[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Santa Clarita CA
Mostly sunny
Mostly sunny
Today in
S.C.V. History
April 25
1891 - President Benjamin Harrison stops at Saugus Depot, dines at Tolfree's Saugus Eating House [story]

[KHTS] – One might notice the grass is growing a little longer at Castaic Union school sites.

And next year, there will probably be fewer hands on deck to help around campus.

Castaic education officials know as well as anyone despite Proposition 30 taxing California residents a little bit more in order to fund schools, some smaller, less impoverished school districts actually are seeing less money.

When you add that to an inexplicable 300-student loss in 18 months, you have the makings of a full-on financial crisis for an otherwise fiscally sound district that just weathered a recent, devastating economic downturn relatively unscathed.

While the Castaic Union School District was able to avoid layoffs during the Great Recession — maintaining its point-of-pride 20-to-1 student-teacher ratio in the process — changes in the state’s funding formula, and more significantly, enrollment, have the 2,500-student K-8 district addressing a $4.1 million funding gap, said Superintendent Jim Gibson.

Michele McClowry, a Los Angeles County Office of Education fiscal adviser, is expected to give a report Tuesday, Feb. 3, on what the district is doing to address recent money woes, such as reducing its landscaping costs by $6,000 a month.

The district is holding three public three meetings in the coming months, in addition to an upcoming Feb. 11 wine-tasting fundraiser, to try to raise awareness about the issues.

“Everything helps and a lot of our people are coming to the forefront and saying, ‘How can we help?’” Gibson said, “and there’s the good side of that.”

But he’s also anticipating a lot of tough conversations.


Signs of distress

Gibson has known since before August there were going to be funding concerns, and there was likely little the district could do to prevent them, he said Friday.

The state’s much ballyhooed Local Control Funding Formula, which was meant to increase district disparities statewide in funding and programming, immediately cut about $700,000 from the CUSD budget, Gibson said.

Because the formula is meant to incentivize smaller classroom sizes, providing more money for schools with larger student-teacher ratios, the district immediately saw an out-of-pocket cut of about $480 per student for its roughly 2,500 students for no other reason than it already had small classrooms, Gibson said.

On top of that, there were far fewer pupils in the classrooms. While enrollment has been on the decline for the last 10 years, with the district losing an average of 110 students a year, a good chunk of that has come in the last 18 months, about 300, he added.

The loss of 300 students wasn’t to charter schools, private schools or even out of the county, Gibson said, but reflective of a statewide trend. California is losing residents to the tune of several hundred thousand a year, Gibson said, which he sees evidence of in the form of requests for student transcripts from Texas, Kentucky and beyond.

The loss to schools in the area, regardless of public or private, is negligible, Gibson said.


Working on a fiscal solution

In August, when it appeared as though the district’s budget would have a “negative certification,” a Los Angeles County Office of Education fiscal adviser was brought in to help with corrective measures and provide oversight, Gibson said.

The attempts being discussed are numerous and painful, he lamented, but necessary to keep the district viable.

The district announced the intended layoff of 23 classified employees — most of them part-time workers, such as janitors and classroom aides.

Those cuts, which are expected to be finalized in March, includes two custodians, four library tech aides, a reduction of hours for lunch-time duty and, in some cases, changing schedules, represented a significant savings.

However, more cuts were necessary.

There also been the discussion of a 10 percent districtwide salary reduction for staff, Gibson said, which has not yet been agreed upon by union representatives or the district’s governing board.

The plan was discussed in an open board meeting, but the first of several public meetings is planned for Tuesday, Feb. 3, when the negotiations with teacher representatives are expected to begin in earnest in closed session.

Most of the discussion at that meeting would be in closed session, Gibson said, however, the results will be discussed at the other meetings.


Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


  1. So why are they building a high school? Their overall enrollment is down at the elementary and middle school.

  2. The high school is part of William S. Hart district, not Castaic. Castaic is a K-8 district.

  3. STOP COMMON CORE!!!!!!!

  4. We have been promised a high school for over 30 yrs in Castaic it’s about time I was told by a well know castaic realtor when my 10 month old was a baby in 87 he would graduate from a castaic high school well that didn’t happen

    • The public schools in SCV on the majority are awesome. Both my kids went all their schooling years in SAugus . They are both University graduates as so are many of their former classmates . Private schools hire non credential teachers . The problem is teaching isn’t like the past. Many new regulations that have to be followed. Bottom line Parents are children’s first teachers and many parents need to shut their trap and let teachers teach the way they are mandated by. YES I Agree there are many issues . But this is 2015. If your going to complain then homeschool your child. Because teachers are doing what their job description tells them.

