State Budget Would Devastate CVESD Schools

Without New Federal Stimulus, State Budget Would Devastate CVESD Schools
Posted on 05/15/2020
Budget Cuts

As California begins to open the economy in stages, we are seeing the extraordinary negative economic impact of the COVID-19 shutdown on California. On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom released his revised proposal (May Revise) for the 2020-21 State Budget. In a word, the proposed budget cuts would be “devastating” to our schools in the Chula Vista Elementary School District and school districts across our county and state, said Superintendent Francisco Escobedo, Ed.D.

CVESD would experience a $24 million reduction in revenues compared to what it had been expecting from the governor’s January proposal for the 2020-21 fiscal year. As we know, much has happened over the last couple of months that has changed our CVESD community and the world. CVESD is currently working with a broad group of stakeholders to develop a re-opening plan for campuses.

“We anticipate the need to purchase everything from additional cleaning supplies to thermometers to thousands of face coverings/masks,” Dr. Escobedo said. “This added expense comes at a time of the worst state budget gap since the Great Depression. Schools will be asked to do more in the 2020-21 school year than ever before, radically transforming campuses and implementing rigorous health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is hard to fathom how we safely start up again in the new school year with the level of cuts we now face.”

Dr. Escobedo said he and the Board of Education would continue to dialogue with Congressional representatives to advocate for another round of federal stimulus funds. “The new stimulus package is needed just for schools to survive,” Dr. Escobedo said. “Nearly 90 percent of the District’s budget consists of personnel costs, which is another way of saying ‘people.’ With this level of budget reductions, we’re looking at significant numbers of layoffs.”

He added that despite the serious fiscal challenges coming our way, “we will continue to focus on our purpose: to enable students to construct their futures.”

Guiding principles for decision-making:

  • Cutting as far away from the classroom as possible.
    • As we continue to devise hybrid models of learning when students return to campuses, we need to prioritize having enough teachers in the classroom.
  • Looking at all options to reduce the impact on services and staff (shortened work calendars, etc)
  • Focusing on the essential services-- what do students need to succeed?
  • “Balancing these important demands won’t be easy and many of our decisions will be unpopular,” Dr. Escobedo said. “It is why we have to stick together, and be unified in purpose in order to get through this most difficult period in our memory.”

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2020 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.