An article in the Hesperia Star on January 8, 2010, highlighted the tremendous challenge that faces Hesperia Unified for the next fiscal year. I described the financial storm that continues to build in the State of California, and the enormous impact it is having on our school district. Little did I know that the weather front would soon turn into a hurricane. Based on the Governor's proposed revised budget, our 2010 budget deficit has now increased from $8 million to a potential $13 million.


It would be impossible to capture the reasons for our current financial woes in a single snapshot. For years our District has been living within its means, hiring employees and implementing programs as the funding allowed. With the worsening economy, our enrollment was impacted, which in turn, resulted in a loss of students. To make the situation worse, the Legislature began making, and continues to enact significant and untimely cuts to funding for public education.


Our primary business is to educate children, and we continue to fulfill that charge in spite of the budgetary obstacles. As a public school district in the State of California, we are also required by the state and federal governments to provide a myriad of auxiliary services and programs. Often these mandates are unfunded, or only funded for a slight percentage of the overall costs involved. In addition, the monies we receive for the children attending our schools are regulated through a complex and sometimes convoluted system of bookkeeping and restrictions.


The Governor's newest proposed budget is devastating to us. Budget reductions are being crafted in such a way that they appear to pit employee groups against one another so as to prevent a united opposition to the severe cuts that are being made to education. Because our District is committed to providing a quality education to the children in our care, we are already laying the groundwork for possible reductions in salaries, benefits, programs, services and people. In order to preserve the integrity of the services we currently offer to students and the community, all employee groups will need to work collaboratively to find solutions. There comes a point, however, when you can't eliminate any more people and/or programs without operations grinding to a halt.


I would ask that our parents, staff and community members consider contacting our state legislators to demand that they retract the proposed additional cuts to education. To assist you in this endeavor, legislative contact information is provided at the end of this article.


For our part, we will commit to cutting expenditures and operating on as lean a budget as possible. We also pledge to continue our dedicated efforts to ensure that your children are provided educational opportunities that will prepare them for life after high school, college and beyond. We must continue working together to counterbalance the ravaging effects of this state budget crisis.


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger


State Capitol Building


Sacramento, CA 95814


Phone:(916) 445-2841


Fax: (916) 558-3160 (new number)


Congressman Jerry Lewis


2112 Rayburn House Office Building


Washington, D.C. 20515


Phone (202) 225-5861


Fax: (202) 225-6498


 


1150 Brookside Avenue, Suite J-5


Redlands, CA 92373


Phone: (909) 862-6030


Toll Free: 1-800-233-1700


Senator George Runner


State Capitol, Room 4090


Sacramento, CA 95814


Phone: (916) 651-4017


Fax: (916) 445-4662


 


14343 Civic Drive, First Floor


Victorville, CA 92392


Phone: (760) 843-8414


Fax: (760) 843-8348


Assemblyman Anthony Adams


State Capitol Building


Sacramento, CA 95814


Phone (916) 319-2059


Fax: (916) 319-2159


 


540 W. Baseline Rd., Suite 16


Claremont, CA 91711


Phone: (909) 625-1038


Fax: (909) 625-1063


Assemblyman Steve Knight


State Capitol Building


Sacramento, CA 95814


Phone: (916) 319-2036


Fax: (916) 319-2136


 


14343 Civic Drive


Victorville, CA 92392


Phone: (760) 843-8045


Fax: (760) 843-8396


We are pleased to announce that our new Superintendent's blog has been launched Please go to the HUSD Web site (www.hesperia.org), open the Superintendent's page, and click on the link to access the Superintendent's blog. Feel free to contact me in this manner with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the District.