Patch recently talked to Kelly Morgan, Assistant Superintendent of Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, about recent decisions the board’s governing body made to save sports funding in the face of state cuts if Gov. Jerry Brown does not get permission to extend some taxes.
Patch: The governing board made cuts to all non- essential busing?
Morgan: Right, at the last board meeting on the 27th of February, the board voted to eliminate home to school transportation. Now, we can’t eliminate special education transportation, we’re required to transport those students by law, and we can’t eliminate Choice transportation, which is based on the program improvement schools here that parents have the option to opt out of that school and choose another school. But we don’t necessarily have to provide Choice transportation by transporting the kids ourselves, although we think that’s probably the cheapest way to do it. But the regular home to school transportation program, they voted to eliminate it.
Patch: Is that for the next school year?
Morgan: For next year. These are reductions for next year.
Patch: And this is based on the Jerry Brown’s proposed budget?
Morgan: It’s based on the fact that Jerry Brown’s plans are predicated on his ability to get those taxes extended in June and if he doesn’t, we have to cut $3 million out of our budget. So this is one of the things that we cut. So if the taxes are extended and no other cuts come our way then we will be able to provide transportation.
Patch: And also, the class sizes might increase?
Morgan: They voted to increase class size to 36 to 1 for K-6 grade.
Patch: And this is contingent on the vote in June as well?
Morgan: Yes all of these cuts were made because we can’t rely on the taxes getting on the ballot for one, and then being approved by the voters
Patch: How many students would the buses affect?
Morgan: Last year, which is the only information that I have at my fingertips, we had 263 home to school students, and 141 special education students, so a total of about 400 kids. Some special education students are on regular buses so it’s kinda hard to determine how many will actually lose services. But there will be hundreds of kids that lose services.
Patch: Were these cuts made so that they didn’t have to make additional cuts to sports?
Morgan: Yes, they didn’t make any additional cuts to sports. They talked about it, but in their final decision making , they did not make any cuts to sports.