Cupertino Connect: District survey reveals dire situation

Cupertino Connect: District survey reveals dire situation

Deepa Kollipara


Advanced languages and mathematics classes could be cut






Even if the current district parcel tax of $98 per year is renewed in May, FUHSD will still face a $4.8 million shortfall in the 2011-2012 school year.  The district has already set the gears in motion for more cuts to programs and services in the near future; most recently sending out a survey to parents about programs in danger of being reduced or removed.

During the week of Jan. 22, FUHSD parents received a survey in the mail detailing 19 programs and services provided to students, and were asked to choose the five they would most want preserved. 

The programs and services listed for potential removal or reduction included advanced math and world languages, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), art, music, drama, athletics, Career Center, custodial staff, district office staff, electives, Link Crew, guidance counseling, summer school, school administrators, library and tech support staff, science classes, seventh period option, at-risk student support, and the Study Buddy Society.

The gravity of the situation is not lost on anyone both students and staff view these programs as vital to the school.

“It kind of sickens everyone about having to make cuts from that list in any area,” Dean of Students Denae Moore said.  “It’s really scary, because what we have, we have for a reason… [the programs meet] a certain need of the student population, and that need [might not be] met.” 

 Teacher Tyler Cripe might have funds removed from his photography classes due to budget problems.  Photo by Deepa Kollipara.The district has already scaled back on expenses in the past few years, with $600,000 trimmed from the district budget.  Teachers and staff have agreed to a salary freeze to allocate the savings for FUHSD’s use, and staffing costs have also been reduced by $500,000. The money from Bond Measure B will also be saving the district money in the long term; the completed solar panels will be bringing in more than the expected $1 million.  Repairs to faulty or worn appliances, such as inefficient heating and cooling systems, are also reducing maintenance costs. 


"[The district budget] is designed around having the dollars as close to the classroom as possible," Moore said.  "We do really well with the small amount of money that we have, and try and keep it close to the classroom, meaning that there are smaller class sizes and teachers have higher salaries."

The district will take these surveys into consideration when making budget plans for following years; however, the survey results will not be used for a majority vote on the issue.  Surveys are due to MVHS by Feb. 26.