Lowell district must sell school

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Officials plan to have the 10-acre Grovedale site appraised. After determining its optimal value, district officials will offer Carden School officials first chance at buying the property. The district plans to ask for a $1.3 million down payment for the school site. The pending sale is part of the board’s overall plan for balancing this year’s budget. The fiscal recovery plan was created after officials with the Los Angeles County Office of Education rejected the district’s initial budget, saying Lowell officials overestimated revenues, among other issues. The recovery plan also identifies potential cuts through 2008. Among the cuts proposed are the layoffs of 23 teachers and the elimination of class-size reduction in first through third grades in 2006-07. Board Vice President Janet Averill said she continues to hold out hope that other revenues will come through to prevent the board from implementing the cuts. “We hope something will happen so that we don’t have to do it,” she said. WHITTIER — To solve a $1.3 million shortfall in this year’s budget, the Lowell Joint School District will sell one of its elementary schools as part of a fiscal recovery plan submitted to the county. Grovedale School, which is leased by the private Carden School at 11537 Grovedale Drive in East Whittier, could fetch much more than $1.3 million. But officials believe its sale is the most feasible option for resolving the district’s financial problems quickly. School board members this week approved the sale. Interim Superintendent Ronald Randolph said the district does not have the option of laying off employees or cutting salaries, since most of its employees are protected by their annual contracts. “Without the ability to make personnel reductions, this is the best plan,” he said. “The board was reluctant to sell in the past, but given the emergency nature of the situation, I’m very proud that they unanimously decided to take the necessary action.” County education office officials also recommended the district hire an outside financial consultant, which the board also approved. In general, Randolph said, such consultants charge about $150 an hour. Because the county education office rejected Lowell’s original budget proposal, by state law the district is required to create a budget review committee. But county officials say they’re confident they can work with the district to resolve its financial problems. Lowell and county education officials have requested a waiver from the state to hold off on convening the budget review panel. “The waiver’s been signed by both the district and the county,” Randolph said. — Tracy Garcia can be reached at (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051, or by e-mail at [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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