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Berkeley School Board Report By YOLANDA HUANG Special to the Planet

Friday December 16, 2005

At the Dec. 14 meeting, the Berkeley School Board approved the contract for the environmental impact report for Berkeley High School south campus construction that includes the warm water pool.  

The board vote authorizing the $135,000 contract for Turnstone Consulting was unanimous and passed as part of the consent agenda, which means there was no discussion on the matter at the meeting.  


No comments 

Based upon summary information, the board approved, without comment or review, November payments of $22 million for outside contracts and a payroll of $5.5 million. The board also approved the landscape work completed at Washington Elementary, Arts Magnet Elementary, Thousand Oaks Elementary, Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School and Berkeley Alternative High School. No dollar figures were listed for this work. 


BHS students baggin’ it? 

School Boardmember Shirley Issel reported that the high school is making substantial progress in reducing absenteeism and is moving on to address the number of students with D and F grades. Issel said that alcohol and drugs are the red flags most regularly raised in meetings on student behavior and attendance, indicating “the need for counseling in this area.” 

She said there are 206 students currently who have received at least one D or one F grade out of the approximately 2,500 students at the school. 


Money shuffle 

The district is required by the state to file a first interim budget report. The report showed that BUSD is able to pay its bills. BUSD’s general fund would be $837,359 short, but this shortfall was plugged by transfers from the parcel taxes. One contributing factor was the $702,000 general fund money used to cover deficits from food services. 

Also, the interim budget report managed to be in the black by excluding over $2.65 million of obligations, including $175,000 in costs shifted from the general fund to the maintenance fund for security, more than $328,000 that the audit found were “discrepancies in … payroll clearing account,” projected future workers compensation and liability of $1.17 million, and over $981,000 owed to the city for sewer service, maintenance and the BHS health clinic.