SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif- School districts are in trouble across the state when it comes to their budgets. Four local school districts could be in even worse shape. The State Superintendent said those districts may not meet their financial obligations for the fiscal year.
The four San Luis Obispo County School Districts on a list sent out by the State Superintendent are considered qualified. Atascadero Unified, Paso Robles Joint Unified, San Miguel Joint Union and Shandon Joint Unified. The Lucia Mar School District was on that list for five years. It was a difficult five years according to the district, and it said it had to act fast in order to avoid even deeper cuts in the future.
"As a response to that we made pretty huge personnel cuts in terms of lay offs, and we were one of the few districts that did it right after receiving that bad news," said Assistant Superintendent Raynee Daly. Over the last 5 years the Lucia Mar Unified School District has worked to become fiscally conservative, and like many schools, it had to do more with less. "We had fewer teachers so that would result in an increase in class sizes, it would also result in a decrease in some kinds of services like counselors," said Daly.
Funding for schools has continually been slashed and the district tried to find a way to live with it. "For the last 3 years, we at the end of the year had not deficit spent, so we have lived within our means in this terrible time of the states budget," said Daly. School districts around SLO County that are on the list have tried various ways to become stable.
At Paso Robles Unified School District, it's agreed to cut district staff salaries by almost 5 percent. At San Miguel Joint Unified School District, it cut the school year by 5 days, all in hopes of becoming stable, like Lucia Mar. "Now that we are stable we can relax a little bit and say ok if there are classroom supplies or paper that you need for your classroom we don't have to watch it quite as carefully because we can give the principal the opportunity to be the leaders that they are and better serve our kids," said Daly.
Saturday, May 18 2013 9:08 PM EDT2013-05-19 01:08:42 GMT
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