Tonight's Beaumont Unified "Budget Workshop" was both disappointing and predictable. Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, Wael Elatar, presented a fifteen minute power point presentation on the state of the district and made it clear Superintendent Kayrell wants to cut transportation and payroll. He spent most of the time making a case for completely eliminating home to school transportation for all elementary students except for special education students, something required by the state. Mr. Elatar also presented a couple slides on the percentage of the budget dedicated to payroll. There were another four interesting slides in the presentation which Mr. Elatar glossed over. These slides were the Budget Review Committee's (BRC) recommendations of where cuts should be made.
There was only one person who came to address the board, a kindergarten teacher who is about to be laid off for the second time in three years. She had other teachers in the similar situation surrounding her for support while she addressed her concerns. She made mention of a couple of memorandums between the Beaumont Teacher's Association (BTA) and the administration. I'm not sure what the implications of the memorandums are but it appeared to me that the BTA has agreed to seven furlough days over the next two years as long as the district agrees to binding arbitration, The teacher seemed disappointed in the BTA's position.
It appears Board Members Mrs. Poulter and Mr. Orozco were left out of the loop and hadn't been included on emails sent out by Superintendent Kayrell regarding the memorandums. They questioned Superintendent Kayrell and his assistant about this oversight. Kayrell indicated he used the email alias for all the district users to send the memorandums and seemed surprised Poulter and Orozco were claiming they had been left out.
The BRC's recommendations and the financial numbers for transportation and payroll presented in Mr. Elatar's slide show, represented some of the information I have spent the last six weeks trying to obtain. Everyone in attendance received copies of the power point presentation but when Mr. Orozco suggested the presentation be made available to the public online, he was met with heavy resistance from Superintendent Kayrell and Board President Lara.It was quite entertaining to watch. While Orozco made his case and Lara defended the administration's position, I was using my phone to scan the documents in order to post them to my site.
Mrs. Poulter and Mr. Orozco then focused the discussion on the specific recommendations from the BRC. Since I had an idea, from my experience serving a few years on the BRC, of where this was heading - no where - I decided it was time to leave. I had a different show I wanted to watch. I recently introduced The Cosby Show to my son and daughter and I decided that was a much more enjoyable place to be.
Tomorrow I will listen to the rest of the meeting, so you don't have to, and report what happened.