POWAY: Despite pleas from students and parents for Poway High School's agriculture program and Westview High School's ROTC program, Poway Unified School District trustees voted last night on cuts that will affect both programs.
Trustees, who must slash $15.5 million from the 2008-09 budget, voted to send notices to more than 180 teachers that they may not have jobs next year. The district's only ROTC program would be eliminated, and its only ag education program would be reduced.
More than 100 students, parents and teachers attended last night's school board meeting to show their opposition to the cuts. Students and parents spoke about the benefits of their favorite programs, with both groups citing the leadership and college preparedness offered by the ROTC and ag programs.
Trustees and district staff stressed that no final decisions on cuts will be made for several months, but state law requires school districts to notify teachers by March 15 if there is a possibility they won't have a job next year.
Superintendent Don Phillips said the budget problem was not created locally but the district must develop a plan to address the across-the-board cuts the governor proposed to deal with a $16 billion state deficit.–B.G.