Pali High Budget Problems Threaten Future Jobs

By CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA | Reporter

The Board of Trustees at Palisades Charter High School is expecting to make deeper budget cuts, according to a discussion held at their June 4 meeting.

The cuts are expected to affect everything from transportation to school staff as the school faces a deficit of $1.8 million that has accumulated from previous school years.

“I think that we should also discuss cutting positions,” Trustee Dara Williams said. “I mean we have two school nurses, we have a director of development, we have a campus unification director, I think we have to look at [whether] there are places that we can cut a position at a significant savings.”

Williams clarified that she was not singling out any one position or individual as a criticism to their work ethic, but instead making the hard choice that has been kicked around for some time now.

“It’s always painful to talk about people losing their jobs but we’re in a position now where it might be a few people losing their jobs versus [whatever] LAUSD is going to do with us if we don’t get our budget in order,” Williams said.

Not quick to agree, Principal Dr. Pam Magee suggested first taking into consideration the number of teachers and staff that have informed the school that they would not be coming back the following school year and accounting for the savings of not hiring replacements.

“But if cuts are necessary, so be it, we will certainly look at that as well,” Magee said.

Williams further warned the board that these cuts will be necessary so as to avoid being shut down as an independent charter in the future. The parent board member also suggested further cuts to the already struggling transportation budget.

“We have to cut transportation in the future,” Williams said. “I just think that this makes it abundantly clear that we cannot continue to afford funding transportation at this level because it’s a huge chunk of our budget.”

Considering the number of cuts that have been determined necessary, the vote on making them was postponed, pending another review by the budget and finance committee.

More details are expected at the next board meeting.