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SANTA PAULA : Volunteers Sought for School Panels

The Santa Paula Elementary School District is seeking as many as 300 community volunteers to help district officials put together a plan for the future of Santa Paula schools over the next five to 10 years.

The volunteers will be asked to serve on one of 10 committees charged with finding ways to improve district schools. The plan is part of a new program that will cost the district $60,000 to implement this year, Supt. David Philips said.

The financially strapped district had to cut more than $500,000 to balance its $13.1-million budget this year, including eliminating nearly 12 teaching positions. However, the money to implement the program will come from voluntary integration funds that are earmarked to help balance district schools racially and to balance limited-English speaking students throughout the district, Philips said.

Most of the $60,000 start-up cost is going toward training, consultants’ fees and the salary for program coordinator Cyndy King, an Isbell Middle School music teacher who is spending one year coordinating the plan, Philips said.

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Each of the committees will help develop strategy in one of 10 areas, including increasing parent involvement, improving technology, developing curriculum and increasing district funding, district officials said.

Volunteers should expect to spend a total of about 30 hours on committee work. The committees will meet weekly from Oct. 21 to Dec. 16. A final draft of the plan is scheduled for completion in February. For more information, contact the district office at 525-1581.


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