Letters to the editor: Sept. 8 issue

SDUHSD needs a fiscally-responsible board with a shared strategic vision

In this election year I am concerned about the San Dieguito High School District's board leadership. I believe that the district needs a strong board that has a shared strategic vision to maintain the district's high standards of educational excellence into the next decade and a balanced, fiscally conservative budgetary and administrative approach to ensure that all resources are used efficiently.

Currently the board, in a 3-2 split decision, approved a budget that may compromise the fiscal solvency of the district in future years. Additionally, they have not developed a proactive strategic plan that has received the proper input and buy-in from all important stakeholders, including taxpayers, parents, students, administrators, and teachers. This plan needs to be developed in an independent and collaborative manner, that is not beholden to any special interests of any one group such as the teacher's unions.

I am very concerned that the district leadership has been fiscally irresponsible by approving a new teachers' contract that allowed for a 5.5 percent retroactive pay increase with a 7.5 percent annual raise thereafter that includes such outlandish clauses as one that increases pay if any other local district in the area increases their pay with no tie to student performance. Budget projections show that the contract may result in future district deficits. This budget may even allow for increasing the average class size to 38 students. This budget is not only fiscally irresponsible, but risks the great student performance that San Dieguito schools are known for.

The district deserves a fiscally conservative and responsible budget with no deficit spending that will put the health, well-being and performance of our students as our number 1 priority.

The San Dieguto board majority must stop pandering to excessive and uncompetitive demands of its unions and start adopting the same conservative fiscal and administrative policies that our students' families, businesses and future employers must adhere to.

Randy Berholtz

Del Mar Highlands

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