Superintendent: Budget will remain rocky for 2 to 5 years
Education: Delayed payment is another effect of state fiscal crisis
|By Tammy Marashlian
Signal Assistant City Editor
Posted: August 11, 2010 9:05 p.m.
Updated: August 12, 2010 4:55 a.m.
As California’s financial mess drags on, the Hart district’s budget will remain a problem for at least the next two years, the school district’s new chief said Wednesday.
“The state is in a fiscal crisis, and they’re not helping education,” Hart district Superintendent Robert Challinor told The Signal Editorial Board.
In the last two years, public education in California has been cut by $17 billion, and California lawmakers have yet to adopt a budget that addresses this year’s $20 billion budget shortfall.
The William S. Hart Union High School District has already dealt with the cuts so far through unpaid days off for all employees, and increased class sizes.
The maximum class size at the high school level is 39 students, Challinor said.
While the 23,000-student district is financially sound for the current fiscal year, getting through the 2011-12 and the 2012-13 fiscal years will be a challenge, Challinor said.
The state’s education funding crisis will remain a significant problem for the next three to five years, he said.
Besides the cuts, the lack of state money for public education has meant school districts like Hart receive delayed payments, Challinor said.
Another priority, the superintendent said, is addressing the issue of drug use among local teens by creating a partnership with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
Challinor said he recently met with station Capt. Paul Becker to figure out how best to share information and address the problem.
Challinor was appointed as the Hart district superintendent about six week ago.
He replaces Jaime Castellanos, who retired in June.
Challinor was most recently superintendent of Muroc Joint Unified School District, located near Edwards Air Force Base.
He spent years serving Hesperia Unified School District, moving up from principal to assistant superintendent.
He said as he meets with community leaders, he has come to enjoy the strong focus the Santa Clarita Valley community places on education.
To view The-Signal article click here.