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PVPUSD May Cut Teachers, Staff if Prop. 30 Fails

The Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District will consider cutting 34 teachers if Proposition 30 does not pass.

Editor's note (Oct. 22): This article has been updated to clarify the income levels that would see tax increases if Proposition 30 passes.

As many as 34 teaching positions and seven counselor positions may be eliminated in Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District next year to offset multimillion-dollar cuts if Proposition 30 does not pass. This is in addition to 77 teachers who have already been cut in the last five years.

In addition to cutting teaching positions, the proposed budget discussed at Thursday’s board of education meeting for next school year would include a combination of furlough days, a three percent management salary reduction and reductions in school-based support staff. Another possible option would create a situation where more than one elementary school would have to share a principal.

Under the proposed plan for next year, special education assistants would see their hours capped at 19 and a half hours a week, which would make them ineligible for benefits, according to Director of Human Resources William Franchini.

Some of the current assistants might not be able to afford this change, and if the change affects the quality of assistants, it can have a negative impact on the program, school board Vice President Larry Vanden Bos said.

Proposition 30, backed by Gov. Jerry Brown, would generate an estimated $6 billion by increasing the sales tax by one-quarter cent for four years and increasing income taxes for incomes higher than $250,000 per year for singles, $340,000 for individuals filing as head of household, and $500,000 for couples.

The 2012-13 state budget was adopted under the assumption that the measure would pass. If it does not pass, mid-year public school cuts will be triggered, and PVPSUD would loose an estimated $457 per student.

If Proposition 30 doesn’t pass, this year’s per student funding will be about $1,000 less than it was in 2007.

"I just don’t want people have the perception that, 'Well, it’s simple—just cut 20 percent of your fat. Everyone operates with a lot of fat,'" said Vanden Bos. "We’ve got to at least get that message out that that is not the case."

In the event that Proposition 38, the sliding-scale income tax initiative supported by Molly Munger and the California Parent Teacher Association, passes and Proposition 30 fails, the trigger cuts may still occur. Because of this uncertainty, Proposition 38 was not accounted for in this draft of the budget.

If both measures pass, whichever one that receives the most votes will go into effect.

The current PVPUSD budget accounts for an estimated reduction of $2,001,500 for the 2012-2013 school year, $5 million for the 2013-2014 school year, and $1.1 million for the 2014-2015 school year.

Hillary October 15, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Governor is holding schools hostage over Prop 30. Cut education funding instead of public employee pensions. Truly shameful.
PV Mom October 16, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Totally agree. A bike lane over education.....crazy.
PV Mom October 16, 2012 at 05:25 AM
PV brings in millions in private donations, in addition to what the state gives them. The district needs to do a better job spending the money they have. Cut teacher jobs and management only takes a 3% cut in pay? Maybe they should consider cutting management jobs instead of teachers.
Debby T. October 16, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I don't get the disconnect between federal spending vs state. Would be interesting to see PV on the same charts contained in this article charting federal spending. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/10/how-escalating-education-spending-is-killing-crucial-reform
RPV Resident October 16, 2012 at 11:47 PM
I've scoured the District's budgets over the years and have found no evidence that it is either flush with cash or wasteful with its resources. One part of the budget that really stands out is the annual special ed encroachment, which has increased by more than $7 million since the 04-05 school year. Special Ed is a crucial program, subject to Federal and State mandates, that our government fails to properly fund. So districts like ours have to use their general funds to pay for it. The special ed encroachment against the general fund for 2012-13 currently tops $16 million. That amount alone exceeds the $14 million in annual local funding the district receives (through parcel tax, donations, etc.) It is remarkable to me what PVPUSD is able to accomplish with its limited resources. Any material cut in revenue at this point would have a direct negative impact on the students and, by extension, our community.

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