Dear Bonsall School Community,
As a contrast to the previous community letter discussing bad budget news, we have some good news! The cut to home‐to‐school transportation funding will be only half as bad as expected; Governor Brown signed SB 81 that revokes the cut to transportation by instead spreading a $45 cut among the general fund of all school districts. Although we will still lose about half of the transportation budget for the remainder of the year, and must make some cuts as a result, things could have been much worse. If you were one of those who contacted the Governor’s, or a legislator’s office to protest the transportation budget cuts that unfairly impacted small, rural school districts, we deeply appreciate your help.
Also, yesterday the Governor indicated he would like to include home‐to‐school transportation in next year’s budget as well, providing his initiative passes in November. Our District is preparing for a worst case scenario of the Governor’s initiative not passing, so at our last Board Meeting on February 9, 2012, the Board passed a resolution to prepare to layoff ten teachers. We will meet with the Bonsall Teachers Association later this month and hope to negotiate work reduction days toward the end of next year’s calendar to reduce the number of teachers receiving layoff notices. Then, if by chance the Governor’s initiative does pass in November, the possibility of restoring those days to the school calendar could take place.
However, although State funding for education has been reduced the past four years in a row, Bonsall schools continue to improve student learning. Growth in the Academic Performance Index (API) over these last four years has increased to make Bonsall a leader in API growth among school districts in San Diego County. The students, parents, teachers and administrators in Bonsall are making a shift from the culture of teaching to a culture of learning. Technology has created an environment in our schools that personalizes instruction so that student learning isn’t held back by a system that won’t move faster than the average learner. If you get a chance, please encourage each other; this type of shift is uncomfortable for some, but the academic excellence and support for all students that comes from such a cultural shift is well worth it for all of us.
Justin Cunningham, Ed. D.