This afternoon, the Paso Robles school board meets at the district office.
They’ll swear in three new trustees on the school board. Chris Arend, Stephanie Ulibarri and Lance Gannon will join the board. They replace Field Gibson, Matt Mclish and Dr. Kathleen Hall, who were ousted by voters in the recent election.
Two big issues facing the new school board, the superintendents position and the budget. First, the resignation of superintendent Chris Williams and his compensation. Chris Arend telling KPRL, finding a new superintendent is simply one more challenge for the board. Chris Arend is an attorney with decades of experience, but he was not on the board last week when they decided to give Chris Williams $250,000 as part of a resignation settlement.
When Dr. Kathy Mcnamara resigned, three of the same board members gave her nothing. Field Gibson, Joel Peterson, and Joan Summers awarded Dr. Mcnamara no settlement package as part of her resignation. Ironically, Mcnamara left the district with a reserve fund of $7.5 million dollars. Williams is leaving the district with serious financial challenges.
Yesterday, the district releases financial projections showing the picture is getting bleaker. The projections prepared by the district chief business officer and the county’s fiscal adviser project a negative reserve fund in the fiscal year 20-21. At the current trajectory, the district will be more than $630 thousand dollars in the red after that fiscal year. Clearly, severe budget cuts are necessary to stop the hemorrhaging.
Williams inflated administrative staff may be reduced to what it was before he took office. There’s also a possibility teacher furloughs may be required to stop the fiscal spiral. The new trustees will be sworn in at the Paso Robles school board meeting later today. That meeting begins at 5:00 at the Paso Robles school district office. Presiding over the meeting, county superintendent Jim Brescia, rather than the superintendent.
Chris Williams was scheduled to meet today with grand jury investigators, however, he canceled that meeting, saying he’d resigned as superintendent.