The Cupertino Union School District Board of Education is holding an all-day Board Advance meeting this Thursday, November 19 from 9am-4pm, to study plans for reopening schools and discuss measures to build long term fiscal stability, including school closures and a new parcel tax.
During the school reopening study session, staff will present a report to the Board including information on process, timelines and models under consideration for the eventual reopening of schools. The planned discussion comes on the heels of new State and County restrictions this week placing Santa Clara County in the Purple Tier. According to guidance from County health officers, schools that have not yet opened for in-person instruction cannot open unless they are already on a phased opening schedule. Schools that have already opened for in-person instruction can continue to operate, as long as they are following the protocols that the State and County have issued for safer operations of in-person instruction.
The study session for long term fiscal stability will review proposed remedies for the District’s increasing financial challenges stemming from declining enrollment, increases in healthcare and retirement costs, and future anticipated losses from funding cuts and an expiring parcel tax. Solutions presented to the Board November 5 and slated for further consideration include school closures, extending and raising existing parcel taxes, creating a new parcel tax based on square footage, or some combination of school closures and tax increases. Six school closure scenarios developed by a Citizens Advisory Committee will be reviewed as part of the deliberation.
At the November 5 meeting, board members apologized to District families and shared constituents’ concerns around insufficient communication about the severity of the situation, although the District’s financial strength has been an issue for years. The Board has pledged to increase efforts to inform and engage the community.
The link to the virtual meeting and the public comment form will be available on the District’s website 15 minutes prior to the start. For those who are unable to attend, the virtual meeting will be recorded and posted on the CUSD website.