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Prop. 30 Keeps Murrieta Kids in School, Prevents Pay Cuts

As many as six school days—four in February and two in June—could have been shaved from the Murrieta school year had Prop 30 not passed, district officials said.

Employees of the Murrieta Valley Unified School District will not see further pay cuts this year, and six school days that could have been cut will not be following the passage of statewide voter Proposition 30.

A special school board meeting was held Thursday morning, in which trustees voted to unanimously restore portions of district-wide pay cuts that hinged on the result of the Nov. 6 tax initiative.

Prop 30 is expected to bring in an additional $6 billion annually for state education funding through increasing sales tax by a quarter of cent and raising taxes on individuals who earn more than $250,000 per year or couples who earn more than $500,000.

If the ballot measure had not passed by a majority vote, district officials said mid-year cuts to state education funding would have occurred. For Murrieta Valley Unified, it would have meant a loss of $451 per student this fiscal year, according to Assistant Superintendent Stacy Coleman.

Six non-student days had been marked as possible furlough days if the cut to the tune of $10 million was imposed for Murrieta Valley Unified. Those tentative dates—Feb. 19-22 and June 10-11—can now remain on the calendar as permanent days. The last day of school will be June 11.

With the passage of Prop 30, the salary reduction necessary to balance the district’s 2012-2013 budget is now 3.17 percent, staff wrote.

Consequently, a 9.66 percent salary reduction—and commensurate furlough days—that had been implemented for management was partially restored. The cut was to be applied by 2.16 percent in the 2011-2012 fiscal year and 7.5 percent in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

Management employees, the school board, the superintendent, principals and assistant principals have had their salaries reduced by 4.66 percent through Oct. 31. The board agreed that retroactively to Nov. 1, it was appropriate to restore these salaries and work-year calendars to normal levels.

This, the board agreed, would provide consistency and parity with both of the district’s employee unions: Murrieta Teachers Association and Classified School Employees Association.

CSEA had agreed to take a 2.16 percent cut during spring 2012, and up to 7.5 percent in the 2012-2013 fiscal year, according to district documents.

MTA agreed in March to take a 3.17-percent salary reduction beginning July 1, and an up to 6.49-percent hit later if Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiatives did not pass.

Salary adjustments according to agreements with both employee groups will now be adjusted accordingly, as will the district’s 2012-2013 fiscal year budget, staff wrote.

“We can all take a collective 'sigh of relief' knowing that we dodged this bullet,” said Board Member Robin Crist, late Thursday. “Thanks to the passage of Prop 30 we are finally able to take two important steps forward. Retaining the additional six days of instruction for students, and restoring employee salaries will provide a more stable, consistent environment for student learning.”

She expressed her appreciation of all district employees.

“In this season of 'giving thanks,' I thank our district employees for their willingness to do whatever was needed to keep spirits high and students focused,” Crist said.

The district may still be facing an $11 million shortfall for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, according to a previous budget report given by Coleman.

"While we appreciate the fact that our employees have given willingly during these most difficult budget times, it is important to note that we still have a projected budget shortfall for next year,” Coleman said, in a district notice posted shortly after Prop 30 results were known.

Anne November 16, 2012 at 07:47 PM
I sure hope the state actually spends the money on schools - only time will tell.
Troy November 16, 2012 at 08:07 PM
California must be the exception then. The state of California makes up 12% of the US population, but has about 33% of the welfare cases of the nation. We are a "Blue State" correct?
Troy November 16, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Prop 38 would've been a better choice. The money would've ACTUALLY gone to the schools, not the general fund and taxed ALL OF US, not just the wealthy. Is this what we should teach our children? Rather than shared sacrifice to solve our biggest problems, we should punish the successful and take from them what they've earned. We do not have a revenue problem in this state, we have a spending problem. Every time there is a deficit, there is a call for more taxes. When those taxes are approved, the legislature creates yet another deficit. When does it end? How much in taxes will be enough? This is the financial/political equivalent of "Death by a Thousand Cuts".
Nino Buckingham November 17, 2012 at 06:54 AM
Troy but Prop 38 would have raised taxes for EVERYONE, the ones the voted only want to raise taxes on the rich....take from the rich give to the Public Employee Unions...teachers, cops, firegighters and nurses pensions will be the deathe of California as we know it.
Bob Applegate November 19, 2012 at 05:51 PM
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/11/18/Surprise-California-Education-Tax-Hike-Will-Go-To-Wall-Street-Cronies?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BigGovernment+%28Big+Government%29 Now I was really surprised to realize we've been duped again. NOT! It never is about the children but that line always works. Stupid is as stupid does. Cut overhead in Sacramento, Administrators who are too many and Overpaid and then you can take care of the Teachers who has to try to teach our little darlings with their hands tied, blinders on and tape over their mouths.

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