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Ripon plans community forum on school cuts

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POSTED January 21, 2009 1:11 a.m.
RIPON — Residents concerned about Ripon Unified’s pending budget cuts will get a chance to learn more about what they may be in store for over the course of the next year.

On Thursday the Board of Education will welcome parents and community members at a 6:30 p.m. forum inside of the Ripon High multi-purpose room to openly discuss the upcoming California budget cuts. They initially expect to take away $1 million from the budget during the mid-year cuts and could possibly account for $500,000 more before it is all said and done.

In the wake of an unsettling update given by Superintendent Louise Nan during the board’s last gathering, a special meeting was set for Thursday to help provide insight to not only the trustees but members of the public that may be worried about how the uncertain financial future may affect the experience of students.

Nan was honest when asked about how the scenario might affect the district as they gear towards planning the future, but noted that the economic difficulties weren’t as bad as some people in town have been reporting, She noted that it’s untrue the district has run out of money and will be unable to pay their workers in the future.

But, when student board member Michelle Ambrose asked about specifics, Nan also pointed out that there wasn’t a whole lot of “fluff” that the trustees could easily eliminate to help bring the ballooning number down instantly after the rounds of cuts the board made during the 2008-09 budget cycle.

One of the important factors, she said, would be working with staff to try and keep the cutbacks as far away from the classroom and the students as possible. The goal of positioning the district to emerge from the fiscal scenario intact and able to meet the needs of a growing community is also in place.

For more information about the district, or to view copies of previous board meetings, visit Ripon Unified’s web site at www.riponusd.net, or call (209) 599-2131.
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