  5. Katrina Weiner says:

    Your date of Monday, February 5th as the first meeting is incorrect. February 5th is a Thursday. Can you please let readers know the correct date of the meeting? Thank you.

  6. Cheryl Phillips says:

    Other district have made it through really tough times by preparing for what’s coming. Years ago Districts raised their teacher/student ratios and let go of teachers to make sure budgets didn’t have a negative certification. There were signs in the Castaic 2012-13 budgets. To continue “maintaining its point-of-pride 20-to-1 student-teacher ratio”
    was irresponsible, as was the Superintendent acting as the Director of Business Services. Per the December 9, 2014 Board Minutes, ” School Services of California informed Mr. Gibson that this position had to be filled, as the Superintendent cannot continue to operate in that capacity.” Enrollment had been on a steady decline, and was not isolated to just last August. No one to blame here but a lack of leadership and a Board that hasn’t been paying attention. We haven’t begun to see the cuts that will have to happen in this District.

  7. What ever happened to the master plan of all the homes, golf course etc. that were suppose to be built years ago up in north lake that our well known realtor and friends pushed several years ago. That would of brought in more tax dollars and businesses for the dying lake hughs end of town

  8. 10% pay cut for those who aren’t among the 20+ Teachers who will loose their jobs!

  9. Funny it says it was unscathed by the recent recession and avoided lay offs… um hello I got laid off!!!! I was deeply schathed… lol

  10. Higher ups should take pay cuts! Start lay offs at the D.O.

  11. Castaic is a great district filled with caring teachers and astute administrators. They cannot help that 300 kids moved out of the area with their families to pursue jobs during the economic recession.

  12. CR says:

    When was the last raise administration gave themselves? I heard it was 4% and not that long ago. Does anybody have the answer?
    Did the district really need to burden the taxpayers for 30 years with Measure QS if there aren’t enough pupils to fill the Taj Mahals?
    Seems like bad management from my POV.

  13. Ana Gigi Ana Gigi says:

    Location location location. Not fair for those who pay for location. Only to have those who don’t pay for location be diverted to our high schools…. Annoying!

    • Sarah says:

      Seriously I think some of you need to get off your high horse of where your kid goes to school. You aren’t any better than anyone else because you live some where different.
      Oh and Castaic kids aren’t wanted in your school? Who are you people. So shallow!

  14. Bill says:

    If district enrollment has been on the decline for the last 10 years, why weren’t layoffs done sooner? “A reduction of hours for lunch-time duty” is actually a layoff of one Noon Duty at each school site. Noon Duties provide student supervision before and after school, during morning recess and at lunch. One less means a higher ratio of students to Noon Duty. “Negotiations with teacher representatives,” the district also has to negotiate with the classified union who represents the support staff- Bus Drivers, Office Staff, Technical, Instructional Aides, Campus Supervisors/Noon Duties,and Custodial/Maintenance. These are the people that have already been given layoff notices.

