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Less School Days AND Larger Classes!

Last week we heard all teachers and bus drivers were being reinstated. Apparently that's not what Beaumont Unified has planned.

The settlements between the district and the two unions representing the certified (teachers) and classified (non-teachers), as reported by the union leaders last week in the Patch, apparently are not enough. Not enough to bring back all the teachers and all the bus drivers that were laid off.

Tomorrow the school board will vote to authorize the administration's plans to cut the budget. It is a shame and an outrage that the first time the public sees the administration's plan is when they are finally ready to have the school board vote. It still isn't possible, at least for me, to determine from the little information the district has provided exactly what all the ramifications of the board's vote tomorrow will be. It is clear, that not only will there be 5 less days of instruction but there will also be increased class sizes. We were led to believe last week by the articles in the Patch that all the teacher positions would be reinstated and class sizes left alone; now we learn 10 positions won't be reinstated and class sizes will increase.

I know one thing, 3 board members should be embarrassed by their behavior, I am. Mrs. Lara, Mr. Hackney and Mrs. De Longchamp have all been silent on the subject of public involvement in this budget process. Because of their silence, unlike the last time around, the parents and the community have been left out of the entire process. Last week I argued parents should have been given the opportunity to weigh in on the increased class sizes vs. instructional days debate. It's obvious now that wouldn't have made a difference. The board members we elect our supposed to represent and work for us, not the superintendent. Dr. Kayrell's collective will of our board has let the parents and this community down by excluding us from this process. I hold the three board members, not Dr. Kayrell, responsible for this.

There is still a chance for parents to have an impact.

The average annual cost to the school district for a teacher's salary and benefits is less than 60k. If you multiply that by ten teachers (the number who will not likely be returning to classrooms because the teacher "settlement" was not big enough) you have 600K per year. Double that number to 1.2 million and this is the cost the district needs to include in their three year projection. We all realize the school board and Dr. Kayrell are very proud of BUSD's fiscal solvency, but why not spend 1.2 million? It is less than 3% of the 24% unrestricted reserve. 1.2 million spent from the reserve is enough to keep class sizes as they are now and give our kids a great education instead of a "whatever we can get away with" education.

Please make whatever effort you can to show up tomorrow night and make your case for your kids. Even if you disagree with my position, you need to show up. Or school board should not be allowed to get away with excluding us from such an important process that has permanent effect on our kids' education and their lives.

The public portion of the board meeting should start about 7:00 and you need to be there before 7pm to fill out a permission to speak form.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Carla June 10, 2012 at 11:33 PM
I cannot tell Sheri if you are messing around or don't know your facts, but they do get paid-per meeting and health benefits. Please don't confuse the public. Who voted in this counsel? Could it be special interest groups. I hope everyone votes with the best intentions next time around. We need well informed parents that have helped in the classrooms and PTA's that actually see whats going on.
Sheri Davis June 11, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Carla - let me clear it up for you. 1- I am NOT messing around. I don't have time to play juvenile games, such as those that are currently - and have been - played by BUSD admins. 2 - I do KNOW my facts. Board members may currently get paid to be board members. This is - if true - only a recent development. I can assure you that until this recent development, BUSD board members - pre Lara, DeLongChapm, Poulter, Hackney, Orozco - were not paid to be board members. Period, end of story. Now, have I made myself clear? If you answer that with a no, then, you have a problem understanding this explanation/clarification. I will NOT explain it to you or anyone else again.
Jack Smith June 11, 2012 at 04:39 AM
So, to be clear, you do not know whether or not BUSD board members are paid by the district?
Mrs. Gutierrez June 13, 2012 at 04:30 PM
All it takes is one to go to the district website and look up the information. This may be a revision of an older Board Bylaw, it does not say. The current board bylaw was adopted 10/10/2006. www.beaumont-ca.schoolloop.com Click on the Board of Trustees on the left side of the screen, then in the left column go down to the Board Policy section, then under 9000 Board Bylaws 9250BB deals with Remuneration, Reimbusement and other benefits. These have been in place since before Orozco, DeLongchamp, Poulter and Hackney.
Carla June 19, 2012 at 06:21 AM
Sheri, I don't play games either, but I know my facts before I state them. When Bill Greenwood, David Sanchez and that group was on the board they WERE PAID. Got it now.

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