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Lodi Unified School District may lose another $15 million from state, eyes more cuts

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Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 9:38 am, Sat Apr 2, 2011.

Lodi Unified School District could lose another $15 million in state funding, and is looking at additional cuts.

This week's news comes as state Gov. Jerry Brown halted talks with Republican lawmakers over the key part of his state budget plan, a tax hike to help fill a deficit of nearly $27 billion.

The Democratic governor has been trying to convince Republicans to put a tax measure on the June ballot, although he could try to push his plan for a referendum without Republican support.

Tim Hern, Lodi Unified's new chief business official, is expected to give an update regarding implications on the district's budget at Tuesday's regular board meeting.

Without additional state money, the district expects to lose close to $350 in per-student funding, according to board president George Neely.

The district is already facing reductions heading into next school year and trustees have approved hundreds of layoffs, but administrators warned there would be deeper cuts if voters statewide failed to extend the tax revenue.

In addition to personnel reductions, Superintendent Cathy Nichols-Washer's cabinet members have identified more than $300,000 of non-personnel reductions for this year, $225,000 of which will carry over into next year.

Trustees also approved eliminating close to five dozen district-funded cell phones and Internet connections.

On Tuesday, they will once again weigh closing Elkhorn, Tokay Colony and Clements schools to save money. The proposal has been brought up in recent years.

Meanwhile, the school board has scheduled a town hall meeting for April 14 at the district office to receive community input on further budget cuts. Neely said he is looking forward to hearing from constituents.

This comes on the heels of budget reduction input trustees and administrators have received through email over the last few months.

A board workshop has been scheduled for May 7. Although the meeting will be open to the public, it will be a time for trustees to discuss in detail elements of the budget before voting on it in June, according to Neely.

In the past, he said trustees have had little time to ask questions at public meetings before being required to approve the multi-million-dollar planning document.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:41 pm on Fri, Apr 8, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Doug... I cannot imagine LNS would pick such interesting and unusal names for people if they were plants... I think Mr Moni Ter would have been better. I just hope Honey Mars and Susan Chapstick are real names... fun

  • Doug Chaney posted at 8:26 pm on Tue, Apr 5, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    Webmaster, have you really verified Honey Mars and Susan Chapstick. Or are they plants by the Lodi News-Sentinel? Will you start allowing these anonymous bloggers to begin posting again?

  • Susan Chapstick posted at 4:37 pm on Tue, Apr 5, 2011.

    Susan Chapstick Posts: 5

    Honey Mars, you are dearly mistaken. LUSD has just over 1,400 teachers. Just over 50% are age 55 and over. You can check those facts with our LEA President.

  • Betty Dean posted at 8:24 am on Tue, Apr 5, 2011.

    Betty Dean Posts: 144

    Honey Mars,
    They have been doing the same to the Classified as well, we need to all get together and file a "class action" lawsuit as well as discrimination!!!
    I know of at least 50 people this has happened too.. lets face it if they hire subs and newbies, they pay less salaries = More money for their salaries!!!
    Lets get together and SUE!!!!!

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 5:49 am on Mon, Apr 4, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    Honey Mars posted at 11:57 am...Apologize to Jones? lol That guy has been getting money from the LUSD coffers into his Lodi Boys and Girls Club, that is a conflict of interest...

    Yes Ms Mars... an apology... Mr Jones and the previous board were accused of incompetence, mismanagement and corruption often... and if true would have made some on the board worthy of a grand jury investigation. In addition, if you are concerned about conflict of interest, you must be in a state of shock now that the current board (all endorsed and helped by the union) has not followed up on any of the accusations and complaints (other than the cell phone caper that they saved $8,000 on) and has a very large conflict of interest since almost all board members are/were teachers. I can see why you were concerned about Mr Jones... yes... he is involved with bettering the Lodi Boys and Girls club... he might as well be in the Mafia.

    One last thing Ms Mars... last time I checked... the average age of Lodi teachers was around 56-58... has it changed much?

  • Honey Mars posted at 12:07 pm on Sun, Apr 3, 2011.

    Honey Mars Posts: 20

    Get the Social Progressives and ethnocentrists out of LUSD!!! For years, they have been pushing the more experienced teachers out of the district, who also had the higher salaries, but at the same time raised their own salaries 2X +. So now, the teacher base is becoming a younger and less experienced base with lower salaries and push their agenda, while we have lackluster leaders with Wall Street salaries. All the while, scores keep running like a rollercoaster.

    Berkeley is also having major problems since Bill Huyett arrived. I think they are having their regrets

  • Honey Mars posted at 11:57 am on Sun, Apr 3, 2011.

    Honey Mars Posts: 20

    Apologize to Jones? lol That guy has been getting money from the LUSD coffers into his Lodi Boys and Girls Club, that is a conflict of interest.

    A lot of money goes into those Bridge programs, and accept where the teachers are doing the tutoring, the rest of the Bridge people are just standing around getting a paycheck or, in the recent case, making "new" relationships with the children.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 11:08 am on Sun, Apr 3, 2011.

    Doug Chaney Posts: 1232

    Darrell, well said. It's time to forget the past and move to the present. The real fact is, this round of cuts will be followed by the same drastic cuts in the next 4 years, possibly longer, if the financial experts are correct with their analysis of the economic recovery. LEUD, as well as most other school districts in the country, needs to return to the basics of education and eliminaate all the frills and fancies that were conjured up by the school district boards when funding was flowing freely. That includes the top heavy administration and staff sharing the same cuts as the classrooms.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 10:02 am on Sat, Apr 2, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    The last school board was accused of corruption and incompetence as it was attempting to deal with the loss of income to the district which resulted in lay offs. There was almost daily outrage and criticisms expressed by the union, teachers and others. It is amazing how with the election of 4 new board members the accusations and anger dissipated yet the financial problems and lay offs continue. I think an apology and retraction of accusations is in order to the prior board, especially to Mr Jones.

    The current board is now in the same position. Unless tax extensions and other sources of revenue are realized, they will be forced to lay off teachers as well. If they are faced with following through with lay offs, I'm sure they would do that with a heavy heart and regret... just as the last board did. I will not accuse this board of incompetence or corruption... it is not their fault the money is not there.

  • Betty Dean posted at 9:41 am on Sat, Apr 2, 2011.

    Betty Dean Posts: 144

    Again I say, They need too cut at the TOP level. They have cut from the bottom NOW Mass Cuts at the TOP!!
    Make Washer Part time?? All Admin Part time?? Get with it LUSD.



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