Leave a Comment

Related Content
Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
The 24 members of the West Ranch High School percussion Ensemble will forever be known as world champions as they took home the top prize at the Winter Guard International (WGI) World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, this past weekend.
Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
Santa Clarita Valley International, a free public charter school serving grades TK through 12, will host its annual “Expresstival” event, a celebration of student creativity, from 2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Friday, April 27 at the school’s campus at 28060 Hasley Canyon Road in Castaic. This family-friendly event is free and open to the public.
Friday, Apr 20, 2018
The Saugus Union School District has set its 2018 open house schedule to provide opportunities for Saugus parents to visit their children’s classrooms to view the amazing work accomplished this school year.
Friday, Apr 20, 2018
SCV Kids Consignment, part of the LA Kids Consignment family of sales, continues its spring sale Saturday and Sunday, April 21-22 in Castaic from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
Friday, Apr 20, 2018
The Castaic Union School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved a three-percent raise and a bonus for its educators at last week’s board meeting.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
California State University, Northridge gender and women’s studies students and queer studies students will present their capstone research projects about the cultural aspects of sexuality and gender to students, faculty, staff and members of the community on Tuesday, May 1, and Wednesday, May 2, at the university.
May 1-2: CSUN 5th Annual ‘Sex in the Library’ Event
The California Senate Committee on Public Safety voted 4-1 Tuesday to approve Senate Bill 1024, the Animal Cruelty and Violence Intervention Act of 2018, introduced by Senator Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, as a way to address the undeniable link between animal abuse and violence towards humans.
Wilk Animal Cruelty Intervention Act OK’d by Committee
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Foundation hosted a recognition and appreciation dinner on April 19 for the dedicated men and women who volunteer with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
SCV Sheriff’s Foundation Honors Local Volunteers
Brandon Gold didn’t allow a run over seven innings, and the JetHawks hit two home runs to support him in a 9-3 win over the Visalia Rawhide on Tuesday night at Recreation Park.
Solid Gold Gets Third Win with Help from Bats
Rep. Steve Knight (R-Antelope Valley) introduced H.R. 5610, the bipartisan Better Energy Storage Technology Act, on Wednesday, seeking to establish innovation goals to develop large-scale commercially viable energy storage technology.
Knight Introduces Bill to Boost Energy Storage Development
Cannabis management officials from LA County and the city of LA offer advice to people seeking employment as retail cannabis budtenders.
Cannabis Officials Offer Job Tips for Aspiring Budtenders
In a unanimous 4-0 vote Tuesday night, the Santa Clarita City Council appointed former Logix Federal Credit Union Chief Operating Officer and Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation board member Philip M. Hart to fill a position on the city's five-member Planning Commission.
City Council Appoints Phil Hart to Planning Commission
An Arleta man and his sister are happy to be alive after another driver shot at their vehicle eight times on Highway 14 near Crown Valley Road in the Acton area Tuesday night.
Assailant Shoots at Arleta Man, Woman on Highway 14
Senate Bill 1409, which would update current law to streamline the production of industrial hemp in California, has been passed by the Senate Committee on Public Safety.
Wilk Industrial Hemp Bill Unanimously Passes Senate Committee
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia has formed a new clinically integrated network — the Henry Mayo Care Network, LLC.
Henry Mayo Launches New Clinically Integrated Network
1891 - President Benjamin Harrison stops at Saugus Depot, dines at Tolfree's Saugus Eating House [story]
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency's Engineering Committee will be holding a meeting, Thursday, May 3, at 5:30 p.m.
May 3: SCV Water’s Engineering Committee Meeting
Building on the success and excitement surrounding LA’s first-ever Arts Datathon in 2017, the LA County Arts Commission (LACAC) presents Arts Datathon: Collections, which aims to explore collections data as a way to increase access to the arts.
April 27: LA County Arts Datathon Collections
The 24 members of the West Ranch High School percussion Ensemble will forever be known as world champions as they took home the top prize at the Winter Guard International (WGI) World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, this past weekend.
West Ranch Percussion Ensemble Returns Home as World Champions
Launched Jan. 1, 2018, California’s newest water agency, SCV Water, is already making progress on commitments of enhanced efficiencies and financial savings.
May 15: VIA Luncheon to Highlight SCV Water Agency
The fourth annual Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) Future Jazz Master Scholarship was awarded to trumpeter and CalArtian Sara Sithi-Amnuai (Music MFA 19).
CalArts Student Awarded Jazz Master Scholarship
