CUSD School Board Candidate Scot Youngblood

Coronado School Board Candidate Question #3:

“One of the primary responsibilities of a school board member is that of a fiduciary, responsible for oversight of CUSD monies. What previous financial experience has you prepared for this responsibility, and how has it done so?”

As a Captain in the United States Medical Corps, I served as the Chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Balboa Naval Hospital for seven years. In doing so, I was responsible for the administration of an annual budget of approximately $20 million. This included working with staff to set priorities for the organization. Procurement and contracting had to comply with the Federal Acquisition Regulation, a complicated set of rules that are designed to safeguard the taxpayers’ interest and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse.

Obviously, there will be different rules and priorities when transitioning from a federal entity to a California school district, but the spirit of protecting the taxpayer’s resources and reflecting the community’s values would remain the same. As a fiduciary, a Board Trustee is bound both legally and ethically to act in the best interests of the community, to include the taxpayers, students, teachers, and parents in the School District. I firmly believe that a budget sets the priorities for any organization, to include CUSD. As I have said before, my number one budget priority would be to seek and retain the highest quality teachers to add to our already exceptional faculty, and hopefully reduce class size. According to Article 20 of the current teachers union contract, for grades 6 through 12 the “target” is an average of 32 students in core curriculum classes. Earlier grade targets are somewhat less than this number. When talking with parents and teachers, there is a concern that some classes are well in excess of this number.

An additional priority would be increasing the physical security for our schools. Installing long overdue air conditioning would not only produce a more comfortable learning environment and prevent learning loss due to discomfort and early-release heat days, it would have the added benefit of decreasing the security risk of propped open doors and windows.

Finally, the District is hoping to transition from Revenue Limit funding from the state to Basic Aid, whereby school funding comes from local taxes. This will hopefully result in an additional funding windfall of $8-10 million annually, per District administration projections. Given that the District is currently spending down reserves in anticipation of this event, due diligence must be exercised by the Board to ensure a smooth transition that does not jeopardize school funding should Basic Aid requirements not be met. Should I have the honor of being elected, I would work to ensure the Board plays a vital role in actively supervising the budgeting and expenditures for CUSD in safeguarding our resources and reflecting the priorities of the Coronado community.

Scot Youngblood, M.D.

VOL. 112, NO. 39 - Sept. 28, 2022

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