Trustees Approve Revised Budget Due to Students Leaving California •

California State University trustees approved a revised budget due to the growing number of students leaving the school. The new budget includes $4 million in cuts and an increase in tuition for incoming freshmen.

The ab 1316 is a California law that allows students to leave the state for up to three years without losing their eligibility for financial aid.

Assistant Superintendent Rossi presented a four-year proposal to add a “Ethnic Studies” course to the curriculum.

ATASCADERO — ATASCADERO — ATASCADERO — The Atascadero Unified School District (AUSD) Board of Trustees had its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, September 7th, at 7 p.m.

From the closed session, there is nothing to report.

Terrie Switzer, a trustee, acknowledged numerous contributions to the Atascadero School District.

We’re going to get through this together, Atascadero


San Benito Elementary School received a $1,000 donation from the Wonderful Company Foundation and Mr. Levi Arzola Nickles.

Atascadero High School received a $3,000 donation from Smith Mechanical Electrical Plumbing to be utilized for basketball equipment.

The Chamber of Commerce contributed $500 from the 2019 Wine Fest profits to the Atascadero High School Pool Account.

Mr. Charles Taylor made a gift to the Atascadero Fine Arts Academy, and PG&E matched it, giving the academy a total of $280.

The public was given access to oral messages, and one letter from an anonymous Atascadero family was read, asking that the district urge officials to supply as many masks as kids need. This was in reaction to previous messages from Atascadero High School, which included demands to use less of the school’s supplied masks, according to the letter’s author.

“It’s aggravating,” the letter continued. “At a time when there is a fight going with COVID about mask efficacy, requirements, and so much more, are we really that worried about kids who are complying with the mandate by wearing too many masks, particularly when COVID money is available?”

Superintendent Tom Butler talked about the letter and delivered the Superintendent’s Report.

Butler said, “We do have a good inventory of that surgical kind of mask right now.” “We did have kids that need a large number of masks each day, and so we wanted to try to strike a balance for our pupils; if they could be responsible…if they had a personal mask, they could carry it back and forth from school and care for it… However, we didn’t want to use thousands of masks each day if we could prevent it by just asking the kids to cooperate with us in being as responsible as possible… We didn’t intend to offend anybody, and we completely support the provision of masks when necessary.”

Butler then went on to thank the kids for their hard work, both academically and in terms of building citizenship. He also praised the employees for “significantly stepping up.”

Butler also said that he was there at the first home football game at Atascadero High School.

Butler replied, probably beaming under his mask, “That was a pleasure.” “It was almost like a reunion…a bit of Americana” to see so many people laughing and having a good time.

Butler then revealed that ACE, Atascadero’s independent studies program for TK-12th grade, now has 314 kids enrolled. As of now, about 3400 pupils are enrolled in normal education courses.

There was no mention of previous year’s figures. 

Superintendent Butler replied positively to Trustee Corrine Kuhnle’s question on how things are progressing with the outdoor schooling issue. He also said that they are considering bigger, more permanent shade structures, which would be beneficial at any time, not only during a COVID emergency. He added that additional entertaining ideas are being considered, such as requiring pupils to bring beach towels to class so that they may sit on the grass.

The Board then moved on to action items, unanimously approving the minutes from two different sessions, one on August 10 and the other on August 17.

After then, the Consent Agenda was adopted by a unanimous vote.

The following item on the agenda was Trustee Gunther’s request for Dr. Bettye Lusk to be nominated as Director-at-Large, African American at the California School Boards Association by Trustee Gunther. The nomination was unanimously approved.

After then, Assistant Superintendent Jackie Martin discussed a variety of business service issues. The first was a unanimously adopted resolution establishing the Gann Appropriations Limit Recalculation for 2020-21 and the Estimated Gann Appropriations Limit Calculation for 2021-22.

The Unaudited Actuals for 2020-21 and the Revised Budget for 2021-22 were the following items on the agenda, and they were unanimously accepted. Martin brought up the state-wide problem of funding loss as a result of so many families leaving California, which she claims would have no immediate impact but will start to affect the budget in 2022. According to Martin, California has lost 160,000 children as a result of their family moving out of the state.

The following item was a unanimous approval of a proposed raise to the day rate for Licensed Vocational Nurses in order to bring it up to par with the average wage in order to fill many vacancies.

Following that, a proposed day rate hike for substitute instructors to $200 per day was overwhelmingly accepted.

Finally, Martin presented the Fiscal Year 2020-21 Annual and Five-Year Developer Fee Report, which was overwhelmingly accepted.

Assistant Superintendent E.J. Rossi then laid up a four-year plan to include a “Ethnic Studies” course in the curriculum by the 2024-25 school year. Plans to form a committee to examine existing alternatives and bring them back to the Board for consideration were detailed in Rossi’s presentation.

Assistant Superintendent Curt Eichperger presented the last item, a resolution to amend the education codes to enable instructors to teach a topic outside of their expertise, which was overwhelmingly accepted. To be followed by a detailed report. 

At about 8:07 p.m., the meeting was adjourned, and the next meeting is set for Sept. 21 at 7 p.m.

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