Coronado Unified School Board Unanimously Approves TK/K Move To Village Elementary - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Coronado City News

Coronado Unified School Board Unanimously Approves TK/K Move To Village Elementary

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Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019 2:43 pm

In a heated meeting on Thursday, the Coronado Unified School District (CUSD) Board voted unanimously to approve the move of Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten to the Village Elementary site beginning in school year 2020/2021.

The proposal was prompted by a need to strictly manage resources as the district is in deficit spending mode. In short, as Superintendent Karl Mueller indicated when presenting the proposal, it is the responsibility of the school district to serve all of the students to the best of its ability. If CUSD were fully funded at “basic aid” level, that would be easier to do. Given that it is not, the Board had instructed the Superintendent to steward the district’s resources as prudently as possible, to look for ways to cut where possible (without harming educational quality), and ways to generate revenue where possible.

This is not a new problem. The district has been struggling with managing its resources for some years now and although, according to district staff, we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel (when redevelopment debt is paid off and the district can be funded directly by local taxes), we are still years from the end. In fact, Mueller noted in the meeting that if nothing else gives, CUSD would be financially insolvent by 2024.

Mueller also discussed the educational and safety benefits of the proposed move.

Individuals from the public, who spoke on this agenda item, were united in their opposition to the move. Some cited the perfection of the Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) space while others took issue with other details, suggesting that the plan is not fully thought out. Still others focused on what they felt was a lack of transparency surrounding the decision to vote and the amount of detail provided to the public.

Board members discussed the proposal and questioned Mueller about details for some 40 minutes. They wanted to know about the expected financial impact as well as the educational benefits of the move. They also indicated that they had heard from parents on both sides of the issue.

In the end, the vote to make the move was unanimous.

There were only two other items on the action agenda: Authorize a Positive District Certification of the Second Period Interim Budget and Adopt Resolution Regarding Release of Temporary Certificated Employees.

The first of these two concerned the second mandated budget revision of the 2018/19 budget using current best-available data including the Governor’s proposed budget as well as payroll and actual expenditures to date and student attendance records. The primary areas of difference from the first interim budget are: a decrease in state Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) funding based on actual student attendance (it was lower than projected) and an expected cash infusion (based on the Governor’s budget) for State Teacher Retirement Fund (STRS).

There was some discussion of lobbying for some share of the Governor’s budget for “Special Education Concentration Grant.” These monies are reserved for students who fall into the category of “unduplicated” pupils – English language learners, foster youth and low income. According to current information from Sacramento, an additional $12,000 per student will be allocated for such students so long as the district has at least 55% of unduplicated pupils. So, even though Coronado does serve such students, according to Assistant Superintendent, Donnie Salamanca, “we will not see a dime of that money” because CUSD has only 1% - far from the threshold.

The interim budget was approved unanimously.

The final item on the agenda concerned three individuals who were hired temporarily for the school year whose contracts will be released at the end of that time.

It, too, was approved unanimously.

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