At the March 10, 2008 HUSD Board Meeting, I spoke regarding the Reduction In Force Notices to the certificated (teachers) employees. After making the statement that evening I felt that my public comment needed to be clarified.

In 2003, during the 12 years I served on the Board, we were under the same state budget reductions that the current school board is facing. Per California state law reductions, layoffs or changes in teacher's contacts must be noticed by March 15 of each year.

My comment at the meeting was that we did not send out layoff notices to all teachers. This fact is true, but I felt that my comment could be misunderstood with the action that the board did take.

In March of 2003, the board did send out notices to all teachers for an up to three day RIF notice. Due to the extreme last minute budget changes that were coming from Sacramento, the board needed to act on this item before March 15, 2003 to have the option available to negotiate the RIF with the HTA bargaining unit. These notices would not lay off teachers, but reduce their salary by up to three workdays with out shortening the school year. At the time this was a heavily misunderstood legal item and was not needed in the end.

The state budget crisis, at that time, forced us to come up with solutions that needed to impact the student's education in the least possible form. The board chose at the time not to cut elective, extracurricular, and enrichment programs (such as music, sports, etc.) that possibly would not be reintroduced, or made available for many years to come.

It is important for today's budget cuts to impact the students in the least harmful way, but any changes in Hesperia School District's budget will affect our children's education in some fashion. We need to keep in sight programs like music that not only help with students' math scores, but also provide enriching development for our children.