Big Bear, CA, February 16, 2012, 6:00am – As education budgets continue to dwindle in the state of California, the Budget Advisory Committee for the Bear Valley Unified School District, formed in 2008, met again this week to help provide input and suggestions for assisting the school board in identifying areas of the school budget that could potentially be eliminated. The Committee met on Wednesday to continue the difficult task of finding areas to reduce $300,000 in the budget that will be a starting point for the Board of Trustees to review. As meetings are open to the public, a dozen community members were in attendance with four speakers commenting during the public comment section in opposition to previous discussions the Committee has had in regards to exempting 10th grade students from PE if they are part of at least one high school sports team. Opponents included Big Bear Middle School PE teacher, Sue Oberneder who stated that such an exemption could have a “life-long everlasting impact” on students and Big Bear High School Principal, Mike Ghelber, who made suggestions on restructuring curriculum at the high school for two classes – Freshman Studies and the On Your Own class – that are now requirements for graduation. Ultimately, a motion was made by Committee member and Middle School Principal, Tina Fulmer, to revisit the two high school programs and PE exemption in October as more time is needed to restructure policies and amend class schedules. Walter Con, Director of Business Services, reminded the Committee that it is necessary to address the 2nd interim goal for a positive certification and the District’s on-going problem of deficient spending. Additionally, Mr. Con presented a potential reduction in District services in the amount of $115,000 although no other details were presented as an element of personnel issues are involved. Additionally, the Committee had previously agreed to a $100,000 transportation reduction, $35,000 cut to part-time aides at the three elementary schools and a $60,000 cut by completely closing schools during the summer months to save energy costs. The Budget Advisory Committee recommendations will be presented to the BVUSD Board of Trustees for final approval along with recommendations by Superintendent Kurt Madden, that may or may not differ from the Committee’s recommendations, on February 24th.
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