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BUSD loses out on $173,000

Molly Shore

Burbank Unified School District officials said this week they weren’t

surprised to learn the school district would not be receiving

$173,000 in equalization money after the state Senate declined to

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consider a bill proposed as part of the 2003-04 budget compromise.

Had the Senate passed SB 1046, $50 million would have been

released from categorical funding in math and reading professional

development, education technology and principal training to school

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districts throughout the state, including Burbank Unified.

“It’s great for the people up there at the state to talk about

funding,” said Steve Bradley, the district’s assistant superintendent

of business services. “However, with [legislators] reducing

everyone’s revenues by 1.2%, they obviously didn’t have any funding

to do this.”

When the Assembly approved a state budget July 29, it also

approved the proposed legislation. But when the bill reached the

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Senate for a final vote, legislators did not act on it.

Teri Burns, deputy superintendent for government affairs at the

state Department of Education, said her office anticipated the

legislation would not pass.

Supt. Gregory Bowman was among those who expressed disappointment.

“Every little bit helps, given reductions and having to lay off

people and reduce budgets,” he said. “Everyone is beginning to feel

those cuts.”

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School board member Paul Krekorian said the district could have

used the funding to offset severe budget cuts.

“It’s disappointing not to get additional funding, but it’s

funding we didn’t count on,” he said.

Assemblyman Dario Frommer (D-Burbank) said he and a number of his

colleagues were disappointed by the state Senate’s inaction.

“The Assembly passed the bill with bipartisan support as part of a

budget bill, but it went to the Senate, and the Senate never acted on

it,” Frommer said.

According to David Link, communications director for state Sen.

Jack Scott (D-Burbank), the Senate did not vote on the bill because

the Assembly put the money in “unilaterally” on their side, without

consulting with the Senate leadership.


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