Stephen Hodgson comes to La Cañada's school district

Stephen Hodgson, who for many years worked for the Glendale Unified School District, will, on a part-time basis, be filling the shoes of Bill Loose, who recently stepped down from his job as deputy superintendent of business for the La Cañada Unified School District.

“Steve is an extremely talented and experienced financial administrator. He is very familiar with the state budget situation,” said Superintendent Jim Stratton. “We are very pleased to have him working with us.”

After four years employed in La Cañada, Loose left last week to take a position in the same capacity at Ocean View School District.

Hodgson retired from Glendale Unified School District in June 2006 after being there for 15 years. Although he was planning to retire, he has been filling in as finance director in several districts.

“This is what I have been doing since I retired,” Hodgson said. “I knew Eva [Lueck who took his place in Glendale] and she was from Pasadena [Unified]. They didn't have anyone to replace her, so they asked me to fill in while they [interviewed and hired] someone. Then, when I was there, I got a call that the business manager in Santa Monica/Malibu district was leaving.”

Hodgson already knew both Stratton and Loose, so when he was approached to fill in the gap until Loose's permanent replacement is hired, he agreed.

“I am here part-time and will be working in the Montebello district,” he added.

Having someone as experienced as Hodgson is an advantage for the district, Stratton said.

“He has a familiarity with categorical programs, with negotiations and with the kinds of pressures that the Sacramento budget crunch can cause,” Stratton said.

Hodgson will be working with the district and teachers' negotiating team as well as the ever-changing state education budget.

“[Sacramento] is talking about a mid-year cut to our budget but that hasn't happened yet,” Hodgson said.

“But we have to plan as if we are going to lose that funding. And next year will be more complicated.”

He added there is also talk the state wants to cut the money districts receive per child through the class size reduction program — a hit of as much as $70 per child. But Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has not yet put exact figures forth.

“We don't know what all of that means right now,” Hodgson said.

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