In an article in the April 21 edition of the Hesperia Star, which first appeared online on April 17, it was stated that the Hesperia Unified School District would retain 76 elementary school teachers that had previously been told they would be laid off, but only if Proposition 1B is approved by voters on May 19.

The salaries for the teachers in question are subsidized by state Class Size Reduction funds, which had been expected to be cut as a result of the state's economic crisis.

The CSR funding does not, in fact, directly rely upon the passage of 1B, one of six propositions being heavily promoted by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as the solution to the state's budget woes.

CSR funding "was restored in the actual governor's budget that was signed in February ... with flexibility to use it a little more appropriately, I guess, than in previous years," Assistant Superintendent of Business Services David McLaughlin said on Monday.
 
The Tentative Agreement (which was to have been voted on at the cancelled April 20 school board meeting) between the HUSD and Hesperia Teachers Association union about restoring the teacher positions is thus not dependent on the passage of 1B.

"Each group has to pass it -- the board and HTA -- and if they do, we have to wait for the election and [governor's May budget revision]," Karen Kelly, the HUSD's Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Services, said Monday. "If those things are all good, then it goes through."

But that's assuming the money is still there. The May 19 election, with its six budget propositions, isn't the only thing that can change the state's financial picture: The governor's revised budget will be released some time next month as well.

"They may fully fund us, but then hurt us with the revenue limit with [Average Daily Attendance] money," McLaughlin said.

ADA payments, which are paid to school districts based on attendance, make up 73 percent of the HUSD's general operation fund, as opposed to funds that can only be spent on expenses like facilities.

The Tentative Agreement between the HUSD and HTA ends with the language that "this entire tentative agreement is contingent upon funding of CSR at current levels, flexibility and no further reductions to the revenue limit. HUSD and HTA will return to the table to negotiate a new agreement if CSR is discontinued or the revenue limit is reduced."

McLaughlin expects the district will have a better idea of its financial picture by early June.

The Hesperia Star regrets the error.