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Coronavirus Induced Deficit Will Cause Huge Cuts for Monrovia Schools - Others

As a result of the coronavirus Monrovia School District faces cuts that are going to "clobber" school staff and will make the financial troubles the district faced in 2008 "look like a cakewalk," and 2008, School Board President Rob Hammond said, "was really bad."

In an interview Hammond predicted the state will have a "monster deficit" because of its coronavirus expenditures, and since school districts get almost all their money from the state, that means "huge budget cuts" for the Monrovia School District.

Because of the virus the State of California "has been throwing out money with both hands," but, unlike the federal government, he said, "the state can't print money" to pay its bills, so that means cuts.

A 10 percent hit, he said, would be $6 million for the school district, "but what if it's bigger? It's going to clobber people."

"No one knows how bad the cuts will be, but it's going to be bad."

It is not, of course, just the school district that is going to have problems, but the City of Monrovia, and "everything that relies on money from the state" is going to be hurting, Hammond said.

In this weird situation, and to meet the letter of the law, the school district plans to pass what Hammond calls a "fantasy budget." He said the LA County Office of Education told the districts to just pass something, anything, to meet the requirement of the law, and then start cutting.

Jumping Through Hoops

And it's not just money that's a problem. The district also has to dance to whatever are the latest legal requirements, or even to off-the-cuff remarks by people in authority.

For instance, as you probably know, the district, after thinking it had met the health requirements for a drive-through graduation ceremony at Monrovia High, the LA County Department of Public Health vetoed the plan (though that decision was later reversed) at, as Hammond put it "the eleventh hour."

But also, Hammond said, in a news conference Governor Gavin Newsom commented that school would start in July. That was news to the school districts and, he said, "it had a huge ripple effect," not only upsetting parents, teachers and administrators, but causing 10 days work by district staff trying to figure out how to meet that requirement. And now the idea is dead.

"So much work goes into adjusting for plans that never occur."

"I've never seen anything like this. These ideas should be vetted." "We get these thought-bombings at least once a week."

Hammond said the direction the district gets from the California Department of Education is "UN-clear."

Fuzzy Planning

Despite this environment, the Board still needs to plan, and here are a few things it is thinking about, although these things, Hammond said, are "not written on stone, they're written on ice ... on a hot summer day."

  • Postponing the start of school to around August 19, then taking a break from around Thanksgiving to early January, the idea being to have school closed during the flu season.
  • Extend the school year.
  • Modify the daily schedule to allow for 6-foot separation. This might mean staggered arrival and dismissal times for students. Perhaps some days students stay home and participate electronically.
  • And kindergarten, whatever it ends up looking like, "won't look like what it has looked like before."

And just a few things that are more or less firm:

  • The drive-through graduation will be held, as planned.
  • Then, as soon as teachers remove their supplies from their rooms, the district is going to give its campuses a "deep cleaning" and institute a more stringent cleaning program that will be continued into the future. "Our priority is to be extremely clean," Hammond said.
  • There will be six-week summer school for credit recovery and enrichment. Sign up, he said.

- Brad Haugaard

1 comment:

  1. The big disaster for CA will be the impact of apparently capricious (or political) lockdowns. All the money Newsom and cities/counties screw out of businesses will not come to pass. Gavin doesn't care, he's got $125M for his reliable voting bloc, illegals. Pelosi is begging for more money to keep up the unsustainable utopia her nephew and his "task force" are intent on creating.

    As James Clyburn, an acolyte of Pelosi in the House, this mess is a chance to make America more like "our vision", a proggie utopia that loves racial preferences, voter fraud and other proggie values. Democrats were serious when they said the rest of the country should operate like CA.

    You want expensive ice cream in a freezer that is >50% of you annual earnings, it won't happen unless you kiss Gavin et al the right way.

    Many businesses will not be able to survive on the 50% attendance factor approved today by the mensas at LA County.

    Their paychecks, medical benefits and pension expectations they think are secure, and it sucks to be you without such. We are the best of people, though, and we deserve things.

    Joel Kotkin wrote a perceptive essay about CA's descent in a feudal society. For all the high talk of CA liberals, the state has huge income inequality, half of the US welfare recipients, and irrational homeless expenditures.

    That which cannot go on forever, won't. The gentleman predicting massive budget cuts is correct, and they will roll though every part of CA government.

    Where will all the "diversity" mavens find jobs when the schools have to fire them? Or will the public schools in CA fire line teachers and hire more admin people? After all, a feudal society needs an uneducated, aimless, docile and permanent underclass so the elites can enjoy themselves. Those elites include the teacher union and other public employee union swells who tell "legislators" what to do.