Citizens Against New Local Taxes  (CANLT)

Las Virgenes Unified School District - Enrollment & Other



[Source:  California Board of Education]

LVUSD in-district student enrollment was relatively stable since 1994/95... and has steadily declined for the last SEVEN (7) YEARS.
As in-district student enrollment has declined, rather than downsize accordingly and appropriately,  LVUSD instead has aggressively recruited and accepted increasingly larger numbers of students who do not live in the LVUSD school district, by granting them "Incoming out-of-district" permits to attend LVUSD schools.  LVUSD should reduce/eliminate the "incoming out-of-district" permits, and DOWNSIZE accordingly.  LVUSD's role is to educate students who live in OUR LVUSD SCHOOL DISTRICT. 
NEW 8/5/2010  

Of LVUSD's total student enrollment, for the 2010/11 school year, about 2,185 -- or about 20% -- of the total LVUSD student enrollment are students who do not even live within LVUSD school district boundaries.
   Here are the skyrocketing numbers of "incoming out-of-district" permits that LVUSD has issued, by year, since 1999:
  • 1999    427 [source CA DOE]
  • 2000    416 [source CA DOE]
  • 2001    475 [source CA DOE]
  • 2002    503 [source CA DOE]
  • 2003    464 [source CA DOE]
  • 2004    610 [source CA DOE]
  • 2005    784 [source CA DOE]
  • 2006    919 [source CA DOE]
  • 2007    1058 [source CA DOE]
  • 2008    1210 [source CA DOE]
  • 2009/10 1609 [source LVUSD]
  • 2010/11 2185 [source LVUSD]

CANLT was able to get historical figures back through 1999, from the California Department of Education (it was not on the CA DOE website, but we got the data by just one phone call and one email).   CANLT has submitted a second request to LVUSD for historical numbers for both "incoming out-of-district" and "outgoing out-of-district" permits issued by LVUSD, by year.

In early 2010, LVUSD promised us these numbers in writing, even previously providing figures for 2004 (we requested additional years).  Then, LVUSD reversed its position in an email in July 2010:   "...Responding to your inquiry regarding incoming and outgoing permits. We only keep our records for two years. Each year we purge the previous year. I do have figures for the following:
   2009/10     1,609 incoming; 554 outgoing

   2010/11     2,185 incoming; 521 outgoing."
CANLT submitted another request to LVUSD for these figures in writing, in August 2010, and we are awaiting the data from LVUSD.  However, LVUSD numbers should track closely with those we obtained from the California Dept of Education.


[Source:  The Acorn, Letter to the Editor, 8/26/2010]

"Las Virgenes Unified School District has apparently postponed plans for another parcel tax.

This coming school year, LVUSD has issued more than 2,185 students “incoming out-ofdistrict permits.” This means about 20 percent of LVUSD’s enrollment will be students who don’t even live within our district boundaries. That’s five times the 416 permits LVUSD issued in 2000. This data is available on (Citizens Against New Local Taxes.)

LVUSD’s job is to educate our district’s students. LVUSD is not required to accept other district’s students.

In-district enrollment has declined for years. To avoid downsizing, LVUSD has increased acceptance/ recruitment of students from other school districts.

This poses numerous detrimental effects. Only in-district property owners must pay LVUSD parcel taxes.

Historically, our property values were enhanced partly because of the right to attend LVUSD schools. Now anyone can attend if LVUSD grants a permit. That jeopardizes our property values. It places greater burden on city streets, parking and increases traffic congestion surrounding our schools. And 2,185 permit students at 27 per classroom adds support costs for 81 unnecessary classrooms.

In LVUSD’s 2009 Audited Annual Financial Report, auditors cited “significant deficiencies” in LVUSD’s payroll and other financial processes. LVUSD’s February 2010 salary list showed a typist clerk II earning $2,543/hour (yes, hour). LVUSD later wrote it was just a “typo” in a “manually” created list, contradicting previous letters stating it would not “create,” only “provide existing” documents. LVUSD’s payroll is automated. Whether LVUSD provided inaccurate data and/or LVUSD payroll data is inaccurate, neither is acceptable.