NORTHRIDGE - CSUN Baseball (17-22) opens up a road-heavy stretch over the last five weeks of the regular season on Tuesday evening. For the second time this month, the Matadors will head to Fresno State to start a seven-game road trip. A video stream will be available on the Mountain West Network at 6:05 p.m.
Matadors to Start 7-Game Road Trip
Santa Clarita Artists Association's new show, Colors of Spring, will open on May 4, with a free reception, from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. The exhibit will run until June 24, 2018.
May 4: Opening of Santa Clarita Artists Association’s ‘Colors of Spring’
SUN VALLEY - Mission Valley Bancorp (OTCQX: MVLY) President & CEO Tamara Gurney announces year to date net income of $1,384,000 for the period ended March 31, 2018 – the strongest first quarter in the history of the company.
Mission Valley Bancorp Records Best-Ever 1st Quarter
Flair Cleaners, Southern California’s leading eco-friendly dry cleaners, will host the third annual Flair Cares Spring Food Drive, May 1 – May 31.
May 1-31: Flair Cleaners Annual Spring Food Drive
West Coast auto racing enthusiasts, “Fast & Furious” fans and family and friends of the late actor Paul Walker are gearing up for the inaugural In Memory of Paul Car Hangout, set for College of the Canyons in Valencia on Sunday, May 20 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
May 20:  In Memory of Paul Walker Inaugural Car Hangout
The Placerita Canyon Nature Center will be holding its annual Open House, Saturday, May 12, from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
May 12: Placerita Canyon Nature Center Open House
BAKERSFIELD - College of the Canyons had a strong first-day showing at the Western State Conference (WSC) Swim & Dive Championships, with two of the men's relay teams performing strong enough to perhaps earn a trip to next month's state championship meet.
Cougars Head to Bakersfield after Strong WSC Showing
Santa Clarita Valley International, a free public charter school serving grades TK through 12, will host its annual “Expresstival” event, a celebration of student creativity, from 2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Friday, April 27 at the school’s campus at 28060 Hasley Canyon Road in Castaic. This family-friendly event is free and open to the public.
April 27: Annual SCVi Charter’s ‘Expresstival’
Here is the Community Newhall (Zone 6) Crime Information & Public Safety Report for April 9 - 15:
Crime Blotter: Grand Theft, Petty Theft, Vehicle Burglary in Newhall
This year’s Coachella Valley Music Festival started out on a sour note for 135 concertgoers who received misdemeanor citations for fraudulently using disabled person parking placards.
DMV Issues More than 150 Disabled Parking Citations at Coachella
1962 - SCV residents vote to connect to State Water Project, creating CLWA [story]
Applications are now open for the summer 2018 LA County Arts Internship Program, which will provide 179 university and community college students with paid on-the-job experience at more than 100 arts organizations across LA County this summer.
County Expands Summer Arts Internships for College Students
The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner has identified the man killed in a solo crash on Sierra Highway between Santa Clarita and Agua Dulce early Sunday morning as Brandon Scott Isaman, 31, of Palmdale.
Coroner ID’s Palmdale Man Killed in Solo Crash
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested a Pine Mountain man on weapons and drug charges Thursday, an out-of-town resident for alleged possession of methamphetamine and a zip gun Friday night, and two locals for alleged possession of heroin for sale on Saturday morning.
SCV Crime Beat: Arrests for Heroin, Meth, Homemade Gun
With summer just around the corner, the city of Santa Clarita will hold a summer swim lesson assessment at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center, 20850 Centre Pointe Parkway, on Thursday, April 26, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
April 26, May 5: City to Hold Summer Swim Lesson Assessments
Aerospace, defense and industrial markets manufacturing firm Ducommun Incorporated has completed the acquisition of Certified Thermoplastics Co., LLC, based in Santa Clarita, for an undisclosed price.
SCV High-Tech Plastics Firm Bought Out by Ducommun
Santa Clarita-based MS Restaurant Management will open a new McDonald's restaurant franchise on The Old Road at Magic Mountain Parkway, and will hold job fairs Friday, April 27 and Friday, May 11 to hire as many as 100 employees.
April 27, May 11: Job Fairs at New SCV McDonald’s Restaurant
The city of Santa Clarita received applications from eight local residents for an open position available on the city’s Planning Commission, and the City Council will make its choice during its meeting at City Hall Tuesday night.
8 Applicants Vie for Seat on Planning Commission
The city of Santa Clarita has updated the list of productions shooting in the city and the Santa Clarita Valley the week of April 23-29.
‘NCIS,’ 3 Commercials Now Filming in Santa Clarita
Members of the California Legislature today commemorated the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, even as the United States continues to turn a blind eye to the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians, Senator Scott Wilk (R-Antelope Valley) said Monday.
California Legislature Marks 103rd Anniversary of Armenian Genocide