NCLUSD budget session Monday

01.20.2012 | Gustine Press-Standard

NEWMAN – District administrators will update the school board Monday
on alternatives for trimming approximately $1 million from the budget
for the coming fiscal year and provide an overview of the potential
impact of Governor Brown’s initial budget proposal.

The special board meeting begins at 5 p.m. at the McConnell Adult
Education Center on the grounds of Von Renner Elementary School.

Before the governor’s budget proposal was unveiled, district
officials were already looking at substantial budget cuts to balance the
Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District budget while absorbing the
loss of temporary funding sources which expire this year, such as the
federal jobs money.

The budget proposal coming out of Sacramento threw another wrinkle
into the 2012-13 outlook, Superintendent Ed Felt and Director of Finance
Caralyn Mendoza said, as it would link education funding to the passage
of November ballot measures proposed by the governor to raise state

Among those impacted by the state budget situation may be children
who narrowly miss the new age requirement for kindergarten eligibility.
In the past, children who turned 5 by Dec. 2 were eligible to enter
kindergarten, but this year they must reach their fifth birthday by Nov.
1 to enroll (the deadline moves to Oct. 1 in 2013 and Sept. 1 in 2014).

As part of that shift, schools were to offer a transitional
kindergarten with a developmental focus to students who would have met
the old age requirements but are not eligible under the new guidelines,
preparing them to enter traditional kindergarten the following year.

But the governor’s budget proposal eliminates funding for
transitional kindergarten, Felt said, and if that decision stands the
program will not be offered.

Staff members went forward last week with a board presentation on
preparations to offer transitional kindergarten and outlined options
available for the program – but made clear that the transitional
kindergarten would not be offered without funding.

If that is the case, the district will try to guide parents of
affected children to resources such as pre-schools and provide
information about family-based activities that can help prepare the
youngsters to enter kindergarten next year.

“If there is no funding, the program will not be started,” Felt
stated. “If Sacramento turns around and says they will support
transitional kindergarten, we are ready to go with it.”

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