Menifee School Budget Cuts

Jason Roth, a resident and parent living in Menifee is on the Budget Advisory Committee for the Menifee Union School District. The committe...

Jason Roth, a resident and parent living in Menifee is on the Budget Advisory Committee for the Menifee Union School District. The committee is made up of residents whose job is to figure out where the next line of budget cuts is going to be made.

Here's a statement from him...
Recently the Menifee Union School District (MUSD) assembled a Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) to assist with the daunting task of formulating a budget that will accommodate the dwindling funds provided by the State. The BAC is made up of members of the Community and the MUSD. To achieve a "balanced" budget for this year and the foreseeable future, a large number of cuts are going to need to be made to the existing budget.

I have volunteered and have been chosen as a parent representative on the BAC. As a parent representative I am asking for input from other parents in the MUSD on what you feel should or should not be taken out of the current budget. Keep in mind, a LARGE amount of the current budget is going to need to be removed in order to achieve a “balanced” budget.

The MUSD website has established a link that will allow you to send your suggestions to the BAC. I ask all parents, who have a practical suggestion, go to the website and submit it, or if available leave a comment on this blog and I will forward it to the BAC.

Thank you,
Jason Roth
You can submit your suggestions online through the school district website at this link...

http://www.menifeeusd.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=dep_intro&dept_id=5146

Last year, the district cut busing, counseling, and shut down Menifee Elementary for a year. That saved them $2.4 million.

What do you think should NOT be cut? Teacher salaries? Music? Another school?

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  1. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, don't cut class size reduction. My son will be starting kindergarden next year and I think it would be a shame for him to be in a class with 29 or more other students. Our kids should be provided the best education possible and to fill the classrooms with more students per teacher would be a shame.

    I hate to say it but I would rather see music and band cut than class size reduction.

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  2. Absolutely DO NOT eliminate class size reduction! 30 children per class in grades K - 3 will be devastating for our kids. Our children deserve the best possible education. Don't make our kids pay for the budget deficit.

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  3. As a parent of a middle school band student, I would absolutely hate to see band cut. My son loves band and Mr. Yancey is an AWESOME teacher. He has such a positive influence on the kids he teaches. If the kids lost that, it would be such a horrible shame. I feel the kids truly benefit from band and music. I hope they cut somewhere else.

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  4. How about cutting at the top? I haven't heard that the supt. will be volunteering a cut in salary. Pretty much everyone who does not work at the district office is taking a hit on some level or another. Classified personnel are losing at least 2 months of their salary due to the switch to traditional school year.

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  5. Here's a concept....cut the salaries of the higher up administrators...ya know, the ones who don't interact or daily engage with the whole purpose behind public schools...the children...

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  6. Keep music. You can find studies that demonstrate how music helps students understand and improve in other subjects. But I don't care about the studies. Look at the success of your music students. Go back and check the percentage of former band students who actually GRADUATE from college, not just register at msjc. My child had Mr Kettner years ago so I cannot give firsthand comment about Mr Yancy. Mr Kettner is a good person. Everything I've heard about Yancy is great. I believe that the arts contribute to our children's education. Oh if Mr Bledsoe (?elementary music ) is still around, thanks for the great introduction to music you gave my child.

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  7. Don't cut class size reduction. Class size reduction affects thousands of students. I am sorry, but band and music only affect a handful of students. We will never get class size reduction back if we eliminate it. Even if more funding comes it will not be reinstated. What about a freeze in salaries or a pay cut across the board for all district employees?

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  8. There is a huge difference in middle school band and the elementary school music and band program. Cutting music from K-5 instead of increasing class size is a more responsible choice. I agree with the above poster, middle school band is a great influence and should be left alone.

    I hope the BAC looks at cutting the most from things that don't directly affect our students in the classroom.

    Jason, I hope you will keep us all informed on what is being discussed and how the board seems to be reacting to the BAC's suggestions. As a parent I want to stay informed and be aware of what is being planned so that I can stand up for my kids and the students if necessary.

