Fountain Valley : Enrollment Decline Is Key Issue

Times Staff Writer

Declining enrollment and its impact on the Fountain Valley School District budget are the dominant issues in that school board race.

Incumbent Ann Galas, businessman Michael E. Novak and Laurie Mayo are running for two seats in the Nov. 8 election. Incumbent Carol Mohan, who was first elected to the board in 1979, is not seeking reelection.

Enrollment in the Fountain Valley elementary school district has been decreasing since it peaked at 11,866 students in the 1972-73 school year. This fall, the district expected a turnaround, with enrollment stabilizing or even growing slightly. Instead, the district this fall has about 180 fewer students than last year, Assistant Supt. Pres Jones said. Current enrollment is 5,843 students, Jones said.

Because state funding is based on the number of students, Fountain Valley has faced a series of budget crises.


Galas, 47, a board member for the past five years, said her experience with the district’s budget problems is needed as the district continues to struggle with money problems.

“Because of continued declining enrollment and severe cutbacks in state and federal education funds, we need to utilize our money wisely,” she said. “I have worked hard to manage tax dollars wisely.”

Novak, 40, said: “Our budgets are declining, and we have to think of new ways to reverse the trend of cutting programs and personnel. I have a master’s degree in business administration and over 15 years of practical business experience that will be put to good use on our school board.” Novak said he wants to find new ways to bring money into the district, including ways surplus property might be used.

Mayo, 36, a homemaker, said: “The budget is a top priority for the school board. We currently have property in this district that is used as income property, and the district has been looking into the possibility of turning that over as sale real estate. The question that has to be solved is will the state permit it?”

Mayo praised incumbent Supt. Ruben L. Ingram for “keeping our budget in the black.”


Three candidates, oone of them an incumbent, are running for two seats in the Nov.8 election. Declining enrollment is the main issue