In 1994-95, LVUSD salaries and benefits were $37 million and skyrocketed to $82 million in 2008-09, up 121 percent when corresponding inflation was only 43 percent.

LVUSD doesn’t need new taxes. LVUSD needs to reduce/ eliminate incoming permits, downsize accordingly, cut salaries, benefits and pensions, and correct its numerous “significant deficiencies.”

Barbara Murphy
Agoura Hills

Editor’s note: Murphy is the co-founder of Citizens Against New Local Taxes, which opposed and defeated the Agoura Hills utility tax.


At a stated average of 27/classroom, that equals 81 classrooms that aren't needed to support our own district's students.  That equates to 81 teachers, and all of the associated support costs -- books, supplies, aides, overhead administration costs, etc.  Based on average total "classroom costs" (per a Cato Institute Study), that reduction could eliminate expenditures of $17M to perhaps as high as -$22M or more/annually (given adding in of loaded mounting interest debt, growing pension burden for unnecessary employees, etc) that LVUSD is now spending educating out-of-district students.   In-district student enrollment has declined for years.    LVUSD should have downsized.  Instead, it has increased it's aggressive acceptance and recruitment of students from outside our district, in an irresponsible attempt to maintain, or worse grow, its overly-bloated size, LVUSD should reduce/eliminate "incoming out-of-district permits".  and then reduce staff & expenditures -- as it should -- given the clear and ongoing decline in in-district enrollment.

8/8/2010:  NOTE:  CANLT has significant concerns about the accuracy and completeness of data that we receive from LVUSD.  We have received inconsistent/incorrect numbers, inconsistent statements on the methodologies used to prepare data, and on availability of data (e.g., records retention), for data that should be available under the Public Records Act.  CANLT will be requesting any state requirements on LVUSD's obligation regarding public record retention requirements.

The number of TEACHERS has remained relatively constant.   The number of administrative staff increased sharply.

LVUSD Staff salaries, benefits, and pensions skyrocketed 121% during the same period, when inflation was only about 43% during the same period..

  Click here for LVUSD Enrollment Statistics from 1993/94 - 2008/09 (EXCEL).  

 Click here for LVUSD Enrollment Statistics from 1993/94 -2008/09, Total by Year (PDF).

Click here for LVUSD Enrollment Statistics from 1993/94 - 2008/09, Total by School (PDF).

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LVUSD QUADRUPLED its Full-Time Para Professional Staff in 2003/04 -- from 48 Full-Time (FT) employees to a whopping 207 FT employees.  

During the same period there was a 3.5% decrease in teacher staffing levels, and only 1/2 of 1% increase in student enrollment (and that has generally declined steadily since then).

Note: Full-Time Para Professional Staff numbers exclude teachers.  Teachers are counted in a separate category.

(Source:  California Department of Education.)

Now, in 2009/10, LVUSD changed several hundred Full-Time staff back to Part Time.  The timing of these dramatic switches is suspect.

LVUSD'S root problem is not income.
LVUSD's root problem is excessive, uncontrolled, and inadequately-managed expenditures.  

See more information, below.

