargaining unit leaders regarding two Valley Oak Charter School petition appeals.

Our sources suggest that it is unlikely that the Yolo County Board of Education will vote to approve the charter, but this is a necessary step that must be taken. If the County Board of Education rejects the charter it could be appealed to the State Department of Education where it will receive its possible chance for approval.

School Budget Cuts

One of the things we talked about on the radio last night is that the school district just built two new elementary schools and a junior high. So now enrollment declines and the budget is in disarray, what does the school district do? They have already closed down Valley Oak Elementary School and now are talking about closing down Emerson Junior High just a few years after opening Harper Junior High.

Meantime, it appears that each school board member has a particular program that they do not want to cut and for each one it is different. As a non-school board member there are a whole host of things I don’t want to cut.

Richard Harris ran on being the budget cutting guru, but somehow, I’m guessing he never thought he would be in the position to have to cut the number of librarians. For Gina Daleiden it is foreign language. For Sheila Allen it is elementary school music. For Susan Lovenburg, she is still willing to keep everything on the table. I cannot really disagree with anyone here. Cutting is a horrible thing to have to do, but then again, you have to cut something you do not want when you have such a huge deficit.

The part that has to give everyone chills comes right out of Jeff Hudson’s Davis Enterprise article:

“But despite the lengthy discussion, the board got only a little bit closer to identifying the $4 million in budget reductions needed to keep the Davis school district’s financial reserves from diminishing to the point that the Yolo County Office of Education would be forced to step in and take control of the Davis district’s financial affairs. That grim fact could become reality as soon as mid-March.

Two top administrators from the county office – Yolo County Superintendent Jorge Ayala and Associate Superintendent Linda Legnitto – stayed up with the Davis trustees until 11:30 p.m., their physical presence reminding trustees of the gravity of the district’s perilous financial situation. “

Actually I have to say it is refreshing that Mr. Hudson would print this because it is in fact an unsaid truth that hangs over everyone. The word I have had for quite some time is that the County Office of Education is watching DJUSD very closely.

While I think the previous board did a decent job cleaning up a financial mess left behind by the previous regime, one aspect still looms, nearly half of the cuts are due to the fact that one-time monies were used for a period of time to fund on-going projects. When those monies began to shrink and vanish, the school district depleted the financial reserves that are not mandatory.

In other words, there are 3 percent reserves that cannot be touched without serious consequence, and then there is a district imposed level, those got eaten away. Had they still been intact, the district could kind of soft land this thing for a year or two until things stabilized. Not so now. And while I still think the district should have kept Valley Oak open for a variety of reasons, you can see why the County probably will not.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Categories:

Budget/Taxes

64 comments

  1. Quote of Susan Lovenberg, as printed in the Enterprise:

    “‘I’m not ready to close options. … I don’t want to take anything off the list (at this point),’ she said. ‘If you take foreign language, librarians and music off the list, you’re taking away a major impetus for the Davis Schools Foundation,’ which is launching a community campaign to raise funds to preserve some of the district’s threatened programs.”

    For such a public quote, it makes it look as if the list is being put out there so that the fundraising might happen. In other words, w/o the Davis Schools Foundation, some things might be taken off the list.

  2. Quote of Susan Lovenberg, as printed in the Enterprise:

    “‘I’m not ready to close options. … I don’t want to take anything off the list (at this point),’ she said. ‘If you take foreign language, librarians and music off the list, you’re taking away a major impetus for the Davis Schools Foundation,’ which is launching a community campaign to raise funds to preserve some of the district’s threatened programs.”

    For such a public quote, it makes it look as if the list is being put out there so that the fundraising might happen. In other words, w/o the Davis Schools Foundation, some things might be taken off the list.

  3. Quote of Susan Lovenberg, as printed in the Enterprise:

    “‘I’m not ready to close options. … I don’t want to take anything off the list (at this point),’ she said. ‘If you take foreign language, librarians and music off the list, you’re taking away a major impetus for the Davis Schools Foundation,’ which is launching a community campaign to raise funds to preserve some of the district’s threatened programs.”

    For such a public quote, it makes it look as if the list is being put out there so that the fundraising might happen. In other words, w/o the Davis Schools Foundation, some things might be taken off the list.

  4. Quote of Susan Lovenberg, as printed in the Enterprise:

    “‘I’m not ready to close options. … I don’t want to take anything off the list (at this point),’ she said. ‘If you take foreign language, librarians and music off the list, you’re taking away a major impetus for the Davis Schools Foundation,’ which is launching a community campaign to raise funds to preserve some of the district’s threatened programs.”

    For such a public quote, it makes it look as if the list is being put out there so that the fundraising might happen. In other words, w/o the Davis Schools Foundation, some things might be taken off the list.

  5. If the community decides to come together and help save programs, then this could be the way to help save DJUSD.

    But now I am hearing that Emerson Jr. HIgh School might be closing down?

