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IRVINE : County Crisis to Be Discussed at Town Hall Meetings

The Irvine Unified School District has scheduled Jan. 30 and 31 “town hall” meetings on the county’s fiscal crisis. And the school board on Tuesday will again consider forming a citizens committee to deal with impending budget cuts.

The meetings are tentatively planned to take place at school district headquarters on Barranca Parkway. School board President Tom Burnham said the district is seeking to have the meetings broadcast live on cable television. And district officials are considering setting up a teleconference system so the public can take part from a variety of locations.

“We are going to do everything we can to get some creative thinking and involvement from the community,” Burnham said.

There is little disagreement among school board members that citizen participation is paramount. Without it, they say the task of dealing with a potential $30-million loss from the district’s $105-million investment would have little public support.

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Tempers flared during a Jan. 3 school board meeting when trustees differed over forming a citizens task force. Some board members envisioned a temporary committee formed to deal with the financial crisis. Others, including school board member Hank Adler, want to create a permanent finance committee similar to the city’s Finance Commission to keep an eye over school district dollars.


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