Today, Paso Robles school district will submit its unaudited actuals to the state of California.
Those budget figures will be discussed at the next Paso Robles school board meeting on September 25th. One trustee says the budget problems facing the district are dire. Superintendent Chris Williams spent money recklessly while the district’s reserve fund dropped from 10% four years ago, to only 3%, which is the state’s required minimum.
Then a few weeks ago, the district settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit filed by the parents of a disabled student. Insurance does not pay the damages because Williams canceled the portion of the insurance that would have covered it. Chris Williams is telling people that Dr. Kathy McNamara did not have the right insurance, but that’s not true. Williams canceled the portion of the insurance that would have covered the settlement. He canceled it to save the district $12 thousand dollars a year. That move is costing the district several million dollars, although the school board has not released the specifics of the settlement. It may come out at the meeting September 25th.
There are rumors about furloughs at Paso Robles schools. There is also talk about a teacher’s strike. So far, it’s only talk. Regardless, with the exception of trustee Chris Bausch, the trustees are still backing the superintendent. Joel Peterson, Matt Mclish, president Joan Summers, Field Gibson, Tim Gearhart and Dr. Kathleen Hall are still supporting the superintendent. Dr. Hall has not attended the last two or three board meetings. She Skyped two, however, then was a no show at the most recent meeting.