Clovis Unified not afraid of $16 million challenge
One of the many things I have learned about Clovis Unified since I started July 1 is that this is a school district whose employees and community aren’t afraid of a challenge. Whether it is the refusal to buy into traditional excuses for poor student achievement with the simple statement: “Every child can learn and we can teach every child.” Or the frequently stated, “We’re all in this together – it’s people, not programs that make the difference for kids.”
This attitude has created an environment in which no challenge is too big for our employees and our community to tackle. That being the case, I am confident that the latest challenge facing Clovis Unified can also be overcome, while keeping the best interest of our students at the forefront of every decision. This challenge is not about our ability to help our student achieve, nor is it about the quality of our programs that serve so many student needs. Instead, this is a financial challenge.
While Clovis Unified has a long tradition of financial conservativeness, and continues to be financially healthy, the recent plunge in California’s revenue has resulted in a similar plunge in funding to public education. In our case, the State’s latest budget has resulted in a decrease in on-going funding to Clovis Unified equaling more than $16 million.
This adjustment is the latest in an 18-month history of budget cuts to public agencies, and may not be the last; but it is the largest single reduction we have had to absorb in our on-going budget in the history of Clovis Unified. To meet this latest challenge, we have begun an important process to evaluate each and every service and activity of our district and weigh it against those core values that make Clovis Unified successful.
As part of this process, we are asking for money saving suggestions and ideas from our community and employees. If you have an idea to share with us, please visit our web site at www.cusd.com and click on “Budget Ideas”. You can decide whether or not you want to share with us your name and contact information, or if you want your ideas to be submitted anonymously.
So far, we have received more than 100 suggestions and the submissions keep coming. These ideas will be included in discussions we will have with our employee-community Budget Standards Committee, as well as with members of our Governing Board, as we work toward the creation of a balanced budget that protects the long-term health of our district without sacrificing the very things that make Clovis Unified unique.