With budget cuts looming over education statewide, the San
Benito High School District is under its projected 2002-03 budget
and will deliver just two notices of employee layoff March 15.
With budget cuts looming over education statewide, the San Benito High School District is under its projected 2002-03 budget and will deliver just two notices of employee layoff March 15.

Two-thirds of the way through the school year, the district has spent 58 percent of its budget – approximately $12.8 million of $22.5 million – according to a report presented to the district’s Board of Trustees Tuesday night by Steve DeLay, the district’s director of finance and operations.

“We’re on track,” DeLay said. “… Financially, we’re still in pretty good shape.”

The board approved a resolution to give notice to two certificated employees of possible layoffs by March 15. The resolution “decreases the number of certificated employees due to a reduction in particular kinds of services.”

In the past few years, the district created the position of certificated substitute in which a substitute teacher so designated substituted in classes all day. An opportunity class was set up on campus as additional intervention for truant students. The on-site opportunity school employed a teacher and an aide. By cutting the opportunity school and full-time substitute, the district will save $113,272.80, according to the resolution.

Because of the budget cuts, district officials feel there will no longer be a shortage of certificated substitute teachers, reducing the need for the full-time substitute. Also, the county district attorney’s office is taking a more active role in stopping truancy, decreasing the need for the district to operate the on-site opportunity school.

“This year, we needed it before we had the district attorney. We don’t need it anymore,” said Karen Larsen, SBHS vice principal of student management, who oversees the on-site opportunity school. “We have the district attorney backing us now.”

On top of the two layoff notices, the district is looking to natural attrition and retirement to cut positions. The SBHSD loses about 20 teachers per year, according to Clete Bradford, a SBHS teacher and teacher’s union representative.

Also, the district has the option of not renewing certain contracts of probationary teachers – something it does every year, said Evelyn Muro, director of personnel. Muro said the district will not renew some contracts.

Also at the Board of Trustees meeting, Duane Morgan, vice principal of student services, presented first-semester grading reports and a second-semester division averages report.

A total of 527 students, or 21 percent of the SBHS student population, have a grade point average at or below 1.75 for the third grading period. There are six grading periods in the school year. More freshmen than seniors have a GPA of 1.75 or below, according to the report.

“They do get better as they get older – that’s the one saving grace,” Morgan said.

Almost 13 percent of students were on the national honor roll for the third grading period and more than 22 percent are on the academic ineligibility list. More students at SBHS – 26.4 percent – receive ‘B’s than any other grade.

The second-semester division averages report looked at class size and the number of sections offered.

“We have 1.2 more students in classes and 26 less sections (compared to last year),” Morgan said.

Morgan presented a breakdown of each division, showing how many sections were offered and the student-teacher ratio. The English division dropped the most sections, 14, compared to last year. The industrial technology division increased class size the most by 3.6 students compared to last year.

In other business:

DeLay presented updated information on the clearing of two structures on Nash Road to make room for use of the freshman campus. The larger structure sold for $1,501 while the smaller sold for $1. Clearing the area will allow for movement between the freshman campus and the main campus.

The board approved 5-0 revising Board Policy 5135 – changing the School Attendance Review Board to the School Attendance Review Committee. The change was prompted by increased support from the county’s district attorney’s office. Support includes a truancy prevention program that notifies parents of their responsibilities to send their children to school.

The board approved unanimously to support the Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2004 that voters will see on the ballot in 2004. The bond provides $12.3 for facilities upgrades for the state’s elementary, middle and high schools, community colleges and universities.

The next board meeting will be April 9 at 7 p.m. in the SBHS cafeteria. The board is holding a study session on facilities April 2 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. The study session is open to the public.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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