Vallejo school board holding public hearing on by-trustee maps – Times-Herald

The Vallejo school board is holding a public hearing on Wednesday to receive public input regarding three different by-trustee area maps.

Each proposed map depicts how the district could be split into five distinctive distinct trustee areas, which would go into effect for the November 2020 election.

The Vallejo City Unified School District previously said the change to trustee areas comes as a way to avoid a challenge letter from a third party claiming the district’s at-large election violates the California Voting Rights Act.

Source: Vallejo school board holding public hearing on by-trustee maps [Times-Herald, Vallejo, Calif.]

Vallejo school district releases proposed trustee maps – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

As the Vallejo City Unified School District prepares to transition to by-trustee area elections, district officials have released three different maps for community review.

The maps show how the district could be split into five distinct trustee areas, which would go into effect for the November 2020 election.

The board in April approved a resolution to change the election format from at-large, with each trustee being elected by the entire city electorate, to by-trustee areas, meaning each trustee will represent a portion of the city and be elected by residents in that particular area.

Source: Vallejo school district releases proposed trustee maps – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board hosting public hearing on trustee area elections – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo school board on Wednesday is set to hold its second of two pre-map public hearings in connection with transitioning from at-large to by-trustee area elections.

During the public hearing, residents will have the opportunity to offer their respective opinions on the potential voting areas throughout the city of Vallejo. Currently, all Vallejoans elect the five-person Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education via the at-large format.

The board in April approved a resolution to change the election format to by-trustee area meaning each trustee will represent a portion of the city and be elected by residents in that particular area.

Source: Vallejo school board hosting public hearing on trustee area elections – Times-Herald

School board asked to look into selling district property – Times Herald

By John Glidden

As the Vallejo school district continues to stave off financial insolvency, the Board of Education will meet Wednesday to establish the process of selling off surplus district-owned property.

In June, the five-person board approved a resolution declaring the district needed to identify over $15 million — $7,750,000 during fiscal years 2020-21, and 2021-22 — in savings to prevent a second state takeover.

Trustees will consider a request from district staff to solicit an appraisal for the Rollingwood property. Located along Rollingwood Drive and Benicia Road, the nearly 18 acres of land is home to four unused little league baseball fields.

Source: School board asked to look into selling district property – Times Herald

Vallejo school board approves new contract with state trustee – Times Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo school board unanimously approved a new contract at its July 24 meeting with a state trustee tasked with ensuring the school district remains solvent.

Melvin Iizuka will receive up to $56,000 annually to attend Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education meetings each month and monitor the district’s financial condition.

The school district is required by the state of California to have the trustee while the district continues to pay off a $60 million bailout loan it received from the state in 2004.

Source: Vallejo school board approves new contract with state trustee – Times Herald

Amended graduation requirements on Vallejo school board meeting agenda – Times Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

Amended graduation requirements for the alternative high schools and more details about training for the Measure S Citizen’s Oversight Committee are on the agenda for discussion during Wednesday’s Vallejo Unified School District meeting.

The board is expected to vote on a $56,000 contract with a Trustee Melvin Iizuka, appointed by Solano County to keep an eye on its inner workings.

They are also expected to exercise the one-year contract extension option with Vavrinek, Trine, Day & Company, which joined with Eide Bailly LLP on July 15, 2019, to audit the district’s July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 financials.

Source: Amended graduation requirements on Vallejo school board meeting agenda – Times Herald

Vallejo school district to weigh cuts, expenditures – Times Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

The Vallejo City Unified School District will need to cut nearly $8 million in the next two years. With that in mind, its board of trustees will consider approving next year’s budget, an agreement with its bargaining units and an arrangement with ELITE Charter School at the school board meeting.

They will also consider approving millions in construction/improvement projects to be paid through Measure S funds at the meeting set for 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

Revenue enhancements and/or budget reductions of $7,750,000 in 2020-2021 and $7,750,000 in 2021-2022 will be included in the district’s 2019-2020 first interim report.

Source: Vallejo school district to weigh cuts, expenditures – Times Herald

Bond funds banked, millions must be cut- Vallejo school budget – Times-Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

With millions of Measure S dollars in the bank, the Vallejo City Unified School District must still find a way to cut millions from its budget, it was learned at Wednesday’s school board meeting.

At the meeting, trustees learned both that the first sale of Measure S bonds, which will help pay for facilities repairs and upgrades, went better than expected and will cost slightly less per taxpayer to repay, but also that projected enrollment declines are expected to wreak havoc on the district’s budget.

Nearly $39 million came in from the bond sale – some $600,000 more than expected — and is in the bank and ready to use. The next bond sale should happen in 2021.

