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April 18, 2019 Website   Membership   Events  Foundation  View email in browser    
Metro Chamber Members and Business Leaders,
 
Ensuring that the Capital Region will have a Ready Workforce, with qualified, prepared and skilled workers is a core priority of the Metro Chamber.
 
To us, that means:
  • Closing the gap between business needs and a skilled workforce,
  • Encouraging pathways to prepare students for college or career, 
  • And, recruiting, retaining, and preparing business leaders to advance our economy.
However, our workforce pipeline is in jeopardy for a generation of students and future employees who will support the Capital Region economy. 
 

Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) is approaching a fiscal cliff that will create irreparable harm on the City’s central school district.

Unless SCUSD can resolve its budget issues by June 30, a state receivership plan will be implemented this year, removing local oversight of how our schools are operated. Under state management, the priority is to pay down debt and meet budget mandates, instead of addressing the values and priorities important to the region – preparing students for higher education and career pathways. As one of the largest school districts in the region, this will impact over 44,000 students in the first year alone. But the effects will ripple beyond the geographic boundaries of the school district.  

The examples of stifling cuts and troublesome transitions seen in Oakland and Inglewood Unified School Districts – set to last up to 20 years – should be enough evidence that a solution must be found. At a time when we are experiencing unprecedented regional prosperity, a pivot would take place that would lead to declining graduation rates, falling property values and families relocating. It could set the region’s economy back decades and leave employers unable to meet workforce needs.

With the future of our workforce in the balance, we’ve taken the initial steps to help identify answers to business questions and evaluate potential solutions to keep the region’s economy strong. We’ve convened meetings with key stakeholders – administrators, union leaders, parents, teachers and others – to share the business community’s concerns and help address insolvency before there is no turning back.   

In the coming weeks, we will continue to inform you and the region about the impacts and effects of receivership. We’ve provided a resource center below to help you better understand the challenges the district is facing, how this will impact our ready workforce and how you can get involved. 

We don’t have to go down this path. It is avoidable, but time is running out. It will require leadership to work as good faith partners, collaborate on a sustainable fiscal solution, and have the resolve to see it through. The future of our workforce depends on it. 

Sincerely,
 

Amanda Blackwood
CEO & President
  
RESOURCE CENTER:
LEARN MORE & FOLLOW THE LATEST NEWS
Multiple resources are available to learn more about state receivership and the stakeholders involved. Be sure to read, watch and follow these outlets and resources to learn more.
What Does a State Takeover Look Like
"Inglewood Unified had been nearly insolvent when it was taken over by the state Department of Education in 2012. Six years later, its enrollment was still declining. Its school buildings were tired — some edging into decrepitude. Its test scores and graduation rates were still below the state average." - Anna L. Phillips, Los Angeles Times

When the state takes over a bankrupt school district, it has devastating affects beyond the classroom. It can take a district up to 20 years to repay their loan to the state. Enrollment drops. Schools close. Class sizes increases. Students don't have books. Sports are cancelled. 
  • Inglewood Unified School District has had five different state administrators since it went into receivership in 2012. More>>
  • Oakland Unified School District is looking to close 24 schools in the next 5 years. More>>
  • In 2004, West Contra Costa County schools cut all high school sports, closed libraries and eliminated arts programs. More>>
  • Vallejo Unified School District expects to lose 1,708 students in the next 2 years; the loss represents a $15MM hit to their budget. More>>

Learn more on all the State Emergency Allocations to California schools >>
ABOUT SACRAMENTO METROPOLITAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce advocates for and supports the inclusive economic prosperity of our Capital Region by leading efforts for business. Established in 1895, Metro Chamber is the largest, most prominent and established voice for business representing 1,400 members and their workforce in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties. The Metro Chamber provides businesses and individuals the programs, services and advocacy needed to build Vibrant Communities, a Ready Workforce, Connected Region and Strong Business through its 4-Point Business Promise. Learn more at metrochamber.org.
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