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Schools chief has good, bad news
Corning Union High School District Superintendent John Burch shared a lot of good news, and some not-so-good news with the Corning Exchange Club this week.
Burch said Monday the district is only receiving 77 cents of each dollar budgeted by law, because the state is in effect withholding the "borrowed" 23 cents with a vague promise to reimburse the district when the economy recovers.
In the meantime, the school district is forced to make do with less money to operate, Burch explained.
He pointed out that in just the last few years the number of students applying for and receiving free or reduced price lunches has went from 24 percent to 80 percent.
Fortunately, the good news far exceeded the bad news.
The recent passage of Proposition 30, while not increasing funding, has at least helped by protecting California schools from further budget cuts, said the superintendent.
In 2015 the high school will be changing its standards for graduation by increasing from three years to four years the number of years English must be taken, and from two years to three years each for Math and Science.
The school currently has more than 92 percent of students successfully graduating.
Burch also covered school and student safety. He praised Corning police Chief Atkins for having a Community Services Officer on campus at all times when school is in session.
The grant that funds the officer position runs out at the end of this school year, Burch explained, however the district is applying for another grant and has reasonable expectations that it will be awarded.
Students and staff regularly practice lock down drills and the school administration and teachers are actively looking at ways to better protect and close the campus to intruders.
Exchange Club President Dean Cofer said, "Members of the club are pleased that hometown-boy John Burch is back and at the helm of the Corning Union High School District."
Burch, who grew up in Corning and attended elementary school at Olive View and West Street schools and graduated from Corning High School as valedictorian in 1978, was hired as the district's superintendent in June.
He graduated from California State University, Chico, in 1982 with bachelors degree in mathematics, and then spent 18 years teaching math at Red Bluff High School before moving into administration as an Associate Principal of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment in 2001 and served in that position for 11 years.