During the HUSD board meeting, Idyllwild School Principal Matt Kraemer accepts an award for the school’s energy efficiency. 	Photo by J.P. Crumrine
During the HUSD board meeting, Idyllwild School Principal Matt Kraemer accepts an award for the school’s energy efficiency. Photo by J.P. Crumrine

Last week, Hemet Unified School District directors confronted two separate state budget issues. Assemblyman Brian Nestande (R-64) addressed the board about his legislation to abolish deferring state educational payments. Later the board reconsidered and approved its support for Proposition 30, which would increase state revenues.


Nestande asked the board to support his proposal for a constitutional amendment to prohibit deferral of educational funding unless the legislature specifically acts to suspend a portion of the monies in any fiscal year.

Assemblyman Brian Nestande (R-64) leaves the forum after speaking to the Hemet Unified School District board. Photo by J.P. Crumrine

Since the item was for discussion and not action, the board did not make any decision but it will return to its agenda at the Oct. 2 meeting, which will be at 6:30 p.m., at Idyllwild School.


Nestande labeled the legislature’s practice of including school funds in the budget but then deferring delivery of the money for weeks and months as “dysfunctional.”

“It’s been going on for years — seven to eight,” he said to the board. “It’s a shell game to balance the budget.” This year, the deferral has reached $10 billion.

Assembly Constitutional Amendment 29, Nestande’s proposal, has bipartisan support, but died in committee this year. Since the legislature’s adjournment, Nestande has been visiting local school districts to seek support for his proposal. HUSD was the second district he visited. A week earlier, he went to the Palm Springs Unified School District board and next week will attend the Temecula Valley District.

If deferrals or reduced educational funding are necessary, Nestande argued that these decisions should be made openly so that the public knows, understands and judges for itself.

In their adopted budgets, HUSD and other districts plan on receiving and using the fully appropriated funding level. When funds are deferred, districts must borrow to ensure their cash flow and consequently incur interest expenses. The HUSD cost is about $300,000 for short-term loans during a fiscal year, Nestande said.

“Make the legislature stop using school districts as ATMs,” he implored the board.

Later the board revisited its support for propositions 30 and 38. Both of these measures would increase state revenues. Proposition 30 money would go for general state functions, which would avoid $6 billion in educational funding reductions already earmarked if the proposition fails. Proposition 38 increases would directly target and be reserved for educational programs.

At its Aug. 7 meeting, the board, led by Director Joe Wojcik voted 4-2 against supporting either proposition. Then the board voted on whether to support only Proposition 30 and it failed, too. President Bill Sanborn and Ross Valenzuela voted for this resolution.

Several citizens and the Hemet Teachers Associated asked the board to reconsider the issue, according to Sanborn. Since Director Paul Bakkom was not available at the first September meeting, the item was on the Sept. 18 agenda.

This time, the vote was 6-1 to support Proposition 30. Only Wojcik continued to oppose it.

He argued that passage would only continue to encourage legislative ineptness. Secondly, it does not guarantee funding to schools, Wojcik said.

The Hemet Teachers Association turned out at the meeting and several speakers urged the board to support Proposition 30. But as Wojcik pointed out, only Proposition 38 specifically increases educational funding.

Outside the meeting, Nestande said he thought enactment of either propostion would not stop the legislature’s habit of deferring educational funding. The “deferral culture temptation is too great,” he predicted.

Meet the new Superintendent of School
Prior to the 6:30 p.m., Oct. 2 Hemet Unified School District board meeting, newly appointed Superintendent Dr. Brian Kayrell will be available to meet with local residents from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Idyllwild School multipurpose room.