  6. If the community decides to come together and help save programs, then this could be the way to help save DJUSD.

    But now I am hearing that Emerson Jr. HIgh School might be closing down?

  7. If the community decides to come together and help save programs, then this could be the way to help save DJUSD.

    But now I am hearing that Emerson Jr. HIgh School might be closing down?

  8. If the community decides to come together and help save programs, then this could be the way to help save DJUSD.

    But now I am hearing that Emerson Jr. HIgh School might be closing down?

  9. Folsom Unified School District had the guts to send pink slips out recently. It seems there are some districts that are serious about keeping control of their schools out of the hands of the county. All we get is an emotional stageshow with no progress whatsoever from our so-called leaders. We will lose our district to the county if this board doesn’t get a lot of resolve in a hurry.

    DPD
    On another note, why do you think the financial situation will get better? I don’t see any indication that our national economic tailspin will stop anytime soon. A whole lot more will have to be done than cutting the “Bush tax cuts” to turn this around.

  10. Folsom Unified School District had the guts to send pink slips out recently. It seems there are some districts that are serious about keeping control of their schools out of the hands of the county. All we get is an emotional stageshow with no progress whatsoever from our so-called leaders. We will lose our district to the county if this board doesn’t get a lot of resolve in a hurry.

    DPD
    On another note, why do you think the financial situation will get better? I don’t see any indication that our national economic tailspin will stop anytime soon. A whole lot more will have to be done than cutting the “Bush tax cuts” to turn this around.

  11. Folsom Unified School District had the guts to send pink slips out recently. It seems there are some districts that are serious about keeping control of their schools out of the hands of the county. All we get is an emotional stageshow with no progress whatsoever from our so-called leaders. We will lose our district to the county if this board doesn’t get a lot of resolve in a hurry.

    DPD
    On another note, why do you think the financial situation will get better? I don’t see any indication that our national economic tailspin will stop anytime soon. A whole lot more will have to be done than cutting the “Bush tax cuts” to turn this around.

  12. Folsom Unified School District had the guts to send pink slips out recently. It seems there are some districts that are serious about keeping control of their schools out of the hands of the county. All we get is an emotional stageshow with no progress whatsoever from our so-called leaders. We will lose our district to the county if this board doesn’t get a lot of resolve in a hurry.

    DPD
    On another note, why do you think the financial situation will get better? I don’t see any indication that our national economic tailspin will stop anytime soon. A whole lot more will have to be done than cutting the “Bush tax cuts” to turn this around.

  13. It has been mentioned several times recently that the district used reserves to fund on going programs/salaries. This is true. The old way of thinking was to use that money to carry us over in the hopes that we could avoid having to lay off personnel and make deep cuts. In other words we held out hope that State funding would increase. It didn’t. Other districts around us have been making small cuts in their programs over the last few years. Since we didn’t we are getting faced with huge cuts all at once. To refer to the fact that IF the board had not already used up their ‘locally imposed’ reserves they could use that to save positions/programs now ignores the fact that the district already tried that. The fact is, as painful as they are, the cuts will come and this time our kids are really going to feel it in the classrooms and campus.

  14. It has been mentioned several times recently that the district used reserves to fund on going programs/salaries. This is true. The old way of thinking was to use that money to carry us over in the hopes that we could avoid having to lay off personnel and make deep cuts. In other words we held out hope that State funding would increase. It didn’t. Other districts around us have been making small cuts in their programs over the last few years. Since we didn’t we are getting faced with huge cuts all at once. To refer to the fact that IF the board had not already used up their ‘locally imposed’ reserves they could use that to save positions/programs now ignores the fact that the district already tried that. The fact is, as painful as they are, the cuts will come and this time our kids are really going to feel it in the classrooms and campus.

  15. It has been mentioned several times recently that the district used reserves to fund on going programs/salaries. This is true. The old way of thinking was to use that money to carry us over in the hopes that we could avoid having to lay off personnel and make deep cuts. In other words we held out hope that State funding would increase. It didn’t. Other districts around us have been making small cuts in their programs over the last few years. Since we didn’t we are getting faced with huge cuts all at once. To refer to the fact that IF the board had not already used up their ‘locally imposed’ reserves they could use that to save positions/programs now ignores the fact that the district already tried that. The fact is, as painful as they are, the cuts will come and this time our kids are really going to feel it in the classrooms and campus.

  16. It has been mentioned several times recently that the district used reserves to fund on going programs/salaries. This is true. The old way of thinking was to use that money to carry us over in the hopes that we could avoid having to lay off personnel and make deep cuts. In other words we held out hope that State funding would increase. It didn’t. Other districts around us have been making small cuts in their programs over the last few years. Since we didn’t we are getting faced with huge cuts all at once. To refer to the fact that IF the board had not already used up their ‘locally imposed’ reserves they could use that to save positions/programs now ignores the fact that the district already tried that. The fact is, as painful as they are, the cuts will come and this time our kids are really going to feel it in the classrooms and campus.

