Travis Unified School District
From Superintendent Kate Wren Gavlak Volume 4, Issue 3
“Where the Focus is on Kids” November 2008
As I’m sure you are all aware, the Governor has proposed $2.5 billion in reductions to education for FY
2008-09 and $700 million for FY 2009-10. The Legislative Analyst’s Office has proposed alternate reductions
which are slightly less in the current year but, for next year, directly target unnamed categorical grants for
elimination. Some of the proposed reductions include:
• Elimination of the COLA: Both proposals eliminate this year’s COLA, reducing our current year
revenue by approximately $215,000.
• Reduction to local revenue limit: Both propose reductions in this area with an estimated low of $150
per pupil and as high as $640 per pupil. Most often discussed is a reduction of $300 per pupil or a
current year revenue loss for us of approximately $1,540,000.
• Reduction of child care programs, preschool and alternative payment programs by capping the
• Reduction to Stage 2 and Stage 3 child care programs
• Reappropriation of unused CalWORKs Stage 2 and 3 child care programs
• Prior year Prop 98 reversions including:
○ K-3 Class Size Reduction
○ Principal Training
○ Alternative Credentialing
○ Pupil Retention Block Grant
Regardless of exactly where the compromise between the governor’s proposals and the legislative
proposals end up, we anticipate mid-year reductions of between $1-$2 million. To deal with these mid-year
reductions, both proposals are offering some flexibility, such as limited use of the 3% reserve and
transferring of categorical funds into the general fund. In order to allow the district to deal with these
massive mid-year reductions, we have very reluctantly taken the step of once again freezing spending for
some categorical grants. This action, recommended by the State, may provide a buffer that the District can
use to offset the mid-year reductions. For this to occur, it is important to remember that we must wait for the
legislature and the governor to act, and their final resolution must include authorization to transfer the
For now, we ask that you remain patient as we
wait for events to transpire. We are attempting to
Inside this Issue keep up-to-date on events and are posting updated
fiscal information on the website so that you may
Foxboro Teacher Gives Back .............................2 have access to our latest projections on the impact of
Travis Students Perform for Board...................2 the budget discussions.
November Observances ......................................3
Acknowledging Holidays in Our Schools ..........3 ~Kate
Go Green - Pay Bills Electronically ...................4
SUPERINTENDENT’S MONTHLY MEMO Page 2
Melanie Green “Gives Back”
Melanie Green, Foxboro Elementary School resource teacher,
is this month’s staff member who is recognized for giving back to
the community. Melanie coordinates efforts, at least once a year, to
create and deliver cards to our deployed troops and to injured
troops at David Grant Medical Center. “When my husband was
deployed a couple of years ago, his squadron received some of the
cards and letters that Melanie helped collect. He commented how
much they all appreciate the thoughts of the kids back home and
how much they enjoyed reading the kids’ comments and greetings,”
said nominator and Foxboro Principal, Lisa Eckhoff.
There is an upcoming ‘troop packing’ in December for
sending holiday wishes and goodies to soldiers serving
overseas. If you have students, or your own children, who
would like to make cards or write letters to the soldiers,
please deliver them to Melanie Green at Foxboro by
December 5. “Our cards are always so appreciated by the
men and women who sometimes think that their families are
the only ones who remember they are over there,” said
During the November 4 Board meeting, Travis Elementary School PE teacher
Matt Soughers led Travis students in a condensed version of their Travis TEAM
Time—a routine of dance, stretching, and the Pledge of Allegiance that Travis
students conduct each morning.
SUPERINTENDENT’S MONTHLY MEMO
November is Many schools are faced with
American Indian Heritage Month difficult questions about how to
On September 12, 2008, the Governing appropriately acknowledge the
Board adopted Resolution 2008-09-12 December holidays. When a school
proclaiming the month of November 2008 as chooses to acknowledge the December
Native American/American Indian Heritage holidays, it is essential that the school
Month. never appears to endorse religion over
Long before European settlers first non-religion or one particular faith over
reached Californiaʹs coast in the sixteenth another. Teaching about a holiday is
century, Native Americans had shaped a land constitutional if it furthers a secular
of many cultures and languages. They fished in program of education, is presented
the Pacific, hunted among the redwoods and objectively, and does not endorse,
explored our stateʹs vast territory. These early advance or inhibit religion.
Californians left a legacy that we continue to Diversity in our schools includes
cherish and uphold. religious diversity.
Today, our Golden State is home to over The way schools approach the
300,000 Native Americans, comprising sixty- December holidays will determine
nine indigenous tribal groups. These men and whether children, whose religious views
women have not only continued their ancestorsʹ fall outside the majority’s views, are
culture, but have also forged new made to feel welcome or whether they
accomplishments in government, business, feel as they do not belong.
science, the arts and more. They have also
dedicated themselves to keeping past traditions
alive by educating future generations of
Californians on their rich history.
to you and your family!
November 27, 2008
Our traditional schools will be closed all week,
November 24-28. Cambridge, Foxboro, and the District Office
will be closed Wednesday-Friday, November 26-28.
SUPERINTENDENT’S MONTHLY MEMO
Why Paying Bills Electronically
Is Good for the Environment
Want to go green? Well, here’s an easy way to be kind to the environment—receive and pay your
bills electronically. According to The Federal Reserve, nearly 50% of the checks written in the United
States are written by consumers to businesses. American businesses mail about 26 billion bills and
statements per year, and consumers mail 9 billion payments per year in paper form. Mailing all that
paper consumes 755 million pounds of paper, 9 million trees, and 512 million gallons of gasoline.
On a household scale, here’s how paying electronically pans out. Stuart
Williams of CheckFree/Fiserv and a member of the PayItGreen Alliance says
that the average U.S. household receives 19 bills and statements each month,
and makes seven payments with checks each month. If just 20% of American
households would switch to electronic statements and payments, it would
save 150 million pounds of paper and avoid producing 3.9 billion pounds of
So why aren’t people switching over? Williams says it’s mostly because people are entrenched in
their habits. But by breaking away from routine and switching over to electronic statements, the
average American household would each year...
$ Save 6.6 pounds of paper.
$ Save .08 trees.
$ Prevent 63 gallons of wastewater from entering the environment.
$ Save the 4.5 gallons of gasoline needed to transport bills, statements, and payments via
$ Prevent 171 pounds of greenhouse gases from being produced, which is equivalent to…
…preserving 24 square feet of forest from deforestation;
…not consuming 8.8 gallons of gasoline;
…planting two tree seedlings and allowing them to grow for 10 years; and
…not driving 169 miles.
Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year;
to the honest man it comes as frequently
as the heart of gratitude will allow.
--Edward Sandford Martin