Any Budget Ideas IUSD Parents?

This came into my email box today….

Dear IUSD parent:

With California’s fiscal crisis prompting the Governor to propose stripping more than $4 billion from education in 2008-09, the Irvine Unified School District is exploring ways to bridge a projected budgetary gap of $12.5 million. Naturally, we’d like to hear your thoughts and ideas.

A budget input form has been posted online, allowing parents and community members to share cost-saving strategies and revenue enhancement tips. Those who wish to remain anonymous may do so by simply omitting their names.

Input forms will be accepted through April 1. While we remain hopeful that our Governor and legislators will prioritize spending instead of shortchanging the students of California, please remember that we are obligated to plan for worst-case scenarios leading up to the adoption of a state budget. In the meantime, we thank you for your patience and we welcome your valuable input.


Gwen E. Gross, IUSD Superintendent of Schools

To access the 2008-09 Budget Input Form, please click on the following link:

  9 comments for “Any Budget Ideas IUSD Parents?

  1. March 13, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Well, as of 2005 California spent $8,067 per student, just below the National Average. New York spends $14,000 per student, fifty percent more. So, we aren’t at the top and I would think that the challenges we face are different than other States. Why do we have to keep cutting Education? I know I sound naive but this should say something. What was it in 2007? Less?

    Many teachers have to pay out of their own pockets for supplies and I know where I am the PTA is what allows for extra activities, more parental input that amounts to more money spent.

    I guess you could say I’m a bit frustrated.

  2. just...asking?
    March 14, 2008 at 9:26 am

    If I give my children less money, they understand that means that they can buy less. Children get it, why can’t elected officials?

    California is already at the bottom of states in the investment we make in our children’s public education. The most recent report I’ve seen ranks us 46th out of the 50 states!

    School Districts do need to look within for cost savings that don’t impact the classroom. This has already been done in most districts (but I won’t talk about Capo here).

    Districts should work together on a response to the State. Less money = Less mandates! The amount of resources focused on NCLB and STAR testing is tremendous. During this fiscal emergency the requirements should be scaled back or suspended. This would allow the classrooms to get back to learning and not just learning how to take these tests.

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    March 14, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Heather –IUSD gets a little more than $5K per student and other OC schools are well below average in funding. Ask our state assembly and staste senate members and they will tell you California kids are getting $11K a year but that figure lumps in any sort of school construction. The fact of the matter, OC schools are well below state averages in funding. Our legislators often have a deaf ear when it comes to taking action to help get a fair share of tax dollars unless you bring up vouchers which they all support. So if IUSD is getting $5K a kid, what districtis getting $15K a kid?

  4. Republicans Have Children Too
    March 14, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    As a rational republican leaning toward becoming a DTS (decline to state) I see a problem with our elected school board members. Most of our school board members in South Orange county are or talk fiscal conservatism.
    I believe in fiscal conservatism and lower taxes too, but NOT at the expense of our children. I am sorry to say “cutting taxes” has become a mantra in our party.
    So how can these school board members go and lobby Chuck D. with a straight face and ask him to vote for revenue enhancements in Sacramento?
    I have seen Chuck at various IRC meetings with his wonderful family. In my opinion he is an honorable man.
    I have voted for Chuck before, but I know I will not vote for him again, if he messes around with our kids education.

  5. Dan Chmielewski
    March 14, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    RHCT — I can answer this; a trip to lobby Chuck DeVore on behalf of the school children of Irvine is a waste of time. I was in Chuck’s office with other members of the IUSD Legislative Action committee seeking his support to protect Prop 98 funding during the 2005 special election. He holds the Republican party line and trots out the average total cost per pupil for education spending while fully knowing Irvine kids are at the low end of the totum pole. Chuck blamed lobbyists in Sacramento for tying the hands of legislators (I know, I had no idea that had that kind of power either). If new taxes are a part of the solution, Chuck will not help. No Republican will help even though the Republicans helped preserve a tax loophole for luxury boat owners under the guise it was a tax increase.

    I agree with you that Chuck is an honorable man with a nice family. Maybe electing a Democrat for this seat will get our kids more education funding.

  6. Thomas Anthony Gordon
    March 14, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Democrats have had a complete lock on Sacramento for how long?
    Putting more Democrats in Sacramento will unfortunately not get more
    money to kids in classrooms. And more money does not equate to better
    schools or higher test scores or graduation rates. If it did, SAUSD would
    have the best schools, smartest students and highest grad rates.
    SAUSD just handed walking papers to almost 600 teachers, but found
    almost 200k to hire an Asst Sup of facilites & gov relations to manage
    a bond that has yet to be voted on or approved. A parent at the last
    school board meeting spoke on her childs school running out of copy
    paper and her having to buy several boxes and deliver it to the school.
    This same school district wasted 8k for bottled water for the district offices
    at the same time the kids went without paper. This state has a priority problem.

  7. Dan Chmielewski
    March 14, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    And if I recall Thomas, they don’t exactly do Chuck any favors for “effing” with them; perhaps they would be more receptive to a Democrat.

    Thomas, I would be happy to trade you the amount of funding per student IUSD gets vs SAUD; our students get high academic marks despite the low cost per student. Parents are ve involved and we pay a hidden tax of $500 to $2500 per fmaily to make sure our schools have what they need in terms of supplies and resources. With so many families working two or three jobs to make ends meet, I’m sure Santa Ana parents do their best to be as involved as they can be.

    If you pay teachers more, you’ll attract better teachers. If you put more money into the classroom and not administrative offices, you provide a better learning environment. How about having th efederal government fully fund federal mandates on special education and NCLB so we state taxpayers don’t have to foot most of the tab for poorly funded federal mandates?

    Thomas, when Republicans put luxury boat owners ahead of school kids, you’re damn right the state has a priority problem.

  8. March 14, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    > Democrats have had a complete lock on Sacramento for how long?

    Uh,they don’t. You might remember the 15 Republican State Senators obstructing the budget last year?

  9. rob
    March 25, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    I work for a public school that is NOT crying the blues.
    We have a responsible CFO who did not break the bank in the good years. We have reserves and nobody is getting pink slips.
    The cuts are not as bad as they appear. The gover-nator is eliminating increases and cutting about 3%.
    SAUSD has seen a decline in students for a few years, the budget cuts just facilitated an inevitable reduction in staffing.

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