Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Be an advocate for what is important

Since our time together has been relatively short and we have not had the shared experience of budget cuts, I thought that it would be helpful if I shared some perspectives that I have as your superintendent.

The first priority must be to provide the highest quality educational program and services that we can with the limited resources that we have.

While the district must implement strategies that result in approximately $2 million in expenditure reductions, a better perspective is that with the $28 million that we do have, how can we best invest these monies in order to attain maximum benefit?

Another priority is that as a district we examine our circumstances/opportunity through the lens of restructuring/expenditure reductions.

The concept of restructuring means that we explore structures and strategies that result in our maintaining, if not increasing, effectiveness of programs and services with fewer dollars.

Simply reducing expenditures will have too much of an adverse impact.

Fiscal stability is a third priority. Our district will retain responsibility for financial decisions as long as decisions are made that result in a balanced budget.

A failure to do so will result in either a “qualified or negative certification” from the San Diego County Office of Education.

It is at this point that we lose some of our local control and other people, such as County Office of Education officials, can make financial decisions for us.

A fourth priority is respectful, open communication. During this time of discussion, debate and decision-making, we will not all share the same perspectives or opinions. However, we should respect the opinions of others.

Additionally, I strongly encourage each of us to “advocate for” the programs and services we believe should be retained/unchanged as opposed to “advocating against” the services provided by others.

Advocating against creates/promotes a negative and unhealthy environment.

Implementing $2 million in expenditure reductions will impact employees.

With approximately 80 percent of our budget associated with personnel costs, it is impossible to make necessary reductions without impacting people. To the extent we can, we need to keep the impact to a minimum.

There are no unimportant people or positions in our district. We have different titles and responsibilities, but all employees are valuable and serve in important roles.

Any proposed or implemented personnel changes must be made within the context of how we can best utilize the $28 million in resources that we have.

On a personal note, as a teacher I have experienced the despair of receiving a layoff notice due to financial challenges. I was fortunate to be reemployed the following year because other actions occurred.

As a superintendent, I have also experienced the heartbreak of issuing layoff notices to other employees.

These were not enjoyable experiences. However, as superintendent, I have and will continue to put the best interests of students first.

We can best serve our students by having the highest quality educational program and services we can with the limited resources we have while ensuring fiscal responsibility and stability.


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