The School Board continued to discuss the Temple City Unified School District (TCUSD) budget in light of budget cuts imposed by state legislators in February 2009.
Five teachers at Temple City High School (TCHS) will be laid off in the coming school year, district officials said. The TCHS Media Center staff may also suffer some trimming as well.
The District has a large, legally-mandated reserve fund. The fund, which is supposed to supply money to the TCUSD in dire economic times, is currently being used.
“We are currently relying on our reserves to make up for our budget,” said Superintendent Chelsea Kang-Smith on Wednesday, April 15.
“We have reduced the reserve by half, and we are counting on it to make it through the [2008-2009] school year,” she added.
Last month, the School Board considered a proposal to layoff classified staff within TCUSD. The Board decided unanimously to strike it down as members of the CSEA 105, the classified employees’ union rallied against the proposal.
The proposal would have laid off 22 part-time workers, reduced the hours of 24 more staff members, and halve the hours and benefits of one full-time employee at all schools sites within TCUSD. Had the plan been adopted, the District would have saved about $417,000.
A Channel 4 News reporter Robert Kovacic came to Emperor elementary school to interview the classified staff and principal. The short video segment, “Temple City Classified Employees Also Vulnerable,” aired on April 3. It can still be found on the NBC Los Angeles website.
Kovacic was brought in by Robin Penn, president of the classified employees’ union. Penn had criticized the news media for neglecting the impact the budget cuts had other District staff.
In addition to discussing the budget, the School Board mulled over longer school hours at La Rosa elementary school.
The plan being circulated would affect children in kindergarten. Currently, kindergarteners attend school for three and a half hours on an a.m. / p.m. system. If implemented, students will attend school for six hours.
“We are in full support of increasing the hours in La Rosa’s school day” commented Smith.
School Board members also heard from La Rosa staff members, who offered their support for the idea. Administrators hope to draw in new students because of a longer school day. They also hope to increase the amount of kindergarten classes from five to six and induce further mind-development in the children.
Board members equally expressed enthusiasm for the proposed system.
“We plan to bring the action back for the Board meeting in May” stated the superintendent. The School Board’s next official meeting is on May 13.
This article was written by Katie Brown. It was published in the Temple City Voice on May 1, 2009.