  17. homes in Davis supposedly obtain a premium because of the purported quality of the DJUSD (not in a position to compare to other districts)

    if true, what happens to price of Davis homes if it turns out that the District has been horribly mismanaged?

    –Richard Estes

  18. homes in Davis supposedly obtain a premium because of the purported quality of the DJUSD (not in a position to compare to other districts)

    if true, what happens to price of Davis homes if it turns out that the District has been horribly mismanaged?

    –Richard Estes

  19. homes in Davis supposedly obtain a premium because of the purported quality of the DJUSD (not in a position to compare to other districts)

    if true, what happens to price of Davis homes if it turns out that the District has been horribly mismanaged?

    –Richard Estes

  20. homes in Davis supposedly obtain a premium because of the purported quality of the DJUSD (not in a position to compare to other districts)

    if true, what happens to price of Davis homes if it turns out that the District has been horribly mismanaged?

    –Richard Estes

  21. Families are leaving CA due to the costs of living. Elk Grove SD just announced 217 lay offs. It was just a matter of time before it hit Davis as well.

  22. Families are leaving CA due to the costs of living. Elk Grove SD just announced 217 lay offs. It was just a matter of time before it hit Davis as well.

  23. Families are leaving CA due to the costs of living. Elk Grove SD just announced 217 lay offs. It was just a matter of time before it hit Davis as well.

  24. Families are leaving CA due to the costs of living. Elk Grove SD just announced 217 lay offs. It was just a matter of time before it hit Davis as well.

  25. “if true, what happens to price of Davis homes if it turns out that the District has been horribly mismanaged?”

    I’ve never thought that the quality of the Davis schools was primarily due to the efforts of the District or its teachers. Rather, I think most of the reason for the higher academic performance has always been due to the innate talents of our students.

    We not only have a great research university here, but we also have a large class of lawyers and other well educated professionals in Davis. These folks bear smart children.

  26. “if true, what happens to price of Davis homes if it turns out that the District has been horribly mismanaged?”

    I’ve never thought that the quality of the Davis schools was primarily due to the efforts of the District or its teachers. Rather, I think most of the reason for the higher academic performance has always been due to the innate talents of our students.

    We not only have a great research university here, but we also have a large class of lawyers and other well educated professionals in Davis. These folks bear smart children.

  27. “if true, what happens to price of Davis homes if it turns out that the District has been horribly mismanaged?”

    I’ve never thought that the quality of the Davis schools was primarily due to the efforts of the District or its teachers. Rather, I think most of the reason for the higher academic performance has always been due to the innate talents of our students.

    We not only have a great research university here, but we also have a large class of lawyers and other well educated professionals in Davis. These folks bear smart children.

  28. “if true, what happens to price of Davis homes if it turns out that the District has been horribly mismanaged?”

    I’ve never thought that the quality of the Davis schools was primarily due to the efforts of the District or its teachers. Rather, I think most of the reason for the higher academic performance has always been due to the innate talents of our students.

    We not only have a great research university here, but we also have a large class of lawyers and other well educated professionals in Davis. These folks bear smart children.

  29. The quality of education in this town has ‘everything’ to do with its schools and its staff. Yes, our students come from a good gene pool but it is because of the efforts of our great teachers that our students excell. To suggest anything less is offensive to the hardwork of our dedicated staff.

    As a parent of students at the high school, junior high, and elementary, I see firsthand the hard work and effort my children’s teachers put forth. It troubles me that schools are facing serious cuts to the programs and staff.

  30. The quality of education in this town has ‘everything’ to do with its schools and its staff. Yes, our students come from a good gene pool but it is because of the efforts of our great teachers that our students excell. To suggest anything less is offensive to the hardwork of our dedicated staff.

    As a parent of students at the high school, junior high, and elementary, I see firsthand the hard work and effort my children’s teachers put forth. It troubles me that schools are facing serious cuts to the programs and staff.

  31. The quality of education in this town has ‘everything’ to do with its schools and its staff. Yes, our students come from a good gene pool but it is because of the efforts of our great teachers that our students excell. To suggest anything less is offensive to the hardwork of our dedicated staff.

    As a parent of students at the high school, junior high, and elementary, I see firsthand the hard work and effort my children’s teachers put forth. It troubles me that schools are facing serious cuts to the programs and staff.

  32. The quality of education in this town has ‘everything’ to do with its schools and its staff. Yes, our students come from a good gene pool but it is because of the efforts of our great teachers that our students excell. To suggest anything less is offensive to the hardwork of our dedicated staff.

    As a parent of students at the high school, junior high, and elementary, I see firsthand the hard work and effort my children’s teachers put forth. It troubles me that schools are facing serious cuts to the programs and staff.