At next week’s Board meeting we will be asked to approve the district’s budget for the 2009-10 school year, so I’ve been spending a lot of time combing through the massive and complex document with the guidance of district staff. On June 16, the Budget and Business Services Committee met (joined by the rest of the Board) in order to hear a presentation from Deputy Superintendent Myong Leigh, Chief Financial Officer Joe Grazioli and Budget Director Reeta Madhavan. The next evening, Mr. Leigh and Ms. Madhavan hosted a Community Forum for members of the public to hear the details of the budget proposal and ask questions (perhaps 30 people attended).
Given the general budget horror show we’ve been watching for months, it’s somewhat strange that the budget the Board is considering for next year is not all that painful. This week, the Board for the San Jose Unified School District voted unanimously to raise K-2 class sizes to 30 and lay off almost 100 teachers. By comparison, we have rescinded every layoff notice issued earlier in the year; I would say authorizing an increase in K-1 class sizes from 20 to 22 is by far the most painful budget decision we have made since I came on the Board.