Posted: 09/23/2010 06:00:00 AM PDT
Updated: 09/23/2010 08:11:35 PM PDT
PACIFICA -- All four candidates for the Pacifica School District's Board of Trustees are competing for the title of strongest advocate on behalf of students, parents and the district's bottom line -- and they all list credentials to back up their claims.
Whomever is elected will steer a school district that has undergone $2.4 million in cuts the past few years and is using a $300,000 federal stimulus grant to fill a budget deficit in the current school year. The district is waiting for state legislators to pass a budget to determine whether further cuts are necessary. The district is planning five furlough days this year and has been forced to use its reserves to cover payroll, according to officials.
On the other hand, student enrollment is steady at the district's seven schools -- five elementary schools and Ingrid B. Lacy Middle School, plus a special education center -- and the district is in better shape than many of its neighbors, with reserves of about $1.5 million.
Weideman has spent much of her time on the board since 2002 trying to stanch the hemorrhaging of funds due to state budget cuts. She doesn't like the fact that the district is beholden to the generosity of donors such as the Rob Schneider Music Foundation for so much of its supplies and programming. "We've spent our time on finding money, not on finding ways for our kids to progress," said Weideman, a stay-at-home mom. "When you are talking about funding coming from outside of the school, it's embarrassing."
Posted by Steve Sinai