Though the Temple City Unified School District (TCUSD) is currently meeting its budget requirements, Governor Schwarzenegger’s prospective mid-year fiscal reductions will almost certainly unhinge the school district’s financial stability.
Proposed reductions of $1,800 a month and up to $1.8 million a year may force the Board to oust jobs, shorten hours, and suspend essential maintenance projects until further notice.
To mitigate a potentially crippling problem, the Board has readdressed issuing a $76 million bond for the district. Current plans are still being worked on before the bond is released to the public for voting.
Tentative plans for the bond concentrate around upgrading classroom technology and replacing Temple City High School’s recreational facilities-impending projects include outfitting classes with interactive white boards, wireless internet access, and laptop carts; and modernizing lighting at the high school, investing in a new pool and track, and erecting a performing arts center. Debate has been raised; however, as to whether the Board should prioritize building maintenance over added amenities.
With the input of district principles, the Board has revisited the idea of constructing a three-story complex in order to replace the older 100-200-300 wings. Though this would absorb the bulk of the bond, a new building would provide the means towards other provident measures.
The Board has expressed interest in “greening” the schools to save money. Ideas to outfit newer building with solar panels project a potentially substantial reduction in electricity bills, and the possibility of composting wasted food for fertilizer would further supplement the district’s languishing budget. Other states, high schools outfitted with recycling plants, reap precedential benefits of up to $30,000 per school every year.
Though the overall prospect has yet to reach a consensus, the Board is redoubling its efforts to prepare itself for the perfect budget storm.
This article was written by Jessica Liu. It was published in the Temple City Voice on December 17, 2008.