Students to see changes in the fall
Students in Willows Unified School District will see major changes when they return to school after summer break.
The school board on Tuesday finalized the layoff of several teachers and classified staff, who will not be back next year unless finances improve, officials said.
The school board also approved a major change in administration.
Ron Bazan, who has done double duty as assistant principal for Willows Intermediate School and Murdock
Elementary School for several years, will be assistant principal at Willows High School next fall, and the school’s new athletic director.
“I’m really excited,” said Bazan, who put in for the position upon the announcement of John Perry’s retirement. “Most of the kids I know, because I saw them come up through school already. I’m looking forward to re-establishing those relationships, which is key to dealing with students.”
Bazan, who has been an administrator with Willows Unified since 2001, said he was willing to serve in any manner that will help the school district.
He previously was an administrator and athletic director in Williams Unified School District.
Bazan’s move to the high school will save the district money, said Superintendent Mort Geivett.
Although Bazan will get a slight bump in pay, the school board has no intention of replacing him with another assistant principal.
Instead, the school board authorized a new position to help fill the gap, one they don’t anticipate will be as costly.
“The position is dean of students,” Geivett said. “This is something that we have not had in the district before. It is a very entry level administrative position.”
The K-8 administrator, which the district plans to advertise on Monday, will have similar responsibilities, in that the person will serve as an instructional leader in planning school activities, programs and activities.
The difference is the salary, Geivett said.
The dean of students will be paid about the same as a teacher performing a special assignment, or $70,000 including benefits.
The position does require an administrative credential (or eligibility), a valid teaching credential and a minimum of three years of teaching experience.
District officials will have to wait for the state’s revised budget later this month before they can determine what, if any, laid off personnel can be brought back, Geivett said.
They also hope to know exactly how bad things could get if the Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed tax increase measure is not approved by the voters in November.
Not surprisingly, the governor’s proposal may not be the only tax measure on the ballot that is aimed at funding education, Geivett said.
According to the April fiscal report released by School Services of California, Molly Munger, chief proponent of the Our Children, Our Future tax initiative isn’t backing down on trying to get enough signatures to place her proposal before the voters in November.
The proposal calls for a graduated income tax increase on all earnings greater than $7,316.
The governor’s compromise proposal calls for a quarter cent sales tax increase and an income tax increase on earning greater than $250,000.
Both measure are temporary, with Brown’s expiring in 2018 and Our Children, Our Future expiring in 2024.
Munger’s proposal, however, would have the most significant impact on Willows Unified, Geivett said, in that it would increase revenue by about $1,000 per student.
The governor’s proposal would fund the Proposition 98 guarantee to schools.
“Educators are hoping at least one or both will pass,” he said. “If both pass, the one with the highest vote will prevail. If both fail, we are in dire straits.”
Neither, he said, is a cure all for the difficult financial situation school districts now face.