Source: Millions in bond funds banked, millions must be cut from Vallejo school budget – Times-Herald

Vallejo school district to discuss how to use bond money – Times-Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

Vallejo City Unified School District officials will discuss how to spend the millions of dollars coming in from bond sales, even as they prepare for deep cuts to compensate for continued declining enrollment.

Items dealing with having enough teachers are also on the agenda during Wednesday’s meeting.

One of the items on Wednesday’s meeting agenda would make it possible to sell the district offices if needed. Right now, the district is leasing the site for $1 per year from Lennar Mare Island, which has yet to draw up the required paperwork conveying ownership to the district for the agreed-upon price of $1.

Source: Vallejo school district to discuss how to use bond money – Times-Herald

New textbooks, layoffs on tap for Vallejo school board meeting – Times-Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

The adoption of new textbooks, layoffs of teachers and other staff, end of year projections, the number of vacant positions and codifying new school start times are among the items set for consideration at Wednesday’s regular Vallejo City Unified School District board meeting.

Public hearings will be held before the adoption of about $1.7 million worth of new K-12 history and social science textbooks, based on the framework adopted by the state department of education in 2016.

The End of Year Projections for 2018-19, required for any district filing a “qualified” or “negative” certification, will show that all VCUSD funds should have positive balances for the period ending April 30.

Source: New textbooks, layoffs on tap for Vallejo school board meeting – Times-Herald

First Measure S bond sale may be authorized Wednesday – Times-Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

Vallejo City Unified School District board members are expected to pass a resolution at their Wednesday meeting to authorize the sale of the first installment of Measure S bonds. The board also is expected to approve the allowance of the “piggyback contract process” to get furniture and equipment for Solano Middle School before it merges with Widenmann Elementary School.

In terms of the bonds, some 70 percent of voters approved Measure S, and at the April 10 meeting, trustees learned about the bond financing plan and sale process from the district’s municipal adviser, Government Financial Strategies.

On Wednesday, the board will consider a resolution authorizing the sale of the first $39 million of Measure S bonds. The resolution also will authorize the sale to an underwriter to be selected using a competitive process, approving various financing documents, and authorizing certain district officials to execute the final versions of documents prescribing certain bond terms and conditions.

Source: First Measure S bond sale may be authorized Wednesday – Times-Herald

Vallejo school district to be carved into voting areas – Times-Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

In a split vote on Wednesday, the Vallejo school board agreed to transition to a “by-trustee area” election system, mostly to avoid a threatened lawsuit.

Trustees Christy Gardner, Tony Gross and John Fox voted yes, while board president Robert Lawson dissented and trustee Tony Ubalde abstained. Therefore, the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Trustees elected to join the City of Vallejo in dividing the town into voting districts. This will avoid a lawsuit by private law firms that are targeting school districts and other agencies statewide for alleged violations of the 2002 California Voting Rights Act.

Source: Vallejo school district to be carved into voting areas – Times-Herald

Vallejo School District to ask for advance of tax funds disbursement – Times-Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

The Vallejo City Unified School District board on Wednesday will consider borrowing money against expected tax revenues to cover any cash flow problems, as well as adopting a resolution to transition to a different type of election system starting in 2020.

California Education Code provides for the Board of Supervisors and County Treasurer to temporarily transfer property tax funds to school districts that lack sufficient money and credit to meet their expenses. The loan comes from property tax revenue the district expects for the 2019-20 fiscal year. The Constitutional Advance allows the district to receive the majority of this revenue prior to the standard December and April transfer time line. If approved by the Solano County Board of Supervisors, the transfer could be available on July 1.

Source: Vallejo School District to ask for advance of tax funds disbursement – Times-Herald

Wednesday’s Vallejo school district meeting to deal with issues – Times-Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

Vallejo City Unified School District board members are expected to decide on a new Chief Business Officer, one less school cop and several campus improvement projects going out to bid, according to Wednesday’s meeting agenda.

District staff is asking the board to approve Adrian Vargas as the new CBO, to replace Hitesh Haria, who accepted a position in another district. Vargas previously served in this position, and “presents us with a seamless transition as we establish a search process to fill the position permanently,” staff said in the agenda. Vargas will be paid $175,000 in 12 approximately equal monthly installments.

Aimed at saving $112,500, board members will also be asked to approve a Third Amendment to the School Resource Officer (SRO) Memorandum of Understanding, reducing the number of SROs from three to two. There was one SRO approved in 2014; that increased to two the following year, and to three in 2017.

