FUHSD cuts 30 class sections for 2014-2015; reduction reportedly due to declining enrollment, new Bonsall high school

The Fallbrook Union High School District (FUHSD) board of trustees resolved April 28 to issue some teacher layoff notices for the 2014-2015 academic year, citing a drop in enrollment and revenue as the main cause. The “layoffs” will, in fact, be a reduction in hours the teachers are employed, rather than complete layoffs.

The decision to restructure and reduce core funding began in February, when the board approved expenditure reductions of $844,100. According to the board meeting agenda, $450,000 in those reductions are associated with certificated layoffs due to declining enrollment and the related decline in revenue.

According to FUHSD superintendent Dale Mitchell, 30 sections will be reduced from the school year calendar. Subject areas that will be impacted include English, math, science, and social studies, allowing the district to maintain a balanced educational program and have a fiscally-sound budget, according to the agenda.

“We are still calling these reductions a layoff,” Mitchell explained. “It was something that was discussed in board discussions in February, and we voted on preliminary layoff notices in February.”

Mitchell stated that the decline in enrollment was impacted by the decision to begin a high school in the Bonsall school district.

“[The new Bonsall school] does impact enrollment,” said Mitchell. “If Bonsall wasn’t offering grade nine, many of those students would come [to the Fallbrook district]. They obviously won’t because of the new school.”

Teachers who would be impacted by the reductions were given notice on March 15 of the decision, and will be given their final notice for layoff before May 15.

Since the April board meeting, Melissa Marovich, district ELL coordinator, and Rod King, Fallbrook High School principal, met to discuss implementation of class size reduction for designated classes.

According to the agenda, the discussion took into consideration student educational needs and input from ELL teachers, teachers outside the ELL program, the FHS ELAC (English Learner Advisory Committee), and DELAC (District English learner Advisory Committee).

“Class sizes will be the same for the next year, or will be smaller than class sizes this year,” said Mitchell. “As a reflection of declining enrollment, we will have less teaching sections.”

According to Mitchell, the district will continue to implement strategies for teacher effectiveness, which will provide students with more rigorous education and better preparation for college and careers.

“We’re doing quite a bit of training with our own folks,” said Mitchell. “We have some positions which do have vacancy that we will be recruiting for, but that is not a large number. It is not only a matter of hiring trained people to come into our district. We are involved in professional development with existing teachers.”

36 Responses to "FUHSD cuts 30 class sections for 2014-2015; reduction reportedly due to declining enrollment, new Bonsall high school"

  1. Pragmatist   May 15, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Yep – the Bonsall unification folks sure helped Fallbrook HS. Anyone who resides in Fallbrook who voted for the Bonsall unification – you were duped. Now pay the price.

  2. Esther   May 16, 2014 at 8:46 am

    "As a reflection of declining enrollment, we will have less teaching sections."

    FEWER teaching sections.

  3. Reality Check   May 16, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I have a 8th grader at Sullivan Middle school, I have spoken with the parents of incoming 9th graders. Bonsall parents NEVER intended to send their children to Fallbrook High School! Parents are sending their kids to Mission Vista High School or are going to Escondido. The only parents that were sending kids to Fallbrook High, are athletes who play basketball, football, or cheerleading. Enrollment is the new Bonsall High is lower that expected, but they have already taken "laid off" teachers from Fallbrook High (Science teacher/Girls Rugby Coach). Open your eyes Fallbrook High School Board, many in your own district are leaving for Mission Vista, too!

  4. Huh?   May 16, 2014 at 10:38 am

    So cutting English..science..and math classes will really help in today’s world right? I’m all for vocational programs..but English as a second language..really? As taxpayers we are paying for that? Taking 3 years of a foreign language is ridiculous when people don’t even speak English correctly. Someone needs to take a long hard look at graduation criteria..Cut some of the dance programs..bring PE back as mandatory..just an opinion of a tax payer.as it is..I’d never send my kids to fallbrook high school in these times…administration is more interested in a pay check..has been like that since the 80s…

  5. tONY   May 16, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    OMG!!! What a Shame Sham Shame. Cutting

  6. Pragmatist   May 16, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    To Huh?…the new state school funding program (Local Control and Accountability Plan – LCAP) requires that ALL schools in California spend MORE money on classes/programs for English Language Learners, Foster Children, land ow-income students. This is not just Fallbrook – this is state-wide. It’s mandatory now to spend more money on these kids. There are funds that can ONLY be used for classes for these subgroups of kids – and there are less funds for "regular" classes. Also, take a look at the population of Fallbrook and the demographics of FHS – over 60% are Hispanic. Like it or not, this is the new "reality" for Fallbrook and, frankly, all of San Diego and California. I guess if you don’t like your kids going to school with this demographic, you either need to home-school or find a private school that has the demographic make-up that is acceptable to you. Over the last three years, the Fallbrook administration has been cut to the bare bones – down one Assistant Principal at the high school, eliminated the Director of Student Services, eliminated the Director of Educational Services, and eliminated the Human Resources Director position. The Superintendent wears many hats in this District now (in addition to superintendent responsibilities he is responsible for all of Human Resources and all of Educational Services). It will be interesting to see who they find to fill these shoes at such a low rate of pay.

