No rest for the deficit-weary: The Hesperia Unified School District school board was to be done with meetings for the holidays. But the looming budget crisis will bring the board back together Monday, to consider recommended budget cuts made by district staff.

There probably won't be any action taken at Monday's meeting, said board president Robert Kirk on Thursday.

"What we're doing there is starting the conversation with the board of the possible cuts that may need to be made, based on what the legislature does," Kirk said. "I would be very surprised if we were to come to any conclusions at this meeting."

The state of California is facing an estimated $28 billion deficit
by June 2010 and the pain is felt most profoundly in Hesperia at the
HUSD.

Seventy-three percent of the school district's revenue comes from
the state, in the form of Average Daily Attendance payments based on
the number of students attending school. ADA payments have already been
scaled back, and are likely to be further cut.

The district needs to cut $2 million from the budget for the
2008-2009 school year already underway, an additional $1.5 million for
the 2009-2010 school year and then $2.5 million in cuts for the
2010-2011 school year.

At Monday's school board meeting, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services David McLaughlin outlined some proposed cuts, ranging from no longer busing students to sporting events to freezing the automatic pay hikes enjoyed by most district employees to laying off some employees.

Monday's special meeting of the HUSD school board will take place at 4 p.m. at the HUSD annex building, 15576 Main Street.

UPDATE: On Friday, December 12, the HUSD announced the special meeting has been postponed until Monday, January 5.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.