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Educators, Community to Discuss Fallout of Budget Cuts

Saturday's community forum will address how future budget cuts will impact public schools.

Education leaders and community members from throughout San Gabriel Valley will come together at a Saturday forum to discuss the local effects of massive statewide education cuts.

School districts across the state are anticipating “devastating” cuts if the governor’s tax increases fail to receive voter approval, which many analysts predict to be the case.

The forum includes California State Senators Carol Liu and Ed Hernandez; Assembly Members Anthony Portantino and Curt Hagman along with School Services President and CEO, Ron Bennett, who will facilitate the discussion.

The event will take place Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at El Roble Intermediate School in Claremont.

Students, teachers, administrators and parents will speak on behalf of students in the San Gabriel region about what they anticipate to be "debilitating consequences ongoing cuts to education have on the local education system." Community members will discuss the changes seen over the past three years, as the "very programs that ensure student success are downsized or eliminated."

“We can’t let California’s lack of investment in education damage our state’s prospects for economic development and growth,” said Robert Cruz, regional director for the California School Boards Association and Charter Oak Unified School District trustee, in apress statement. “This forum is an opportunity for the San Gabriel community to come together and discuss the issues we face in providing the resources necessary to educate our students.”

El Roble Intermediate School is located at 665 North Mountain Ave. in Claremont. For additional information, contact Robert Cruz at (909) 394-4268.

navigio March 09, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Please no one get the impression that even if Brown's tax increases pass there will be no pain and no devastation. The $17M cuts are assuming it does not pass, but even if it passes that number only gets down to $7M or so. Note that both those numbers assume the district can convince the county that it can use $3M of its emergency reserves (arguing that this is an emergency). If the county does not agree, then even that better-of-the-worst-case-scenarios would increase to $10M. And regardless of which scenario we end up with, if furloughs are not negotiated, teachers will be fired and class sizes will increase. But dont forget furloughs mean cutting a week off of the school year, so the kids still lose. And some are saying the state may even allow districts to cut as much as 3 weeks of the school year, though that seems pretty unlikely.
Karen Klages March 10, 2012 at 04:55 PM
I'm for cutting 3 weeks off the school year rather than keep whittling away at PUSD program offerings. What...cut librarians, cut music teachers? Embarrassing in a city like Pasadena for our schools not to teach and preserve arts and culture. At the same time let's cut Sacramento government big time. Let's get real about about CA's spending problem. This meeting today I'm sure is an advertisement to vote on the tax increases.
Karen Klages March 10, 2012 at 04:55 PM
I'm for cutting 3 weeks off the school year rather than keep whittling away at PUSD program offerings. What...cut librarians, cut music teachers? Embarrassing in a city like Pasadena for our schools not to teach and preserve arts and culture. At the same time let's cut Sacramento government big time. Let's get real about about CA's spending problem. This meeting today I'm sure is an advertisement to vote on the tax increases.
lonnie fehr March 10, 2012 at 06:50 PM
push come to shove is arts ,culture , music really that important ? seems more time needed spent teaching English math etc ,
Joanne Louisa March 10, 2012 at 07:22 PM
PUSD employees take 5 furlough / unpaid days already. Some of the furlough days are taken at the employee's discretion. Perhaps if the furlough days were mandated on particular dates, the shut-down of the sites could save money beyond the employee costs. I do think we should consider whether we want to continue to whittle away at the earnings of school district employees, and of course at the decreased services provided to students and families when public schools are targeted for shrinking. I look around at the shiny new riot gear so many police departments trotted out to confront mostly peaceful Occupy protesters, and it seems clear to me that there are some public services which remain very well-funded. Do we have our priorities right?
navigio March 10, 2012 at 09:20 PM
please, explain when it's not push come to shove time.. we're talking about kids here. brains develop pretty deterministically. we dont get a 2nd chance at much of this stuff. if these things are important then they are important. push come to shove or not. try talk like that in a private school.
Karen Klages March 10, 2012 at 09:21 PM
@Lonnie: Yeah, well music is math. Spatial reasoning like crazy. Music gives your brain a chance to do thinking in different way. It's very much connected to academics. Pounding English and Math down the kids' throats this last decade at the expense of the Arts, Science, and History hasn't produced English and Math geniuses or anything close when you look at those test scores. Let's go back to common sense--all subjects are important in a child's development, not just the tested ones. PUSD has really cut a lot in the last 3 years. Time for Sacramento to do the same. And yeah, I'm a music teacher in PUSD.
navigio March 10, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Thank you Karen! All of this stuff is connected in a human's mind, especially in developing ones. Its not only music but its innovation and abstract thinking and creativity and relationships and wonder about the world. same goes for other arts. kids are not merely worker bees.
navigio March 10, 2012 at 09:42 PM
I see this as a false dichotomy. the fact that we are discussing furloughs vs layoffs as the only valid alternatives means the kids lose either way. while its probably true that a shorter year with smaller classes and better programs is probably better than a longer year with larger classes and worse or fewer programs, we really need to be talking about ways to educate our kids in the right way. not choosing between horrible and outrageous.
navigio March 10, 2012 at 11:02 PM
btw lonnie, didnt mean to sound rude. was typing quickly and on a cell..
navigio March 12, 2012 at 05:23 AM
Karen, your point about the meeting likely being an advertisement for a tax increase is an important one. I guess I would ask whether you think schools get sufficient funding. If not, is it wrong for the forum to take that focus?  It's kind of telling that Sacramento presented a budget and then said, if you don't pass this tax increase we're cutting education. I think it's a shame that education has been forced to become a special interest in order to get what it needs. But in a state that year after year finds new ways to cut funding to education until we've become almost the worst of the 50 states it is perhaps somewhat understandable.
pusddad March 12, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Joanna: if you posted this on facebook, I'd press the like button.
Karen Klages March 13, 2012 at 02:53 AM
No, I don't think we get sufficient funding because of the demands placed on the money. The encroachment of Spec Ed on the general fund is outrageous but I don't want to start another discussion about it...sorry. I like the Governor's idea of cutting down on testing costs--let's not do it every year. How about 3rd, 5th, 8th grade, then the CAHSEE? Let's look at cutting any salaried teachers who don't meet with students every day--they give professional development or fill out reports. Let the principals do that...and yes, principals are really busy. So let's cut down on the reports. Cut down on IEP's--one page only! Those many pages are ridiculous. We are truly in crisis budget-wise. Teachers not teaching kids are a luxury we can't afford right now. Bring them back if CA ever gets out of this budget hole. But don't cut down on instruction delivered directly to students--in all areas including P.E. and the Arts. Just my humble opinion....

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