Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District

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Superintendent's Update: May 20, 2020

From the Superintendent

"Putting Kids First"



Dear PVPUSD Parents and Community Members,



Updated PVPUSD Guidelines on Facilities and Fields Use:

The Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District, with guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, is re-opening facilities in a limited capacity to the community for recreational outdoor activity. Indoor facilities remain closed until further notice.


In accordance with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidelines, individuals may use accessible open spaces for exercise if they maintain social distancing requirements, while team sports are not allowed.  Visitors to school campuses are asked to please stay 6 feet away from anyone not in their own household, wear face coverings and observe posted signage and locked gates.  Please be advised that per county guidance, playground equipment, basketball courts, baseball and soccer fields will remain closed.




Last week Governor Newsom presented his May Revision for 2020-21, which included an $18.3 billion dollar deficit in K-12 Proposition 98 funding and a total state deficit of over $54 billion dollars. The governor's budget recommendations included massive reductions for school districts in the form of a 10% reduction to LCFF (Local Control Funding Formula).  This proposed reduction would be crippling for school districts throughout California.  For the governor and his administration to expect school districts to continue to do more and prepare for more, with 10% less money, is unrealistic and impractical.  


For the PVPUSD, the  governor's budget equates to an approximate reduction in LCFF by $10 million dollars. The state legislature now has about a month to approve a budget for 2020-21.  Given all the details of this budget proposal, coupled with our previous budget projections, PVPUSD's early estimates reflect an $8 million dollar deficit for next year (this deficit amount will fluctuate as more details become available).


Despite this dire budget proposal, there are some positive scenarios which would lessen our estimated budget deficit.  The governor's budget proposal includes specific language which states:


"Absent additional federal funds, the COVID-19 Recession requires a 10 percent ($6.5 billion) reduction to LCFF.  This reduction includes the elimination of a 2.31 percent cost-of-living adjustment.  This reduction will be triggered off if the federal government provides sufficient funding to back fill this cut."



The governor's strategy for k-12 education to shoulder a 10% reduction in funding, while stating this same reduction would be  "triggered off" by federal aid leaves public education in a very precarious position. This language predicates relief to K-12 education funding solely on a new federal stimulus bill.  As such, I urge you to contact our local legislators and tell them that this budget proposal is unacceptable.


While the PVPUSD administration will be making preparations for worst case budget scenarios, it is important for us to take a measured approach.  Our district has healthy reserves because we have been fiscally prudent.  Last year, we were one of only a few districts in LA County that implemented budget reductions, thus saving our general fund over $2 million dollars.  New federal stimulus money could also greatly lesson the fiscal impact to our district, as would improved economic conditions within California.


Therefore, in consultation with and at the direction of our Board of Education, we will plan for the worst, hope for the best, and take actions that provide our students with the best possible education under the conditions forced upon us. 



Superintendent's Steering Committees on School Reopening:

We received over 400 letters of interest from parents and / or medical professionals to join our steering committees to discuss reopening of our schools. This is an amazing level of support and volunteerism by our community! As such, I expanded the committees to allow for three times as many volunteers, in order to maximize effective parent and community involvement.  We will have five steering committees of 25 members each, which include the following:


  1. PVPUSD Staff
  2. Medical Professionals
  3. Elementary Parents
  4. Middle School Parents
  5. High School Parents


These committees will discuss district plans and provide valuable input on its design and development.  Thank you to all of the parents and community members who volunteered and were not selected.  I have no doubt that there will be opportunities in the future for you to assist our district.
I will continue to update you frequently, since information is changing on a daily and weekly basis.
Respectfully serving on your behalf,
Superintendent Signature
Alex Cherniss, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District