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BHUSD Officials Plan $3.5M in Cuts for Next School Year

The school board meets Tuesday afternoon to discuss possible reductions needed to maintain a balanced budget.

Board of Education members are meeting at 3 p.m. Tuesday to decide on $3.5 million in possible cuts for the 2013-14 school year as the district prepares to submit its budget to the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE).

The cuts represent roughly 7 percent of the annual Beverly Hills Unified School District budget of about $51.5 million. The reductions are needed in order to show a balanced budget to LACOE. They come despite last week’s passage of California's Proposition 30, which seeks funding for public schools.

“BHUSD will be funded below the level of funding it received in 2009-10, and the district will be forced to make expenditure reductions, as much as $6 million, to maintain a balanced budget,” the district states in a fact sheet posted on its website.

In an email sent last week to district staff, Superintendent Gary Woods spelled out a range of cuts being considered, dividing the cuts into two categories.

“As we work to restore items on this list through fundraising and other means, ‘category 1’ items are intended to be restored first followed by ‘category 2’ items,” he wrote. “This is a worst-case scenario list. I am confident we will be successful in restoring many items on this reduction plan.”

The category one cuts would eliminate half the district’s K-8 music teachers and all K-8 librarians. The cuts would combine lower grade levels to eliminate three teacher positions and also eliminate several secretaries at the high school. The category one cuts total more than $1.2 million.

The category two cuts include items like eliminating the current guarantee that K-5 students can attend the Beverly Hills school closest to their homes. Under the category two budget cuts, seventh and eighth graders would see their day reduced to six periods from the present eight periods, eliminating electives in those grades.

The category two cuts, which total about $2.3 million, would also mandate a 5 percent salary cut for top BHUSD administrators.

“We will be working with our Board of Education and numerous stakeholder groups to finalize a campaign intended to help us restore items on our list,” Woods wrote.

The public is invited to attend the budget study session at the BHUSD district office. 

Later in the evening, the board will hold its regularly-scheduled board meeting. According to the agenda posted on the district website, members will vote on a proposal from board President Brian Goldberg to put a parcel tax on the March 2013 ballot. As Patch reported in August, Goldberg believes such a tax is the best way to provide secure funding for BHUSD.

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Brian David Goldberg, PhD November 13, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Yes you served for eight years and your record to vote for increased class sizes along with your yes vote to fight a tunnel under the High School are all part of your record. As a former Board member you should understand the agenda better than the average citizen and know that a study session is just that a study session. I would encourage the community to attend tonight and listen to the discussion and attend our Board meeting on the 27th when the proposed budget is up for discussion.
Brian David Goldberg, PhD November 13, 2012 at 09:45 PM
My votes are my record I would encourage you to look at my actual record. It is a problem that we have not done a better job explaining to the community the MTA and how their actions forced the district to spend millions proving we do not have active faults under BHHS and El Rodeo school. I wish we could discuss in greater detail our legal strategy and how we expect to recoup all the funds spent but what I can point to is the fact I have a record collecting money. While other board members advocated settlement and paying criminals off I stood firm and we collected we will have recouped almost 3.5 million dollars for the general fund by end of the calendar year which has been used to maintain all the programs mentioned above. Tonight we will discuss how to generate revenue to maintain these programs. This has all been written about on Patch.com and in our local papers. For more background visit www.goldberg4bhusd.com for more facts and less verbal attacks. Still proud of my record.
Brian David Goldberg, PhD November 13, 2012 at 09:50 PM
Good government should be everyone's concern. We have worked hard to bring to light the years of mismanagement that squandered millions of dollars of tax payers fund that was suppose to be used in our classrooms. We have made progress but much work remains to be done. I will continue to work with my colleagues, staff and the community to identify and fix these problems.
Alexander Hollywood-Man November 13, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Truly pathetic, I must say. BHUSD is officially in the Hall of Shame. Wasting hundreds of thousands for a senseless fight against the subway, and then complaining that "there's no money"; where is the logic?! From what I heard, school kids are smarter than the actual school board members. Kids know better that wasting money to fight the subway makes no sense. Maybe it's time BHUSD start learning basics of life from their school kids.
Brian David Goldberg, PhD November 14, 2012 at 01:44 AM
I have proposed many ideas that will allow our local district to get off the State's dime and will contour to advocate for good government which includes oversight, transparency and accountability. MTA forced our district to spend over 1.5 million dollars to prove no active faults under BHHS and El Rodeo schools and just like the Christensen Criminal case that resulted in over 10 million in judgements and settlement dollars for the district, with nearly 3.5 million put back into the general fund which has been used to support all the programs that are potential cuts, we will prevail and received compensation for our legal and other costs associated with fighting the MTAs plans. Had we followed the advice of previous board majorities we would paid Christensen millions of dollars and millions more to contractors and architects to redo work the voters had already suppose to have paid for with Measure S and Measure K. Still proud of my record and still working to fix the years of mismanagement and out right criminal activity that plagued our district and took millions out of our classrooms

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