Ramifications of state budget top district’s agenda | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Ramifications of state budget top district’s agenda

A slew of items, including how Gov. Gray Davis’ budget proposal will impact education, a principal’s report on student unrest at South Tahoe High School and accepting a 2001-02 audit report will be heard at tonight’s Lake Tahoe Unified board of education meeting.

Superintendent Diane Scheerhorn will take a trip to Sacramento today to attend a budget workshop at School Services of California. Scheerhorn will then drive back to South Lake Tahoe to give a presentation on the findings.

On Friday, Davis submitted his proposal to fix an almost $35 million deficit. Cuts in education funding are a certainty, but Friday’s announcement did little to answer how the budget crisis will affect LTUSD.

The district is already caught in a tailspin from a decrease of 268 students from last year. The loss of students means a loss of state funding of more than $1 million.

Karen Ellis, principal at South Tahoe High School, will give a report on the campus violence that has been ongoing at the school since the beginning of the year.

There will be no action on Ellis’ presentation. It will be given after the monthly report by South Tahoe Middle School student representatives.

For the first discussion and action item in 2003, the board will hear someone from Perry-Smith and Co. explain the findings of a 2001-02 audit report. The report did not find any unusual or significant transactions.

Additionally, the board will vote to conduct a study for the construction of a forest waste, or biomass, powered boiler system at the high school. The school now has a high-pressure steam system which uses natural gas and has to fire three boilers. The system is more than 30 years old.

McNeil Technologies Inc. based Albuquerque will perform the feasibility study of installing such a system this upcoming summer. The cost will be covered by grants through agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Energy. LTUSD has offered $6,000.

School districts in New York and Vermont use the wood fuel heating system.

The board will also vote on the recommendation to approve a 2 percent salary schedule increase retroactive to July, 1, 2002, for about 10 administrative employees.

In other education news:

n The Lake Tahoe Community College board of trustees will meet tonight to discuss midyear budget reductions for possible future action. Gov. Davis has proposed a $530 million cut in funding for the California community college system.

The cut, if passed by the Legislature, would deny access to approximately 146,000 students in the fall which is a number almost equal to the entire undergraduate enrollment of the University of California system, said Kirsten Macintyre from the California Community Colleges chancellor’s office.

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