WatchSonoma Watch

Santa Rosa City Schools considers Prop. 30 money

Options for the proceeds include reducing teacher furloughs


Santa Rosa City Schools is examining the options of reinstating up to three classroom days to the current school year and returning the budgetary reserve to 3 percent in the wake of Proposition 30′s passage last week.

Proposition 30 temporarily increases the state sales tax by a quarter-cent and income taxes on the wealthy by 1 to 3 percent, staving off what Gov. Jerry Brown said would have been $4.8 billion in cuts to K-12 education in the current school year.

Area school districts were directed to build their 2012-13 budgets on the assumption that the measure would fail. That strategy means $7.2 million in Santa Rosa City Schools’ coffers can now be used this school year.

“My members would prefer (furlough days) to go away,” said Andy Brennan, president of the Santa Rosa Teachers Association. “It’s a big concern on two fronts — we need the instructional time, and it’s a matter of salary.”

The six furlough days currently built into the 2012-13 calendar represent a 3.25 percent pay cut to teachers.

The elimination of furlough days must be negotiated with affected unions. Remaining furlough days are scheduled for Nov. 19 and 29, March 29, and April 1 and 29.

To return the district’s budgetary reserve from one percent to three percent would cost approximately $2.6 million, according to Doug Bower, associate superintendent.

The school board, which was briefed on the subject Wednesday night, will revisit it after financial forecasts are released in December and Brown issues his preliminary budget in January.

Kim Agrella, the district’s executive director of fiscal services, urged caution.

“It’s very important that our community understands that Proposition 30 does not mean new money to schools,” she said.

Long term, Proposition 30 maintains current levels of funding.

Brennan, who has long urged Sonoma County’s largest school district to consider putting either a parcel tax or bond measure before area voters, agreed.

“Proposition 30 kept us from drowning,” he said. “Now we are just treading water. And the question is, how long can we tread?

“We won’t die at this point, but we won’t improve.”

Staff Writer Kerry Benefield writes an education blog at extracredit.blogs. pressdemocrat.com. She can be reached at 526-8671, kerry.benefield@press democrat.com or on Twitter @benefield.

8 Responses to “Santa Rosa City Schools considers Prop. 30 money”

  1. Ricardo Sorentino says:

    RE: ““We won’t die at this point, but we won’t improve.” – best statement I’ve read in a long time.

    The fact is that no matter how much money is spent on California education K-12, you won’t see any improvement. The education system as it stands is grossly flawed and the educational system likes it that way.

    Just how long has California been at the bottom of testing standards? The educational system likes to pretend that this is a recent development and with tons more money, they can fix it. But the sad reality is we have been near the bottom for a long, long time.

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  2. Joe Right says:

    “Proposition 30 kept us from drowning,” he said. “Now we are just treading water. And the question is, how long can we tread?
    Already trying to set the taxpayers up for the semi-annual pitch for give more ,or your kids education gets it.

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  3. Manuel Delgado says:

    One way for Santa Rosa City School District to save money is to fire those who violated my sons Civil Right’s. Our son is a Special Ed Student at Santa Rosa High School and this teacher that hit our son more then once (it was on ABC I-TEAM) is still teaching and also no one at the school who are Mandated reporter’s, ever reported it. I could give you all a few people that the school district could fire at Santa Rosa High School and that school would have money to do the things like MOCKINGBIRD said!

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  4. barbi says:

    @ Mockingbird

    Although California schools, as you say, “haven’t bought into teaching creationism,” they sure have bought into the scam of teaching man made global warming as an environmental catastrophe. Unfortunately, so many of our fellow citizens are too stupid and brainwashed to think independently and follow the money.

    @ Dan Drummond

    You ought to look into this. The entire gain from the Prop 30 taxes will be swallowed up by Interest Rate Swaps agreed on by the UC system, with the usual TBTF banks (Goldman, JP Morgan, BofA) benefitting at our demise.
    Brown knew this and he scammed the electorate (ignorant as always) with his pretty Yes on 30 posters with apples for teachers.

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  5. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    I say restore the smaller classrooms and the classes cut like art, music, PE, literature, sports. Stop teaching to the tests and start teaching subjects that excite children into wanting to learn like more indepth science, social studies, history, geography classes. Focus on teaching children critical thinking and problem solving skills so they can have open minds and be life long learners. Then there is no stopping them from being productive citizens of this country.

    This money needs to go into the classrooms to make sure our children will learn what they need to know so this country can compete in the world market and employers will have needed educated workers. This state is 47th in spending of all the other states. The quality is no longer there. Without properly educating our children, who are our future, this country can do nothing but go down.

    At least California schools haven’t bought into teaching creationism as equal to science yet.

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  6. Snarky says:

    ……… and both the UC and CSU systems are preparing to raise “fees” ….

    The flip side of all this?

    Since the voters approved $$ for Prop 30, there will be more tax money available to fund those hefty public pensions. You know. The ones where the public employees get to retire 17 years before the rest of us can claim social security…

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  7. Follower says:

    They are “just treading water” because they’re too incompetent to learn how to swim. Clearly…. no amount of money is going to change that.
    Only once they have been allowed to slip below the surface, never to be seen again will we ever have any hope of replacing them with actual swimmers.

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  8. Dan Drummond says:

    The ink is not even dry on Prop. 30 and already the teacher’s union president is posturing for a tax or bond. Even Jerry Brown had the common sense to tell the CSU trustees to table tuition increase discussions scheduled for just days after the election. Seems that no amount of money is ever enough to appease the unions. If these union officials would just once acknowledge the impact of public employee pensions on public programs, I might feel for a second that the taxes we just approved will be going somewhere other than down a rat hole. Or maybe not.

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