School District OKs New Spending Plan

Simi Valley school officials have adopted a $101-million budget for the coming fiscal year, cutting $1.2 million from an initial spending plan.

The budget, approved by Simi Valley Unified School District trustees at their Tuesday meeting, adds two special-education teachers, a kindergarten campus supervisor and $2 more per student for textbooks.

But the spending plan also offered disappointments. Santa Susana High School, for example, received $60,000 out of $200,000 requested to buy software.

Officials said they hope more money may be available after the state budget is signed.

"What we cut will be looked at if more funds become available," said Lowell Schultze, interim assistant superintendent of business services. "But we had to base this budget on certainty."

About 175 parents of students who will attend the new Wood Ranch Elementary School when it opens this fall showed up at Tuesday's meeting to ask that the district seek a refund of fees paid to the city in connection with the school's construction. Of that money, $140,000 should be used to put computers, TVs and VCRs in every Wood Ranch classroom, leaders of the group say.

The district budget did allocate $30,000 for additional technology at Wood Ranch. But Schultze said there would be no refund from the city.

"We talked to the city and that's not going to happen," Schultze said. "Those were legitimate fees, which the city has already spent. It's a dead issue."

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