Big Bear Lake, CA — During last night’s school board meeting, the final budget cut recommendations from Bear Valley Unified’s Budget Advisory Committee were presented to the five-member Board of Trustees, though a vote on these suggestions will not be taken until the April 28 meeting. Community members, including students from Big Bear High School, took advantage of the opportunity to comment during the April 14 meeting, campaigning for the continuation of the French program and in favor of saving teaching positions. Attendees also spoke both for and against across-the-board cuts, which is the Plan A presented by the Budget Advisory Committee. As finalized in their meeting of Monday, the BAC proposed that, to retain fiscal solvency for BVUSD, a salary rollback of 10-16% be implemented for management (which includes district administrative personnel and school site principals), in addition to the negotiation of a salary rollback of 10-16% for both certificated and classified bargaining units; this portion of Plan A cannot be mandated and, at present, negotiations with BVEA (the teachers union) and CSEA (representing classified staff) are underway and will continue into next week. The Budget Advisory Committee will be having another as-yet-unscheduled meeting to address some of the verbage attached to the reduction plans, though the specifics of Plans A, B and C have not changed. Should the school board opt not to go with the salary rollbacks of Plan A–which would result in a savings of at least $1.4 million (in light of the $980,000 that needs to be cut from spending for this school year and next)–the Plan B budget recommendation includes elimination of the GATE program, a reduction to Big Bear High School athletic travel, the elimination of athletic travel for the middle school, the elimination of intervention programs, reductions to maintenance and site budgets, and the elimination of the strings program, in addition to other items. Plan C incorporates Plan B, plus additional layoffs for BVUSD personnel.
Update: The Budget Advisory Committee meeting, which will include discussion and consensus on language for budget reduction recommendations, will be held on Tuesday, April 20 at 6pm at the school district offices on Moonridge Road.