Monday, 15 July 2024

Kelseyville Unified begins configuration discussion with community

KELSEYVILLE, Calif. – In a Tuesday night meeting the Kelseyville Unified School District Board of Trustees began a discussion with the community about the need to cut funds for the 2011-12 school year, with school site configuration one way of achieving that end.

About 30 people attended the 45-minute meeting at Kelseyville High School, with district staff presenting an overview of Kelseyville Unified's financial challenges.

Board President Rick Winer said the meeting's purpose was to discuss site configuration, but he said the board's members – which included John DeChaine, Peter Quartarolo, Gary Olson and Chris Irwin – had open minds about how to approach the situation.

“We want to investigate and collect all the data that we can” before making a decision, Winer said.

District Superintendent Dave McQueen said the discussion about how to deal with the district's declining enrollment had been going on for several years.

He said they were looking at how to configure the district's school sites to maximize dollars and use the facilities in the best way possible.

Students had been moved around in the district before, said McQueen.

While the district has looked at similar issues previously, McQueen said this was a more open process. “We want community input,” he said. “We want to look at every viable option.”

He said they needed to look at the situation as a community, and do what's best for both the community as a whole and the school district. McQueen assured the audience that nothing had yet been decided.

A series of configuration meetings are scheduled through November, McQueen said. The first meeting was Tuesday; others are set for 7 p.m. Sept. 14, Oct. 12 and Nov. 9 in the student center at Kelseyville High School.

A district configuration committee composed of employee staff, teachers, administration and parent teacher organization representatives also will hold several meetings to gather data, but those aren't public meetings, they said.

McQueen said they hoped to supply three to four different options to the board for its consideration.

Tiffany Kemp, the district's chief financial officer, said the district was looking to have a decision made by the Nov. 16 board meeting about where to make the cuts.

“We have two major factors that we're up against as a district,” which are not unique to Kelseyville, Kemp said.

Those two factors are declining enrollment and revenue cuts, Kemp said. As enrollment continues to decline, the district loses more revenue.

Kemp said the district has been in a declining enrollment trend since 2003, with the trend expected to continue until the 2013-14 school year.

She showed a chart that illustrated the district dropping from a high of 1,952 students in the 2001-02 school year to an estimated 1,611 students in 2013-14.

At that point the kindergarten through third grade enrollment is predicted to rise, but it is expected to be outdone by student number decreases at the high school, Kemp explained.

Over the last two years the state has been reducing revenue for schools, Kemp said. “We don't see any signs that that's going to improve.”

If the state doesn't fund cost of living increases totaling 2.1 percent in 2011-12 and 2.4 percent in 2012-13 the district can expect revenue reductions of $200,000 in 2011-12 and $360,000 in 2012-13, Kemp said.

In the midst of all of these challenges, Kemp said the state requires Kelseyville Unified to maintain a reserve totaling 3-percent of its expenditures. For 2010-11, the district's expenditures total about $13 million.

Kemp said the district is in deficit spending. Kelseyville Unified has total expenditures of just over $14 million anticipated for the coming school year, with revenues at slightly over $13 million. The district currently has about $1 million in reserves.

The district has eight sites, Kemp said. They include Kelseyville Elementary, 469 students; Kelseyville High, 504 students; Ed Donaldson Continuation High School, 12 students; Riviera Elementary, 289 students; Intermountain High School, eight students; the new Riviera High School, with no student amount listed; Mountain Vista Middle School, 399 students; and Kelseyville Community Day School, 16 students.

The goal, said Kemp, is to get the most out of the sites.

“We want this to be a positive experience,” said Kemp.

The district plans to evaluate the impact on the community and minimize negative impacts on students and staff, she said.

During a brief public comment period, community members asked about the potential for positive impact from federal legislation and previous task forces that have met, and questioned current teacher benefit levels.

Shelly Bell asked if the board had enough time to make a decision by the November deadline. McQueen said yes, with district staff already having begun work to study the situation.

Bell asked if the bottom line was financial. McQueen said it was a big consideration, adding the board has a huge stake in what the community thinks and how whatever actions are taken will affect them.

No possibility was off the table? Bell asked. McQueen said she was correct.

Bell asked if most savings are still in personnel. Kemp said yes.

McQueen welcomed community members to send questions, comments and suggestions to the district at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In addition the community can call 707-279-1511.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .

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