  7. Pragmatist   May 16, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    tONY – again, this is not the Fallbrook administration making these decisions about spending money on programs/classes/free lunches for the non-English speaking and low-income students…it’s the State of California legislature. If you don’t like it, contact your state representative or senator…or MOVE OUT OF CALIFORNIA.

  8. grunt   May 16, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Like others here I am shocked that English, math, science, and social studies will be cut to offer a balanced education. I attended school in the South, and other than History, P.E. and (your choice: Band, Art or chorus) that was all we had – what subjects are left?
    To Pragmatist, ok i understand ESL, but what special funding is required for low-income or foster children? Do they learn different subjects? of course not! then why spend money differently? Schools are not a social services organization. Parents income should never be known to the school, so low-income families would not be recognized. Foster children should be identified only to the extent that the school would know who is responsible for that child. Seriously what monies need be spent? and what subjects remain after the "core" of the 3r’s?

  9. Pragmatist   May 16, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Grunt – check out the district’s LCAP on its website and you will see that monies ARE designated for low-income/ESL/Foster kids. Yes, in the State’s mind, they are different. Kind of like affirmative action…pumping money to help these kids. Schools ARE social services organizations now because of this new LCAP.

  10. Pragmatist   May 16, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Parents’ incomes ARE known to schools because schools have to provide free lunches to students of low-income families. Fallbrook High School serves hundreds of free lunches to qualifying students every day. These students also get a discount on the bus passes.

  11. Fallbrookian   May 16, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    While ESL (English as a Second Language), is a mandatory type of school funding, it should be completely eliminated. Speaking a foreign language is not a handicap, it is a choice. You should not be allowed to enter school without speaking English first. These kids need to learn the language before entering school. It sickens me how much wasteful money is spent on ESL, LEP, NEP programs. Those nonsense programs take money away from our schools that could be used to educate our children. Americans should emulate the foreign language philosophy of Europeans. They do not travel to another country without acquiring a working knowledge of the language spoken. They certainly don’t move to a foreign country and expect that country to teach them the native language AND educate them in the language of the country the moved from. The money spent on ESL could be used to fund the core studies of our students.

    Learn to speak English on your own please. I welcome you to our country, but I am not happy with footing the bill for your disregard of the language of the United States.

  12. Unimaginative Name   May 17, 2014 at 12:01 am

    Fallbrookian – and how do you suggest these kids learn English on their own?

  13. Listener   May 17, 2014 at 6:45 am

    They’re cutting classes that would have been taken by those Bonsall 9th graders. If they kids aren’t coming then the classes aren’t needed. Hence the layoffs…. Fewer 9th graders means fewer teachers.
    This unification passed by fewer than 600 votes… About 3000 people voted yes and about 2500 voted no. We Voters have only ourselves to blame. How many registered voters live in Fallbrook & Bonsall?

  14. ERIN   May 17, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Once again the ESL jewels miss the chopping block. Californis is a give-away state. I’m ashamed.

  15. istypical   May 17, 2014 at 7:54 am

    Can someone answer what a section is?

  16. Bill Leach   May 17, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Unify the Darn district. This solves these problems. How is it with declining enrollment, reduced budgets, and new schools that are taking our students this board is committed to continuing with three separate districts?

    They cut teachers and educational offerings yet keep hiring and paying administrators.

    FUHSD will never be able to compete with Mission Vista or Bonsall High without unifying and cutting the administrative waste.

  17. Ray (the real one)   May 17, 2014 at 9:17 am

    ICE must be doing their jobs…..

  18. Marie   May 17, 2014 at 9:20 am

    @realitycheck – the teacher/coach you refer to is not leaving Fallbrook High. Maybe you should do a reality check!

  19. sorry   May 17, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Have sent both my teens to a private high school instead of Fallbrook High. I would rather pay for a better education and safety.

  20. To huh   May 17, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Cut the dance programs? Most of the expenses made by the dance program come out of the dance teachers pockets!!! These students enjoy the program even the principle supports it.
    Unless you are part of the school board I suggest you stop waisting your time the decision has been made people it sucks but we can’t do much but speak opinions which aren’t ring asked for or even listened to.

  21. x-valleydude   May 17, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Does anyone know what is the process to transfer your kids to another high school? Is it too late for the incoming 9 graders?

