Monday, November 30, 2009

Information about Dec. 3 Town Hall Budget Meeting

Dear Birney Parents,

I am writing to you as a fellow parent to urge you to join me in attending a very important meeting about budget cuts for San Diego City Schools. The meeting will be held on December 3 at 6:30 at San Diego High. The message from the District is clear: there are more drastic cuts than last year on the way, somewhere in the neighborhood of $65 million dollars' worth.

Parents, we need to make sure our voices are heard and our childrens' education is preserved by attending this meeting and demanding that any cuts made are thoughtful, fair and do not come at the expense of kids in the classroom.

Here are just some of the cuts being considered:
• Reducing kindergarten from full day to half day ($17.6 million)
• Eliminating all magnet programs and transportation for magnet children ($9.8 million)
• Eliminating all 9th -12th grade sports ($3.1 million)
• Eliminating all librarians ($4.9 million)
• Eliminating all visual and performing arts programs ($4.3 million)
• Reduce central office staff ($9.3 million)

In addition, cuts or changes which require negotiations with the Teacher's Union are:
• Eliminating double benefits when both spouses are district employees ($2.4 miliion)
• Increasing insurance co-payments from $5.00 to $20.00 ($14.94 million)
• Requiring district employees to pay the difference between Kaiser and Pacificare health insurance premiums (the District currently pays the entire amount of either premium and would continue to pay the Kaiser premium in its entirety) ($10.47 million)
• Increasing class size to 30 in kindergarten through 3rd grade ($14.2 million)
• Freeze authomatic "step and column" pay increases ($18.9 million)

While it is inevitable that cuts will have to be made, we as parents must make sure the District knows we expect all parties to share the pain. While we as parents may have to consider paying some amount for magnet bus transportation or extracurricular activities, district employees may also have to "do less with more" by eliminating central office staff or vice principal positions, and teachers may have to pay a larger but still reasonable health insurance co-payment and premiums and forgo pay increases.

Please join me at the December 3 meeting and make sure the District hears our concerns loud and clear.

Thank you,
Laura Allan-Dadmun

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Christmas Ideas for the Bees!

Stuck on what to buy your Birney Bee?

The PTA has some great items available for you
at Cafe Press. Download the Christmas Flyer and check out all the fun stuff.

A portion of the proceeds benefit the Birney PTA.

Monday, November 16, 2009

December 4 - A BIG day!

Just a reminder that what a big day December 4 is.

Student Awards:

3-5th Graders 9:15-10:00 a.m.
K-2nd Graders 2:30-3:35 p.m.

Family Friday a great time to check in with your child's class and teacher
Auditorium visit with Ms. Amanda at 2:30
Classroom visit at 3:00
Concessions sold by the PTA at 3:35 - 4 p.m.

And for those who don't want the fun to end...
December Nights at Balboa Park
December 4- 5.

For information on other Holiday activities. Check out the Top 11 Holiday Picks.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Family Gardening at Birney

Mondays 3:35-5:00 Nov. 9 & 30
1st Saturdays 9:00-12:00
Nov 7th, Dec 5

Come help and learn in the garden, and enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of our labor!

We need to move a compost pile before wet weather! Composting, mulching, weeding, planting, bug hunts, gardening songs….and cooking with our garden food.

Students, please come accompanied by an adult. Garden Club hasn’t started yet- watch for it in January!

On 11/7 or 11/9, you can bring a favorite salad dressing for garden slaw, and a container to take some home!

Come for all or part of the time and dates! Every bit helps!

Check out the Garden Blog:
If you can help with a classroom garden or with other aspects of the Garden and Club, please contact: or call 619.884.9265