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DIVING DUO SENIOR MOMENT The two members of MVHS’ diving team come in to answer questions A special eight-page spread on the class of 2011. Seniors discuss who they are today and where they are headed in the months to come SENIOR SECTION page 5 RALLY IT UP Badminton CCS coverage on SEQUEL OVERLOAD Get a sneak peak of three sequels coming out this summer SPORTS page 15 ENTERTAINMENT page 13 VOLUME XLI | ISSUE 9 | MONTA VISTA HIGH SCHOOL | CUPERTINO, CA District employee pay to be published T hough salaries are generally considered personal information, in a matter of weeks, MVHS students will be able to know exactly how much their staff members make. FUHSD is planning to release the salary and total compensation data of nearly 1,600 district employees to the Bay Area News Group, which includes newspapers like the San Jose Mercury News and the Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, distributor of the Cupertino Courier. The group requested the compensation information of governmental Bay Area entities, including school districts. The database is searchable by county, district, title, and name, among other things. District employees were notified of the development via email by FUHSD superintendent Polly Bove. “I think I speak for many when I say that... we feel like there’s a violation of privacy. The minute you tie a person’s name to [their salaries], you’ve crossed the line into something private,” said principal April Scott. Scott realizes, however, that legally, FUHSD must release the information upon request. The disclosure of public employee salary was deemed not an invasion of privacy in the 2007 California Supreme Court ruling in International Federation of Professional and Techincal Engineers, Local 21, AFL-CIO v. Superior Court of Alameda County. “In light of the strong public policy supporting transparency in government, an individual’s expectation of privacy in a salary earned in public employment is significantly less than the privacy [The] privacy expectation for a public employment salary is significantly less than the privacy expectation for private employment income. California Supreme Court Ruling expectation regarding income earned in the private sector,” the ruling read. There has been a delay since the original request of the data because upon reciving the data from the Santa Clara County Office of Education, the data was reviewed for accuracy, employee by employee, for weeks, according to controller Eva Choy. “We wanted to make sure our employees were being represented accurately,” Choy said. “We were doing our due diligence... and everything was looked at with a fine-tooth comb.” A salary schedule that lists salary ranges based on years of experience and education, and information about benefits has long been available on the district website, but the Bay Area News Group’s database, Scott says, is a completely different concept. “The law upholds their right to publish [the data],” Scott says. “And I guess that’s just what journalists do. But I don’t know how they’d feel about having their names and salaries published in the same way.” Anushka Patil || TWENTY-SIX BILLION The California state budget crisis has hit MVHS Overloaded, underloaded class sections cut to save $20,000 each L eadership students just felt the effect of the $26 billion dollar state deficit. Contrary to popular belief, the merging of ASB and Community Leadership classes was not the result of a budget cut, but a step in the preparation for a possible one. them, this year the district The recent combination of the ASB was not as lenient. Based on and Community Leadership classes was projected enrollment, MVHS due to this anticipation of state education was allotted 439 sections for budget cuts. Despite the current deficit the 2011-2012 year, but when Assistant of the California state education system, Principal Trudy Gross assembled the FUHSD is still able to operate normally in master schedule of just the terms of its relatively stable students’ top six requests, finances for educational there were 446 sections programs, class sections, and worth of response. no teacher layoffs. However, Each section, according according to FUHSD Public to Gross, costs the district Information Officer Bettylu $20,000. For this reason, Smith and Chief British Literature was Business Officer reduction in spending cut for the 2009-2010 Christine Mallery, school year because only on K-12 education district budgets are built 17 students had signed up over the past three over a three-year projection for the course, which was not years to anticipate and prepare for enough to fill a whole section. future budget cuts. Last year, sections were not cut, but “Our governing board has made some classes were filled to 36 students a commitment for 2011 to keep the as opposed to 32.5. For the next year, district whole to not make significant more than five sections have been cut at reductions in courses, eliminate or cut MVHS, one of them being AVID. Eighteen back on programs, and continue to offer students were originally in each of the comprehensive and academic enrichment two sections of AVID, but because that programs,” Mallery said. number was not enough, the sophomore $18 BILLION How it hit MVHS According to Dean of Students Denae Moore, MVHS has previously had a high number of course sections for all departments partly due to the large amount of students and the similar course interests amongst them. Though in the past the administration has been able to strongly justify why the school has more sections than allocated by FUHSD and has been allowed to keep -7 and junior sections were combined into one class. Due to the California state budget deficit, according to Smith, in the past three years the funding for kindergarten through 12th grade schools has decreased by $18 billion and may decrease even further within the next three years. While mapping out the budget for the next three years, FUHSD realized that it may be financially unstable for the 2012-2013 school year if the California state legislature does not approve of California State Governor Jerry Brown’s revisions to the 2011-2012 state budget. If Brown’s budget proposal does not go through, FUHSD may have to lay off 30 teachers in the entire district in the future. Finding the balance “One really powerful thing about our district is that they are very conservative about their finances,” Moore said. “They’re strong in their leadership about when we need to hold onto money and when we can spend what we have.” To compensate for previous budget cuts and continue the funding for school course sections, California voters agreed to pay a temporary increase in their property, income, and sales taxes. This payment expires on June 30, and the revenue that came from the once temporary increased taxes are now used up and may need to be increased in the future to maintain school funds. see CUTS on page 2 30 $20,000 29 the difference between the teachers in the FUHSD may be number of sections requested by laid off if the California state students, only counting their top legislature does not approve six class choices, and the number Governor Jerry Brown’s of sections allotted by the district. revisions to the state budget. worth of funding cut for each class section. The district days until the temporary tax increase in California voters’ property, only allotted 439 class sections to MVHS, rather than income, and sales taxes expires on the requested 446 sections, and subsequently saved June 30. The payment was designed $140,000. Overloaded or underloaded classes were to compensate for budget cuts. affected first. Christophe Haubursin | El Estoque Photo Illustration News Group requests salary data JUNE 1, 2011

Vol 41 Issue 9 June 1, 2011

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