School district looks to cut spending by $3.5 Million in 2019-20

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Martinez Unified School District Board of Education will vote Monday on a resolution that says the District’s 2019-20 budget must cut spending by as much as $3.5 million.

“[W]hile these actions must be taken to maintain the fiscal stability of the District, the Board of Education will continue to make every effort to sustain a high quality education program for our students,” the resolution said.

However, the cuts are part of the Board’s duty to meet its financial obligations, the resolution said.

The resolution is being submitted to the Board prior to adoption of the 2018-19 budget, and is based on multiple-year projections of the District’s fiscal situation. The cuts are needed if the District is to keep receiving positive certification, Assistant Superintendent Helen Rossi said in her report.

The Board also will be asked to spend some money saved on the construction of Alhambra High School Building K on the Las Juntas Elementary School community play field.

Rossi said the District saved about $200,000 on Building K, but bids for the play field at Las Juntas came $135,000 higher than estimated.

She is recommending the Board transfer $135,000 of the surplus Measure K money that would have been spent at the high school to the Measure WW account that is underwriting the play field construction at Las Juntas.

The Board will hear a report on the New Leaf Collaborative and will review its memorandum of understanding with the nonprofit organization that promotes ecological education through community science workshops, educator training and a program of Earth Ambassadors that promote ecological, recycling, water conservation and cultural stewardship.

In compliance with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the Board will consider declaring the District’s need for fully qualified educators and will consider approving previously-reviewed new science course materials that would be used next year at Martinez Junior High School.

The Board will hear a report on college-level course material for advance placement physics science classes for juniors and seniors. If approved later, the texts could be purchased in time for the new school year. The panel also will hear about electronic texts for the District’s new physics of Earth and Space courses.

In addition, the Board will vote whether to allow District staff approve overnight trips for athletic playoff games, and will decide when to have its second meeting this month, since the fourth Monday is Memorial Day.

The Board will recognize Student Representative Juliet Stephenson, an Alhambra High School senior who is one of two students, along with Alan Kobylik, who has been named a Citizen of the Year by the Martinez Chamber of Commerce.

Stephenson has been the Board’s student representative for two years.

They also will hear information about mental health services updates and career pathways and work-based learning.

On the consent calendar, they will update a student teacher agreement with the University of Southern California/Rossier School of Education; declare some equipment surplus, accept a $100 gift card from Alexis and April Amaya to John Muir Elementary School and will ratify nin contracts.

The Martinez Unified School District Board of Education will meet at 5 p.m. Monday in a closed session to consider labor matters and whether to expel certain students. The regular meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the District Board Room, 921 Susan St.

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