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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
52°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
January 20
1993 - Hart High grad Dee Dee Myers (1979) becomes first female White House press secretary [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.

32 Comments

  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


LOCAL SCHOOL LINKS
Related Content
LATEST SCHOOL NEWS
Friday, Jan 19, 2018
Oak Hills Educational Foundation and Oak Hills PTA will be hosting their annual science fair at Oak Hills School in Valencia in the form of an exciting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Expo event on Jan. 23rd-26th.
Friday, Jan 19, 2018
The Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District has appointed Brittany Kruczynski as the new Director of Fiscal Services.
Wednesday, Jan 17, 2018
iLEAD Schools will honor College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook with its 'Vision in Education' award at the Santa Clarita Valley International School’s annual benefit dinner on March 10.
Tuesday, Jan 16, 2018
Santa Clarita Valley International (SCVi), a free public charter school serving grades TK through 12, will host an informational session Thursday for current and prospective high school students in the school’s Shakespeare Theatre at 28060 Hasley Canyon Road in Castaic, the school announced Tuesday.
Friday, Jan 12, 2018
At the next regular meeting of the Saugus Union School District, the Governing Board members will hear proposals for candidates for the district's new Superintendent from three executive search firms on Tuesday, January 16.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1993 - Hart High grad Dee Dee Myers (1979) becomes first female White House press secretary [story]
On Monday, January 22, 2018, traffic on McBean Parkway, between Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard, will experience delays intermittently between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. due to filming involving a Cessna airplane that will land at Valencia Country Club. It is anticipated there will be fewer than five brief closures throughout the day and each will last for approximately two to five minutes.
Jan. 22: Filming in Valencia Prompts Street Closures
Attorneys Brian Koegle and David Poole of Santa Clarita Valley law firm Poole & Shaffery, LLP will provide insight on legal matters affecting California businesses at the Valley Industry Association's February luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on February 20 starting at 11:45 a.m.
Feb. 20: VIA Luncheon, 2018 Employment Law Update
Oak Hills Educational Foundation and Oak Hills PTA will be hosting their annual science fair at Oak Hills School in Valencia in the form of an exciting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Expo event on Jan. 23rd-26th.
Jan. 26: Oaks Hills STEM Expo
2017 was an exceptional year for the Santa Clarita Valley economy, and 2018 promises even more positive growth.
Live, Work, Play in SCV: All to Improve in 2018
Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation Mythbusters tackle a tough and persistent question: Is growing a community a good thing?
SCV EDC Mythbusters: Why Growth is Good
The nonprofit SCV Mayor’s Committee For Employment of Individuals with Disabilities will host its second annual Educate-Empower-Employ Recognition Luncheon at COC on Thursday, February 22.
Feb. 22: SCV Mayor’s Committee Annual Luncheon, Fundraiser
CalArts alumni will stage the second annual Co-Incidence Festival, an experimental music festival and residency hosted at Washington Street Gallery in Somerville, Massachusetts from Jan. 19-28.
Jan. 19-28: CalArtians Stage Co-Incidence Festival in Mass.
Joseph Wayne Monroy, a South Gate man charged with the murder of a Newhall man in January 2016, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Los Angeles Superior Court today, and was sentenced to 21 years in prison.
Monroy Sentenced to 21 Years for 2016 Newhall Murder
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has appointed Joseph Hedges to the position of Chief Operating Officer and Pamela Mizukami as Chief Deputy Director of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
Brown Expands High-Speed Rail Exec Team to Move Project Forward
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reports that influenza activity has declined over the last two weeks; however, activity is still widespread and higher than peak levels observed during recent seasons.
Flu Outbreak Eases in LA County, But Still Widepsread
The Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District has appointed Brittany Kruczynski as the new Director of Fiscal Services.
Kruczynski Named Hart District Fiscal Services Director
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies were out in force stepping up enforcement of pedestrian and bicycle safety laws and issued 69 citations to drivers Wednesday, but none to pedestrians.
SCV Deputies’ Pedestrian, Bike Safety Push Nets 69 Citations
