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Budget Cutting Proposals Sunshined

“What Will You Do With the Money You Are Saving?” – PVHS Student

By Robert Winkler
The Desert Independent

March 25, 2012

BLYTHE, Calif – During a pause in Acting Superintendent Bob Bilek’s presentation at Tuesday nights School Board* meeting regarding feedback from the community at the Budget Workshop held this past Thursday, a curious and precocious student interrupted with a question for Board President Norman Guith.

“Dr. Guith,” the student inquired, “With all these budget cuts you are going to make, what you are going to do with all the money you are saving?”

A rudimentary school finance answer ensued in which Dr. Guith explained that when the State of California cuts $2.4 million from a district’s income, there is no money to be saved from cutting salaries, stipends and other expenses. This is simply the process by which the district can hopefully live within its means.

The PVUSD School Board will have to make some tough decisions, mostly based on the outcomes of negotiations with four different bargaining groups in the next couple of months. By May 1, the Board will have to approve the Third Interim Report in which an itemized Budget Reduction Plan must be included to prove to the County of Riverside that the District will be able to cut expenses. Due by June 30th will be the actual 2012-13 Budget in which such suggested cuts will indeed have to be implemented.

In his address to the audience, Mr. Bilek engaged at length over the numerous suggestions placed forward by staff and community at the March 14th Budget Reduction Community Meeting. He cautioned that none of the suggested ideas listed in the PowerPoint have been approved nor have any ideas been rejected.

The presentation was sent to the Desert Independent on Wednesday as a press release and the entire PowerPoint can be accessed by clicking HERE.

In his release, Mr. Bilek states:

Though all ideas will be considered as a Budget Reduction Plan is developed, it is the case that some ideas point to specific individuals and may be uncomfortable to the employee who views his/her position listed here. In that regard, please be sensitive in your comments and criticism during conversations with association members and other individuals. While it is the case that the budget reduction ideas specify positions, it is also the case that each position is held by a district employee who contributes to the community and our effort to help students. Your understanding in this matter is appreciated.

I ask that questions about this PowerPoint, the March 14 meeting or any Budget Reduction idea be referred to my attention.

Thank you for your help as we solve this budget crisis; your support is appreciated.

Acting Superintendent Bob Bilek can be reached at the PVUSD District Office at 295 North First Street or by phone at (760) 922-4164.

*The School Board meeting refers to the Palo Verde Unified School District (PVUSD) Board of Trustees meeting.

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