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Posted by xaviervir on December 10, 2010

Friday, Dec. 10


Lake Elementary School

2700 11th St.

San Pablo


Room 5



  1. Shelby said

    Below is artcle from CCTimes and my comment:

    West County schools in black but financial storm clouds loom
    By Shelly Meron
    Contra Costa Times
    Posted: 12/09/2010 03:17:42 PM PST
    Updated: 12/09/2010 05:45:33 PM PST

    The West Contra Costa school district is surviving financially for now, but staff members are warning of tougher times ahead.

    This week, the school board approved a positive certification in the first interim budget report, which covered the period up to Oct. 31, with the district able to show it will meet its financial obligations for the current and next two school years. However, board members were warned to prepare for more cuts, in part due to the state deferring cash deposits to school districts until July and August.

    “The problem is that they’re not sending the cash,” said Sheri Gamba, the district’s associate superintendent for business services. “So they’re saying that they’re funding us, but they’re not actually sending us the money. We’re sort of in a quandary.”

    Gamba said this week that deferral translates to 28 percent of the funds the district should be getting, and she worries that it will turn into a permanent cut later in the year.

    Many districts have arranged to borrow money from outside to cover this shortfall; Gamba said that West Contra Costa has not had to do that, handling the shortfall with changes to employee benefits, school closures and adopted spending flexibilities. Still, the district is prepared to borrow between funds internally if needed later on.

    The report showed the district will meet its 3 percent required reserve through the 2012-13 school year. It also assumes that West Contra Costa will
    see about $2.6 million in deficit spending in the 2011-12 school year, and another $7.3 million in 2012-13, but will remain financially solvent because of ending fund balances.

    Those assumptions on paper are not necessarily supported by cash, Gamba emphasized, and they also do not factor in future state cuts.

    On top of the cash deferrals, federal money that the district has been using to keep class sizes smaller in kindergarten through third grade expires at the end of this school year, and the district also may now be on the hook for about $1 million in student mental health services.

    Looking ahead, a staff report called the current state budget “unreliable,” and Gamba said the district must prepare for more midyear cuts and the possibility that one-time spending flexibilities will expire in the next two years if not extended by the legislature. A spending and hiring freeze may be needed soon, she added, as well as program and staff reductions.

    The staff report also urged board members to look again at plans for the district’s vacant properties, which still incur insurance and maintenance costs without being used or bringing in revenue. Board members said they were open to another discussion of the issue but did not want language in the report that restricted their decisions; they approved the report without it.

    The district will hold community meetings next month about the district’s finances once the governor’s proposed budget is released and district staff members attend a workshop in Sacramento. More information on those meetings will be available soon at

    Shelly Meron covers education in West Contra Costa.

    Follow her at

    Shelby Ruth Chapel12:05 pm
    Relate schools closing and cutbacks to:
    (1) salaries at upper end of WCCUSD.(Note:Anything over $100k puts recipient in top 25% of nation.)
    WCCUSD Superintendent: $289k total.( Note: State governor=$212k. State Superintendent Public Instruction=$184k).WCCUSD highest in county. Why?Total all WCCUSD salaries over $100k=$7,749,773. Question:Are cutbacks to protect bloated benefits and retirement? If so, closing schools will not solve fiscal problem.
    (2) Relate school closings and possible sale of property to projected populations.Check General Plans and ABAG numbers. San Pablo, for instance, will be adding 940 living units with hundreds more children. Closing schools, selling property will create another crisis a few years down the road necessitating more schools be built. Continued economic catastrophe precludes increased taxes in future.
    (3) Relate fiscal school problem to ‘redevelopment’. All tax increment funds(TIF)now go to redevelopment agencies. Previous to creation of RDAs they went to schools and city services. 94% of San Pablo is in project areas,i.e.RDA controlled.
    (4) Relate closings to WCCUSD bonds passed: 2000-2005=$850M. Where did all that money.(+grants,etc.) go?We need accounting.
    Problem is those deciding protect the highly paid at the top and choose to stack and pack kids rather than address unsustainable salaries and retirement.
    Solutions?(a) Dissolve RDA’s. Development to be done in future under control of city councils who(hopefully) have accountability to people. SP has $10M in RDA account. Use it for education,i.e. our investment in future.(b)consider creating charter schools. If those in power insist on sinking the ship the kids don’t have to go down with it. Nor do we.We need well educated for future to address increased complexities. Current people in power not hacking it. google:Youtube:Agenda21 UN Sustainable Development, Shaw CPA,Att.Santa Cruz.’well educated>better jobs>earn more $$>consume more>unsustainable.’ Solution?Dumb down kids.These ding-a-lings want all decisions in future to be made by ‘consensus of professionals’, not the people. Bye-bye constitution.

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