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Board accepts supt.’s cuts

Summer school will be cut from most of high school district, but students will have opportunities to make up credits, official says.

June 11, 2009|By Kathryn Watson

The Huntington Beach Union High School District may cut up to $13.3 million for the upcoming school year, after the board of trustees accepted another round of budget trims last week.

The board accepted nearly all of Supt. Van W. Riley’s proposals for a new round of $4.3 million in budget savings to add to the $9 million already under consideration for the 2009-10 fiscal year. Riley brought his plan to the board after the state, facing a budget crisis, cut $4.3 million from the district after voters rejected a number of emergency funding measures in the May special election. The plan will, among other things, scale back textbook funding and implement an energy savings plan, without further reductions to classified staff and teaching positions. There will, however, be fewer support staff such as instructional aids and psychologists, Riley said.

The district is using funding for summer school, which comes from the categorical fund, for other purposes just to stay afloat this fiscal year. Regular summer courses will not be offered at most schools this summer like they have been in the past.

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Those attending Westminster High School and Ocean View High School can take part in a federally funded “extended summer program” at their own schools to make up credits, Riley said. Students at the other four schools and continuation school can make up credits through adult education classes in a program called concurrent enrollment at Parkview Elementary School. Seniors and juniors will have priority.

“All students have access to some kind of summer program if they need to make up credits for graduation,” Riley said.

Lisa Simpson, a U.S. history and government and economics teacher at Valley Vista High School, was especially worried about younger students’ success.

“It could put many of our students at a risk from actually graduating, because they just run out of time to earn the additional credits,” she said.

There will also be fewer opportunities for “advancement or enrichment,” Riley said.

Community-based classes will be open to students, but charge fees.

The district has “tried to keep our cuts away from the classroom as much as possible,” but classes will be full, Riley said.

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