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BHUSD Will Not Pursue Teacher Furloughs This School Year

The district is taking a much smaller budget cut from the state than it had projected, eliminating the need for teacher furloughs.

The Beverly Hills Unified School District will not seek teacher furloughs for the current school year now that it has received better-than-expected budget news from the state.

“The district won’t be pursuing furloughs to offset the mid-year cuts because the mid-year cuts are not at the level that would necessitate furloughs,” Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Alex Cherniss told Patch.

Gov. Jerry Brown last week announced nearly $1 billion in mid-year budget cuts, including $79.6 million in per-student general funding for K-12 education. The cuts were triggered because California’s tax revenues fell $2.2 billion below the optimistic targets that Brown and state legislators used when they approved a budget agreement in June.

The cuts will be relatively mild for California’s basic aid districts, which are funded by local property tax revenues rather than per-student funds from the state. BHUSD achieved status in 2010.

The mid-year cuts mean BHUSD will lose about $50,000 in state funds, far less than the $600,000 Cherniss predicted earlier this year.

“The additional $50,000 reduction in state funding for BHUSD is unfortunate, but not as substantial as the $600,000 cut, which we were preparing for,” he said.

The BHUSD’s overall budget is around $52 million.

The district was predicting a cut of $600,000 because it receives $3.6 million more than the minimum funding needed for basic aid status. Also, BHUSD already took a $3 million “” cut from the state this school year.

The Beverly Hills Education Association, the main teachers union, had agreed to take up to seven unpaid furlough days this school year if the state’s mid-year budget cuts came in high. BHEA President Mark Frenn and BHUSD Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Dawnalyn Murakawa-Leopard signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the furloughs on Sept. 9, 2011.

“Given the current economic uncertainties surrounding the state budget, the BHEA and the BHUSD agree to implement 0-7 furlough days during the 2011-12 school year should the trigger provisions contained in the state 2011-12 Budget Act be pulled,” the agreement read in part. The BHUSD has not implemented any teacher furloughs in recent years, although city workers were for four days last December. 

The $50,000 reduction in state funds works out to a cut of about $10 per student, while the $600,000 cut would have been equal to $189 a student, Cherniss said. BHUSD has been hit with almost $4 million in state cuts in recent years.

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Brian David Goldberg, PhD December 19, 2011 at 05:31 PM
Since I have been serving on the board we have not based our budgeting on hope and I have worked hard for it not to be based in fear. Rather we have worked hard to be transparent and base our decisions on facts and careful analysis of the politics surrounding education funding. While this is good news we should remember that we have been reduced by over 4 million dollars the last few years but through hard work and tough choices we have kept cuts as far away from the classroom as possible

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