Conquer the Cuts paying for clerk, librarian, more

By Kathy Day

kday@lajollalight.com

For parents and anyone else wondering how the La Jolla High School Foundation is spending the money raised during last spring’s Conquer the Cuts campaign, just ask principal Dana Shelburne.

“The fund has allowed us to save at least one, and more than likely, two teachers,” he said.

In all, the five-week fundraising drive netted $154,000, according to an update he and Foundation President Sandy Coggan Erickson shared with PTA members last week.

With the school district facing the prospect of even more cuts in the spring and in 2012, local schools are turning more to fundraising to protect programs and teachers. In the high school’s case, the Foundation funds have allowed Shelburne to spend what he called the “X-factor” money from the district on people that he might not have been able to pay otherwise.

“Where do you cut … Clearly it would have a negative impact on the school,” he said.

Erickson, who noted that the Foundation also contributes in other ways, from purchasing equipment to paying an athletic trainer. (See accompanying box.)

To date, here’s how the Conquer the Cuts money has been used:

— The first request was for $29,00 to restore a financial clerk to fulltime and increase the librarian from two to three days per week so the library is open every school day.

— Then came a request for $20,000 to pay the school’s American Sign Language teacher for two periods per day. The teacher, according to the report is part of a World Languages course added this year “to enable students to have an additional option
to meet their language requirement.”

— They also used a portion to “purchase an additional counselor position for two days a week, and have requested she be assigned here four days a week. The cost for those four days, benefits included, will be approximately $72,000, given the average cost for
a full time counselor is $90,000 per year.”
Erickson said the administration is hanging onto the balance of the Conquer the Cuts funds to make sure that the actual costs they’ve committed to are fully covered.

The fundraising drive last spring was a “one-time effort to alleviate pressure this year,” she added. In 2008, the Foundation organized a “Save Our Teachers” fund that was spent in the 2009 school year.

Foundation of La Jolla High School

2011-2012 Expenditures through 10/31/11

Total funded = $100,097

(Includes Conquer the Cuts as well as other Foundation money)

General

General: Student planners, utility carts, canine detection services

School Staff: Financial clerk, librarian, American Sign Language (ASL) teacher

School Supplies: Paper, printer toner/ink cartridges, batteries

Technology: School Server

Academics

General: Bibliography software

Independent Studies: Classroom books

Media production: Lights, equipment, supplies

Music: Music theory workbooks

Science: Classroom supplies, equipment

Textbooks: French, Spanish, art

Athletics

Athletic Trainer: Monthly fee, supplies

Cheer: Warm-ups

Cross Country Boys: Uniforms, stopwatch/timer, printer

Cross Country Girls: Stop watches, tournament fees, supplies

Field Hockey: Balls, scorebooks, armbands, tournament fees

Football: Speed Chute, T-Board set, helmet recertification and decals

Tennis Girls: Balls

Volleyball Girls: Strength training, tournament fees

Waterpolo Boys: Uniforms

Buildings and Grounds

General: Golf cart battery charger, county work crew

Athletic Facilities: Bleacher rental, Moya Memorial

Tennis Courts: Electricity for lights

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