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  9. As a teacher I would rather see the number of days sacrificed than the class size. I would like to see all state testing halted for a set number of years, say 2 or 3 until this crisis is over. I think all teacher development needs to be suspended. I love music and imagine it will be a small savings but we cannot sacrifice the positive school experience and the student/teacher ratio for things such as music at a time like this. I would be taking a paycut to shorten the school year and am all for it if we can save class size reduction. No teacher can adequately attend to 29 or more kids at any grade during a school day given the academic demands and the behavior issues of today. It is a horrible feeling to go home each day and feel that there were 3, 4, maybe 5 kids that you failed to give that personal touch. With that many kids in one room and only one teacher the job amounts to behavior and crowd control with a lesson plan driven day that takes on the feel of boot camp. No 4,5,6,7,8 or 9 year old (K-3)should have that kind of school experience. 20 to 1 was the best thing we have done! We need to fight for it!

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  10. Close down the cafeteria. School food is bad for ya. Close down the library. Kids have enough to do with home work. Close down the VP position. Cut out the middle man. Close down music, p.e., history, science programs. Get back to basics. Teach kids math and english and respect/civility. What good is the rest if they can't read, write , add or subtract?

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  11. Please, do not cut the counseling program - the schools are in dire need of counseling services. The Menifee School District finally hired counselors as of 2006 and even though the student ratio is high at the middle school level (1-counselor for 700 students), it's a program that is a beneficial to students academically, socially and emotionally.

    It is a HUGE concern if this program is cut or reduced.

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  12. First thing.... FREEZE ALL WAGES. No "Step and Column" pay increases for two fiscal years and no mandate to 'catch up' these two lost fiscal years. If you want your job... FREEZE IMMEDIATELY all the 'un-merited' step and column pay increases. Unions....suck it up!

    Second thing.... make all employees pay for a greater portion of their health and welfare benefits. What industry pays for 100% of their employee's health care insurance?

    Third thing.... consolidate or 'early retire' the leadership in facilities, maintenance & transportation, and food services... the customer service in those areas is crappy at best.

    Other cost cutting initiatives would be:

    1. Temporarily eliminate ALL school busing except for special needs students which the district must provide by law. This will result in driver layoffs.

    2. Temporarily eliminate middle school counseling (elementary school counseling already eliminated). This will result in counselor layoffs.

    3. Temporarily eliminate all music programs. Buy an Ipod and have your kids sing in the shower and bang on pots and pans...we're in a deep recession people (and it began in December 2007).

    4. Temporarily increase class sizes in K-3 but, instead of laying off the young, hard charging, energetic teachers... get rid of the older, tenured "I have a right to my job first" teachers. This is the biggest waste in the State of California....Union seniority mandates!

    5. Keep Menifee Elementary School temporarily closed for another 1 year (or more).

    6. Temporarily cease ALL field trips at all levels.... watch the History Channel and National Geographic instead.

    7. Outsource all maintenance, custodial, landscaping and administrative services... they don't do a good job of it anyway, the customer service is lousy (have you talked with anyone on the phone lately), and there is only about 5 hours of good productivity and that occurs on a Monday.

    Oh wait a minute... Governor Davis signed that one order into law as he was leaving office that PROHIBITS COMPETITION for public employee unions thereby preventing management from capturing efficiencies, achieving economies of scale, and actually saving the taxpayers' money.... Sorry, my bad...I forgot that the unions are entitled...sorry, please forgive me!

    Capture savings from all of the above and keep the rest employed. Menifee Union School District is the largest employer in Menifee with a payroll in the tens of millions of dollars.

    The economy is in dire straits. Every industry in the state and across the nation are laying off employees. There is NO ARGUMENT that can justify "keeping cuts as far away from the classroom as possible"... a ludicrous notion to begin with in an unprecedented economic condition.

    Please save the "Workers of the world unite" speeches for the next communist rally and central committee meeting Comrades.... oh wait a minute... I thought we're in America.

    Welcome to the United Socialist Republic of California (USRC) where the Teacher's Union has everyone by the snardleys!

    --- The Patriot

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  13. Not knowing the details of the line item costs or cuts to revenue...in general, you need to cut only fat..and that would be any administrative, district or teacher support services that do not directly interact with students.

    Is any line item too high, like substitute teachers or administrators. Professional Development should be fee based as in other non-union industries.

    I would get rid of most of the text books, except perhaps a class copy, and perhaps teach the same subject matter a little more creatively. Cut the paper flow and make better use of multi-media and technology in the classroom.

    Find grant money or patrons to fund more technology strategies.
    Perhaps fewer school days and more collaborative and team teaching opportunities.

    Encourage community use of facilities - fee based. Increase parent and community involvement.

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  14. It seems like nobody wants anything cut. Sounds like the State problems.

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  15. Why not consider contracting out for bussing and food service? Neighboring distri