Source: Wednesday’s Vallejo school district meeting to deal with new money man, fewer campus cops, other issues – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board pleads for funds in Sacramento – Times-Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

The entire Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Trustees headed to Sacramento Tuesday to plead for better funding, board vice president John Fox said Wednesday.

It may have been Prop. 13 or a combination of other factors, but somehow in the past 30 years, California’s school system went from one of the nation’s top to among its lowest in terms of funding. Consequently, it also is among the lowest performing, Trustee Tony Ubalde said.

“(Tuesday), the California School Board Association offered an opportunity for school boards to meet with legislators,” Fox said. “We went to try to get more funds, what with all the cuts we’re facing.”

Source: Vallejo school board pleads for funds in Sacramento – Times-Herald

Verder-Aliga can seek another council term in 2020, Vallejo officials say – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

City Hall officials have determined that Councilwoman Rozzana Verder-Aliga is eligible to serve another term on the council, should she decide to seek re-election in 2020.

It was originally thought Verder-Aliga’s only move in 2020, if she wished to remain on the council, was to run for a four-year term as Vallejo mayor. However, Vallejo City Clerk Dawn Abrahamson, along with City Attorney Claudia Quintana have confirmed that isn’t so after reviewing the City Charter.

They said the charter allows Verder-Aliga to seek another four-year term as a council member or run for mayor during next year’s election.

The charter prevents a person from serving more than two consecutive four-year terms as either mayor or as a council member, while also prohibiting elected officials from serving in the offices of council member and mayor for longer than three consecutive four year terms.

Source: Verder-Aliga can seek another council term in 2020, Vallejo officials say – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board makes $7.25 million in cuts – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

There was a noticeable pause and silence from the Vallejo school board Wednesday night after board President Bob Lawson asked if any of the trustees had a motion.

After a few tense seconds, Trustee Tony Gross eventually offered up a motion to approve recommendations from Vallejo City Unified School District administrative staff to cut $7.25 million from next year’s fiscal year budget.

The board’s unanimous vote ended a terse and emotional discussion Wednesday night as the district attempts to erase a $22 million deficit and stave off insolvency.

Source: Vallejo school board makes $7.25 million in cuts – Times-Herald

Vallejo school board dedicates meeting to killed alpacas – Times-Herald

By John Glidden

The Vallejo school board concluded its three-hour meeting Wednesday night by adjourning in honor of the three alpacas killed during a dog attack at Loma Vista Farm last Friday.

While most of the meeting centered around the board’s need to make $7.25 million in cuts, a bulk of those reductions to district positions, Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent Adam Clark did take time to offer his condolences for the loss.

“I just wanted to share in my condolences for the farm animals that we lost over at Loma Vista Farm,” he said during his report to the trustees. “It was absolutely tragic, I was sick to my stomach when I heard about it Saturday morning, sick to my stomach when I went by there Sunday, and still, sick to my stomach about that unfortunate event that took place.”

Source: Vallejo school board dedicates meeting to killed alpacas – Times-Herald

Specific program, personnel cuts on Vallejo’s school board agenda – Times-Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

The specific $7.2 million in budget cuts recommended by Superintendent Adam Clark last week are expected to be approved at the Vallejo City Unified School District meeting on Wednesday, despite impassioned appeals last week by many of those impacted.

The school district finds itself in financial trouble as a result of declining enrollment, including encroachment of charger schools, high chronic absentee rates, and rising contributions to employee health and benefits. The district is still repaying — at some $3 million per year — a $60 million state bailout loan from the last time it got into trouble.The district must maintain fiscal solvency to avoid being taken over the state again, by making appropriate revisions to the budget to eliminate structural deficits.

Source: Specific program, personnel cuts on Vallejo’s school board agenda – Times-Herald

Proposed Vallejo school board cuts draw tears – Times-Herald

By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen

There were long faces on the dais as well as in the crowded gallery at Wednesday’s Vallejo City Unified School District meeting. There were even tears, as some of the people in positions recommended for budget-balancing cuts took to the podium to plead with officials to reconsider.

It was reiterated that the district faces a $22 million structural deficit, and that if a way is not found to staunch the financial bleeding, the district could wind up under state control again. The reasons this has happened again to the district, which is still repaying a $60 million bailout loan to the state of California, are several-fold.

For one thing, it’s been losing students at a precipitous rate — having gone from some 20,000 just 20 years ago, to less than 12,000 today, and dropping by hundreds each year. Some of that is a result of charter school encroachment, officials said. Also, the district has among the state’s worst chronic absenteeism rates, which costs it money as well.

Source: Proposed Vallejo school board cuts draw tears – Times-Herald