  22. Veritas   May 17, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    @istypical A section is a designator for an individual 55 minute class, as opposed to a course which is a type of class.

    You could have course #1234 and that is 10th grade English, or #4321 for 9th grade English. Then within each course you will have sections which are individual unique classes. For example section #0123 1st period English with Mr. Smith, or section #5454 3rd period Chemistry with Mrs. Jones.

    A teacher at FHS typically teaches five sections a day with one prep period. So an English teacher could spend all day teaching course #1234 10th grade English, and typically would teach five sections.

    When the news reports that 30 sections have been cut, that is actually the equivalent of six classes. I say equivalent because most of the folks affected have simply had a section or two cut from their day. They effectively become part time teachers, and yes, their pay is cut accordingly. Many cannot support that type of cut to their pay and simply find employment elsewhere. The district is then faced with having to find qualified staff willing to work these part time assignments.

    I hope that helps ISTYPICAL.

  23. Ignorant person   May 17, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Excuse my lack of background on this -wouldn’t there be an increase in demand in Bonsall equivalent to the decrease in Fallbrook?
    Also, has anyone since River Village did so petitioned the US PS to change their zipcode to Bonsall?

  24. very naive   May 17, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    Are there really still people whose strategy for life is avoid certain ethnic groups?

  25. Pragmatist   May 17, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    To Bill Leach – Unifying the districts (assuming you are talking about FUHSD and FUESD) will result in the reduction of one superintendent and one CBO and a couple of district-level support staff – that’s it. So, that would be about $400,000/year. The board members of these districts don’t get any salaries – they are volunteers. You will still need all of the administrators at the high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools (principals, assistant principals, counselors, secretarial staff) to run the schools. The funding mechanisms, especially the funding for military and low income students, would be detrimental to the Elementary district if the districts were to be combined. Much more to it than just combine the districts and save $$.

    To Fallbrookian: many students attending both the high school and elementary schools are migrants who come with their families to harvest crops in our community on a seasonal basis. Many do not speak English, but deserve an education. Many of these students’ parents do not speak English as their native language…ELL classes help these kids to learn how to speak English so they can succeed in school and in the workplace. Would you rather that these kids not get schooled and end up on welfare? Think big picture and future of our community.

  26. Unimaginative Name   May 17, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    The reality is, education is really what the student makes of it. Regardless of the quality of the teachers, the facilities, and/or the environment, if a student has the capacity and the willingness, he or she will succeed. Also, it’s not like FUHS hasn’t been able to send its students off to a 4-year university. Would it be nicer if more FUHS grads ended up continuing their education, whether it’s a 4-year or a CC? Of course. It would mean that your child is attending a more competitive atmosphere where the students push each other and create more opportunities for themselves. The thing is, whether or not such an environment exists at your child’s high school, if he or she has the ability and the determination, the quality of education that your child is provided won’t hold them back. Education is what YOU make of it.

    Now, if this still bothers you, fine. Send your kid to a more reputable high school. No one’s stopping you. If you care that much about your child’s education, I’m sure there’d be no hesitation in going out of your way to send them to another school. If it’s safety you’re worried about, every school will have their handful of incidents. It’s high school. It’s part of the real world, and things are going to happen. If your child is smart and aware of the people he or she surrounds himself or herself with, safety should not be a concern. As for demographics, you live in Fallbrook (assuming that’s why you’re so interested in the future of FUHS) let alone Southern California. It is what it is, and if you still can’t accept it, there’s a greater problem here.

    Bottom line is this. FUHS is capable of providing your child with the proper education necessary to go on and have a future, whatever that may be. It all depends on how much the parent and the student are willing to do to make sure you get everything out of an education from FUHS.

  27. Fallbrookian   May 17, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    Unimaginative Name Comment #12. They can get tapes, get a book, go to classes, just about anything. It is not difficult to learn another language. Think of what a wonderful asset their culture would be to all the other kids, if someone could understand what in the heck they were saying. Speaking another language in this country is self-centered and it robs everyone of the beauty of learning about another country, another culture and the world’s rich traditions. It is just plain selfish. This is the United States. Learn to speak English. Save your language of heritage for your family, preserve it, but don’t force it on everyone else.

  28. To Fallbrookian   May 18, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Actually, being bilingual gets you payed a little more. There is a reason people like you aren’t making decisions for the school board, these kids that come in learning English sometimes make it further than those who actually are born to the English language. Inform yourself, it’s a shame your kids might or do have the same mentality as you, we need less ignorant people in this world.

  29. Bill Leach   May 18, 2014 at 10:45 am

    To pragmatist:

    You are wrong. It is whole lot more than one superintendent.

