Search the Archive:

June 16, 2004

Back to the Table of Contents Page

Back to The Almanac Home Page


Publication Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Budget picture brightens for Portola Valley schools Budget picture brightens for Portola Valley schools (June 16, 2004)

By Marjorie Mader
Almanac Staff Writer

What a difference a year makes for the Portola Valley School District as its school board gets set to approve a $8.6 million budget for the 2004-05 fiscal year that starts July 1.

Instead of parents scrambling to raise funds to save programs threatened by state funding cuts, the financial picture looks positive. Property-tax revenue is up 6 per cent, and fundraising by the Portola Valley Schools Foundation set a record.

The foundation's stepped-up annual campaign raised enough money to provide a $750,000 grant to the district for ongoing K-8 programs for the next school year (2004-05). The foundation's successful Gala event on May 1 will provide $240,000 over the next two years for program additions and enrichment. In addition, $300,000 from Gala proceeds has been committed to the school foundation's existing endowment fund for district use in future years. Also, a $125,000 grant from the foundation's 21st Century Fund was made to the district for the coming school year.

Voter support in March of a higher parcel tax -- $290 a year -- will ensure the district receives approximately $670,000 annually, an increase of $220,000 a year, over a 10-year period.

At its June 23 meeting, the school board plans to adopt the budget, developed over a four-month period with input from the community and staff. The budget will continue all programs and staff from the past school year, and provide some additional expenditures, said business manager Tim Hanretty.

The budget includes a 3.5 percent raise for teachers next year and a retroactive raise of 2.5 percent for the past school year.

At the board's June 8 meeting, trustees unanimously ratified the collective-bargaining agreement between the district and the Portola Valley Teachers Association. The cost of each 1 percent raise is $38,486. Comparable raises are included for the classified staff.

Funds for the following additional programs are in the proposed budget:

** Science: $30,000 to support science instruction for grades 1-3 at Ormondale School, and $30,000 primarily to restore funding cut last year for grades 4 and 5 science instruction at Corte Madera.

** Math: $30,000 for K-8 math "differentiation" instruction -- using different teaching methods to match different learning styles -- and to continue the EveryDay Math program. (Other funding sources will be used, including Corte Madera School Improvement Funds and district funds for staff development and instructional materials.)

** Video/art: $13, 250 for a new video-production elective class at Corte Madera; and $11,750 for Art-In-Action at Ormondale.

** Teacher: Hiring an additional fourth-grade teacher because of increased enrollment.

Not every proposed initiative could be funded, said Superintendent Anne Campbell. The staff recommends these priorities if extra money becomes available:

** Provide $10,000 each for Ormondale's ongoing social-emotional learning program and for additional library aid time and/or reader time at Corte Madera.

** Allocate $32,000 to each school: at Ormondale, the funds would pay for instructional assistants to help teachers develop different instructional approaches; at Corte Madera, the funds would be earmarked for office support.

E-mail a friend a link to this story.

Copyright © 2004 Embarcadero Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Reproduction or online links to anything other than the home page
without permission is strictly prohibited.