Education

High School Board HIGHLIGHTS & Commentary

The Fullerton Joint Union High School District Board information available (714) 870-2800 or visiting http://www.fjuhsd.net

2023 FJUHSD Board Organization Meeting

The December FJUHSD board meeting determined 2023 Board President and Clerk and witnessed three trustees taking the oath of service after the 2022 midterm elections. Dr. Chester Jeng and Marilyn Buchi ran unopposed retaining their seats, but Lauren Klatzker faced a tougher challenge winning her seat back with over 59% of the vote. After swearing in the trustees, Joanne Fawley was elected 2023 FJUHSD Board President with Dr. Chester Jeng as Clerk. Superintendent Dr. Steve McLaughlin and the other trustees thanked Trustee Klatzker for her service as 2022 Board President.

School Reports

School reports from the principals and student board member, Jacqueline Woo, focused on sporting events, school dances, community service events, and holiday performances. In person 8th grade tours of the school campuses reflect the community’s “back to normal” attitude even with Orange County Health Department proclaiming a triple threat of influenza, RSV, and resurging COVID cases. An uptick in absenteeism for the district this semester brings average daily attendance down from 96.5% to 95% overall. Later in the meeting, President Fawley stated she supports the new policy encouraging ill students to stay home and is more concerned for the overall health of students versus losing some state money. California determines state school money allocation according to averaged daily attendance, not enrollment numbers.

Cybersecurity Award

The Trustees honored Commander Allen Stubblefield of Troy High School for winning the 2022 Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award. Comm. Stubblefield served 21 years in the Navy before teaching for 11 years at TRHS and is instrumental for starting Troy High School’s Cyber Patriot Team which has a remarkable record competing in the Air Force Association’s National Cyber Patriot Youth Cyber Defense Challenge. Commander Stubblefield retires from TRHS this year to focus on Cybersecurity instruction, an area which faces a national need of additional knowledgeable practitioners.

2023/24 Student Calendar Change

Dr. Ed Atkinson, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, resubmitted a corrected version of the 2023/24 student calendar with the first day of school as August 14, 2023 not August 4.

First Interim Report

Ruben Hernandez, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services presented the First Interim Report for approval and compares the school district’s June budget projections with the first quarter actual income and expenses. FJUHSD received $236,396,025 from state, federal and local funds a $34 million increase from June projections. A large portion of this additional money is state sourced one-time money restricted to very specific areas and time lines.

The additional money leaves the district with an $81 million unassigned ending fund balance by the end of the 22/23 fiscal year which includes salary trigger raises and increasing medical benefit costs. The district is conservatively allocating 74% of the entire budget to salaries and benefits. Mr. Hernandez delineated the $32.4 million restricted one-time money allocation for the board. This includes $6 million in previous block grants, and newer one-time money.

The 2022 $8.4 million Art, Music and Instructional Grant requires a formal plan which Mr. Hernandez reported can be used for retirement and benefits in addition to student programs stating that the business services and education services departments are working on the plan. Parents and visual and performing arts students should contact the trustees about their program needs concerning this allocation since the money may be diverted from student programs. The additional $15 million Learning Remediation Block grant needs no plan, but requires a final report by 2028.

Overall, the district is left with $13 million unassigned, unrestricted funds for the district to use as they see fit. Mr. Hernandez and his team continue to watch state indicators for next year’s budget including the nonpartisan Legal Analyst Office (LAO) reports and the January Governor’s budget proposal. High inflation increased fears of a strong recession, but the LAO has predicted a modified economic down turn due to savings and market stabilizing, forecasting that the state will not experience a long term or strong recession due to economic indicators at this time. They recommend not creating additional ongoing revenue outlays with massive hiring or new programs.

FJUHSD is also monitoring lower enrollment data and rising special population numbers for the district. Enrollment is down over 400 students from last year which is similar with most of the state due to high housing costs, lower immigration numbers, and lowering birthrates.

Trustee Jeng asked about the second year of the district’s rising population of low income, English learners, and foster youth students that allows a significant future budgetary increase.

Changes to the free and reduced lunch form and school site administrator’s outreach raised the district’s special population percentage from 54% to 61% which reflects the elementary feeder district percentages.

Funding allocation is based on a 3-year average, so the district plans to receive supplemental funding for the 2023/24 school year. The trustees approved the interim report.

Next FJUHSD Board meeting is January 10, 2023 at 6 pm.

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