How does the City of Carlsbad support local schools?
The city supports local schools through many shared services, cooperative programs and grants totaling more than $1.3 million a year. The city supplies school resource officers and crossing guards from our Police Department, handles landscaping and maintenance for a number of school sports fields, shares the city’s Monroe Street Pool with the high school, and offers grants for arts and leadership programs.
Can the city do more to help with school budget problems?
The City of Carlsbad is committed to continuing our support for local schools. We understand the important role quality schools play in our community and have seen firsthand the detrimental effects the state’s financial situation is having on many local services. The city is currently working with school officials to identify ways we can continue to work cooperatively together to support quality education and an excellent quality of life in our community.
Can the city give money to Carlsbad Unified School District?
Although we work in partnership with school districts on many common goals, we are separate government agencies, each with our own laws, funding and areas of responsibility. Legally, the city cannot “give” taxpayer money away. City money must be used for purposes directly related to our city mission. The four school districts that serve Carlsbad have their own budgets overseen by their own elected representatives. The city must respect their decision-making authority to handle budget and other operational matters.
Since good schools increase property values, wouldn’t the city benefit from giving money to school districts?
The entire community benefits from having high performing schools. That is why the city is committed to continuing its support of nearly $1.3 million a year and exploring other ways to collaborate more closely with school districts.
Why is Carlsbad Unified School District facing budget challenges?
A parent-community group developed a website for the public to learn more about the district’s budget situation and how to get involved. Visit carlsbadunified.com.
What is the city’s current budget situation?
Since the start of the recession the city has adapted to a significant decrease in revenues by eliminating more than 40 positions, implementing pension reform and streamlining city operations to be more efficient. In addition to the still-fragile economy, the city is coping with the state’s recent decision to eliminate redevelopment agencies, a tool used by many cities to fund necessary civic improvements. As a result, to maintain a balanced budget next year, the city is not adding any new programs, services or spending and maintaining a “managed hiring freeze,” where certain vacant positions are not filled.
What can parents and other concerned community members do to help local schools?
The city encourages the community to stay involved in this important issue and work with officials from the district and the state who have the greatest control over ensuring Carlsbad schools have the money they need to succeed. We encourage parents and other community members to make their views known to the school board and actively participate in the district’s budget process. Hearing first hand from those most directly affected by school budget decisions is especially important as the board faces these difficult choices. Since school funding is controlled by the state, it is important that our state legislators also understand how their decisions affect our community. Visit carlsbadunified.com for more information about how to get involved.