    The districts have separate offices which each have a cost. They have separate Maintenance, Transportation, Accounting, HR, Nutrition, Business services, and etc. departments. Each department head is paid more than $100,000 + benefits. Each department has waste that is not going to students.

    It saves millions, not $400,000.

    We have a population of 30,000. Why 3 districts?

    Not to mention the fact that they have separate goals and standards for the students.

    Also the FUESD board is paid. They receive a monthly stipend and benefits.
    They also approve themselves to go on lavish trips all across the country.

    A trip to Key West paid by the taxpayers? DC? Sounds like a nice pay package to me.

  30. Unimaginative Name   May 18, 2014 at 10:56 am

    "To Fallbrookian" Comment #28. Fallbrookian brings up respectable points. Although English is not the official language here in the States, it is after all the most prevalent. So I do agree that an effort should be made to learn English because, as Fallbrookian states, confining yourself to a heritage language keeps both you and others from a valuable cultural exposure. Fallbrookian never said to just toss heritage languages. I think Fallbrookian sees the value in being bilingual just as you do, so no need to go as far as speculating on his or her children’s mentality.

    As for Fallbrookian, you mention your gripes with the ESL program, yet you strongly support learning English? The kids in those ESL classes are doing just that. Eliminating those classes would really limit the students’ opportunities to learn English in an organized setting. In an ideal situation, yes, the ESL kids would know English before entering school. However, these kids don’t have the resources to learn English at the proficiency you desire before entering school. There’s only so much books and tapes can do. The kids in the ESL programs are doing exactly what you want them to do: try to learn English. I understand that it’s coming at the cost of other areas of education, but if these kids don’t learn English, the cycle will likely continue. You have to start somewhere.

  31. Local love   May 18, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Mojority of these sections are getting reinstated with LCAP money the school will be recieving from the state. The people who teach band, cooking, dance will be loosing a section/class. This means they become part time teachers (which they already were) and now there is less opportunity for students to become involved in something they love. There are maybe 5 core teachers who are loosing a section/class next year which has little effect on students because the course has multiple sections already offered. Since there is declining enrollment, class size will not be an issue. People are missing the point here, extra curricular activities like sports, band, dance, ag or ROP courses are what get the students excited to go to school and are what keep them coming.

    If Fallbrook community members really cared about the quality of the education at their only high school. They would attend the LCAP meetings and board meetings to have a voice and help decide how to spend the LCAP money the school is recieving. Rather than sitting behind a screen complaining or pulling your children from the local schools!

    FYI… 2 years of physical education are mandatory for graduation at FHS. The dance program is funded by the ticket sales from the previous years show.

  32. Fallbrookian   May 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Unimaginative Name Comment #30. Thank you for understanding what I was trying to say and for knowing that the other poster was misunderstanding me and being mean spirited by saying “Inform yourself, it’s a shame your kids might or do have the same mentality as you, we need less ignorant people in this world”, (posted by commenter #28 said about me).

    FYI poster #28, I am an extremely open and compassionate person. In your zeal to assassinate my character you completely missed what I was saying.”

    Unimaginative Name #30. I agree with you for the most part. Education is the start. I worked in Special Ed/Special Projects funding for over 30 years in the CA school system. That is probably where my bias comes from . I watched a glut of money come in every year for that type of funding, while the regular classroom teachers got RIF’d (reduction in force). It always broke my heart. I wish the money was distributed evenly and not given to special interest programs (with the exception of handicapped programs). But….you’re are so right, ultimately some of these kids will never have the ability to get an education unless we help and we must do what is needed (however financially painful) to break the cycle.

  33. grunt   May 20, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    Excellent comments all – enjoyed reading and pondering the ideas. As for ESL, I think it is a failure. Kids begin in grade 1 and are still in it at grade 7-12. In Japan, and other countries, a non-native speaker who is entitled to attend the public schooling is expected to know the language. How do we then teach them? Lets take a 4th grader – age 9, instead of placing him in a ESL class where he is learning math in Spanish and English, have a school year devoted to English language. Now, he is 10 and in the 4th grade, but his English is excellent (or at least as good as mine) and he is learning math in English. He can continue to learn Spanish at home, or as an elective. Seems to me it saves time, money, the English speaking kids learn on English with out being slowed down for the non-English speaker. All ESL kids would be tested and placed in the correct level English class.

  34. Fallbrookian   May 21, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Grunt #33, excellent idea.

  35. DR DR   May 22, 2014 at 11:52 am

    So thankful for ‘free’ charter schools-they teach the core classes AND have sports, dances and free tutoring, and students only go to school 3 days a week.

  36. Bill L   May 22, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Yes, charters are great.

    We had a good program here with the Iowa st core program.

    It is too bad they decided to end the program for middle schoolers and force them into Potter.



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