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today issued a statement calling out Acting Director Mick Mulvaney of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for requesting a total of $0 for the agency's second-quarter budget.
State AG: ‘Trump Officials Treat Consumer Financial Protection as a Joke’
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold its next Regular Meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m.
Jan. 23: City Council Regular Meeting
Amazon announced its list of top 20 finalists for their new headquarters Thursday, and the Los Angeles area -- including the Santa Clarita Valley -- was named among them.
LA, Including SCV’s Newhall Ranch, In the Running for Amazon’s HQ2
1967 - Original airing of Star Trek "Arena" Episode: Kirk battles the Gorn commander (Saugus resident Bobby Clark) at Vasquez Rocks [watch]
In an exciting conclusion of events, approximately 40 inmates who participated in the Education Based Incarceration program received either a high school diploma or certificate of completion for vocational training.
Largest Class of Inmates in Education Based Incarceration Program Graduates
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency (SCV Water) has selected its inaugural leadership to preside over the launch of the newly formed water provider.
SCV Water Selects Inaugural Leadership
Well V-205, located near McBean Parkway and Valencia Blvd., was voluntarily removed from service in April 2012 when perchlorate was detected in low concentrations, below the Detection Level for Reporting (DLR).
Perchlorate at Out-of-Service Well Reaches Actionable Level
The Santa Clarita City Council will consider purchasing the 4,598-square-foot building Roger Dunn Golf Shop building in Newhall when the council meets next week.
City Eyeing Purchase of Roger Dunn Building
Here are the Santa Clarita arts-related events for Jan. 20 and Jan. 25:
Jan. 20, 25: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
Following in the footsteps of her grandfather, dad, mom and several other family members, Erin Oxhorn-Gilpin always wanted to be a teacher.
CSUN Alumna Nabs Teacher of the Year
Legendary Band, "The Chieftains," will celebrate their 55th Anniversary with a performance at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center (SCPAC), Saturday, Feb. 24, at 8:00 p.m.
Feb. 24: The Chieftains 55th Anniversary Tour
SEATTLE - Amazon reviewed 238 proposals from across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to host HQ2, the company’s second headquarters in North America.
Los Angeles on Short List of Amazon’s HQ2
The Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District Board of Directors will hold its Regular Meeting Friday at 11:30 a.m.
Jan. 19: SCV Sanitation District Regular Meeting
Kevin Young has been selected as the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) 2018 Katie Jacobson Writer-in-Residence. Young will conduct workshops with CalArts students in the MFA Creative Writing Program and present public readings, which will be held at CalArts on Feb. 15 at 7:00 p.m. and at REDCAT in Downtown Los Angeles on Feb. 16 at 8:30 p.m.
The New Yorker’s Poetry Editor Selected as CalArts 2018 Writer-in-Residence
LOS ANGELES – The County Interim Health Officer is issuing a Cold Weather Alert due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures. Wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Affected areas include:
Cold Weather Alert Issued for SCV
Here is the Valencia Crime Information and Public Safety report for the week of Jan. 1:
Crime Blotter: Shoplifting, Burglary, Grand Theft Auto in Valencia
Here is the Saugus (Zone 4) Public Safety and Crime Prevention Information for the week of Jan. 8:
Crime Blotter: Burglary, Grand Theft Auto in Saugus
Here is the Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) Public Safety and Crime Information Report for the week of Jan. 8:
Crime Blotter: Attempted Robbery, Grand Theft Auto, Burglary in Stevenson Ranch
Here is the Newhall (Zone 6) Public Safety and Crime Prevention Information for the week of Jan. 8:
Crime Blotter: Commercial Burglary, Vehicle Burglary, Grand Theft in Newhall
1899 - Martin & Richard Wood buy J.H. Tolfree's Saugus Eating House, rename it Saugus Cafe [story]
The dismantling of a multi-state drug trafficking organization that used the U.S. Postal Service to mail packages of crystal methamphetamine and marijuana from California to traffickers in Pennsylvania since at least April 2016 - and the arrests of five leaders who spearheaded the corrupt organization, including two from the Santa Clarita Valley - were announced Wednesday by Montgomery County (Penn.) District Attorney Kevin R. Steele.
2 from SCV Netted in Major East Coast Drug Bust
With The Master's University's 2018 baseball season about to begin, TMU Sports Information Director Mason Nesbitt offers a preview.
TMU Previews Mustangs’ 2018 Baseball Season
Several CalArtians are among the Chicago-based United States Artists' annual fellowship class of 45 artists and collaboratives who will each receive an unrestricted $50,000 grant for their respective art practices.
CalArtians Among United States Artists’ New Fellowship Class