The year ahead brings many challenges and also many opportunities. The continuing financial crisis in the state of California leaves us in a precarious financial position pending the outcome of the upcoming November election. With the on-going deficit in the state budget, fluctuating revenues, and apparent unpredictable financial forecasts, we must do our best with the limited resources and information provided to make prudent decisions.
Fortunately for Linden Unified School District, the community of Linden has always stepped forward to support our schools, through the Linden Educational Foundation, the Athletic Boosters, personal contributions to our schools, classrooms and district, and the collective efforts of many community members. Our needs are many; however, it is important that we maintain a balanced focus on academics, arts, athletics, as well as facilities, programs and staffing. Though our needs outnumber our resources, we also appreciate the efforts of our district staff to step up to the challenges and maintain the high standards that have always been expected in the Linden community. We have all been faced with difficult decisions, but will continue together to make a positive impact in our community.
The economic recovery in the State of California has been very slow because of the complexity of factors which are unique to our recovery. However, education continues to be the scapegoat to balance the state budget. California has fallen from being number one in per-student funding in the 1970’s, to nearly last today. We spend a significantly smaller portion of our per capita income on education than we did in the past, and our ratios for student to teacher, student to counselor, and teacher to administrator have fallen from close to the top, to last in many areas in a short period of time. Though we are faced with making many difficult decisions, I know we will make prudent decisions and continue to provide the best services and education to our community. Continue to be a voice for our community by contacting your local assembly member/representative and let them know that the students and schools in California have taken a disproportional amount of cuts throughout the budget crisis, and deserve to be a priority as they were in the past. California should once again strive to lead the nation in education, in economy, and in supporting the rich diversity of our local communities.
Michael V. Gonzales, Ed.D., District Superintendent