  • The enrollment numbers above were taken directly from the California Department of Education web site.
  • The numbers represent total enrollment by year.
  • These include "incoming out-of-district" students who live outside our district but attend LVUSD schools.
  • Local in-district enrollment has steadily declined since 2003/04, even with LVUSD's  aggressive actions to recruit and enroll students who live outside LVUSD boundaries.  LVUSD seems to be soliciting incoming out-of-district students for the additional per-student state revenue that brings, and also as a justification to maintain its current staffing level/size, rather than permanently reduce its size, as declining in-district enrollment figures would dictate.  There does not appear to be sufficient return on investment nor does this appear to be a cost-effective practice, when considering the long-term financial burden impacts of sustained over-employment (salaries, and more significantly, benefits and pensions).
  • CANLT recently requested a breakdown, by year, of students on:
    1.  "incoming out-of-district permits" (defined by LVUSD as students who attend(ed) LVUSD schools while living outside district boundaries), and
    2.  "outgoing out-of-district permits" (defined by LVUSD as students who live(d) within district boundaries but applied for permit(s) to attend a public school outside of LVUSD).
  • Only in-district property owners pay the LVUSD Parcel Tax.  That means in-district taxpayers support not only in-district students, but also incoming out-of-district students, whose parents do not have to pay the LVUSD Parcel Tax.  This places an additional and unjustified tax burden on in-district taxpayers, while also simultaneously shortchanging in-district students by exposing them to unnecessarily and unjustifiably larger class sizes.  Eliminate incoming out-of-district student enrollment, and decrease staff levels, and in-district students can still enjoy same-size classes, while reducing district staffing costs.
  • LVUSD should deal with declining in-district enrollment by appropriately permanently reducing staffing levels (administrators and teachers) to reduce costs.  This would not only help deal with any declining revenue, but is the prudent course in any business even if revenue dd not decline.
  • A top actuary at CalPERS has confirmed that CalPERS pensions are "UNSUSTAINABLE".   LVUSD staff are fortunate to have jobs, given current unemployment rates in the private sector in California are at a record high.
  • LVUSD's staff is well paid, with excellent salaries, and benefits and pensions; public sector salaries and benefits generally exceed that within the private sector by as much as 30%.   If LVUSD refuses to cut staff, and continues uncontrolled and inadequately-managed expenditures (including salaries and particularly district-funded benefits), LVUSD is likely to become unsustainable as CalPERS, above -- no matter how much revenue it can get from the state and local taxpayers.  Its a classic example of "Leaky Barrel Syndrome" where finite taxpayer dollars flow into the top of the barrel, but the barrel is full of holes (excessive, uncontrolled, wasteful spending, spending beyond its means).  LVUSD -- just like most government agencies in California, needs to "plug the holes". 
  •  LVUSD needs to live within budget just like most people have to do, without imposing yet more local taxes on already-beleaguered taxpayers.
  • LVUSD's recent 5% salary"reduction" is not a salary "cut" in the traditional sense invoked in the private sector.  LVUSD staff will still earn the same hourly/daily rate, but due to implementing furlough days (i.e., days they will not work and days students will not be able to attend school),  their annuals salary amounts will be reduced.  It is the students and their families that are taking the real "cut here, because they will have fewer school days.  LVUSD staff should accept a real "pay cut", specifically that they work the same amount of time but at a lesser hourly/daily/annual rate of pay.   Further, LVUSD should take many more steps.   LVUSD should:
  1. Phase out and then eliminate incoming "out-of-district" enrollment, and serve only in-district population. 
  2. Permanently reduce staff, as called for by declining enrollment.  Despite five years of declining in-district enrollment, LVUSD issues layoff notices but then rescinds them -- in a desperate and unjustified effort to maintain its excess size.   It has taken seemingly extraordinary steps to avoid permanent staff reductions.  Back around 2003/04, LVUSD QUADRUPLED the number of its Full-Time Para Professional Staff in 2003/04 -- from 48 F/T employees to a whopping 207 F/T employees, right around the time local voters passed LVUSD's Measure E Parcel Tax.   Notably, during that same period, the number of teachers decreased by 3.5% and enrollment increased only 1/2 of 1% (and has declined since).   Now, in 2009/10, after years at holding steady at 200+ F/T para professional staff (that excludes teachers), LVUSD has made a sudden, dramatic switch in its F/T & P/T numbers. We wonder whether these reversals will continue, and the timing around new tax passage(s) is suspect.   Despite five years of declining in-district enrollment, LVUSD has in multiple years issued planned layoff notices (especially around times when it seeks new taxes), but then rescinds them, -- in a seemingly desperate, unjustified and continual effort to maintain its current excess size.
  3. Shift more of the increasing benefit costs onto the employees, as is being done throughout the private sector.  Benefits expense increases have greatly exceeded salary expense increases.  It's time government employees, including those at LVUSD, share a larger burden of increasing benefit costs, just like private sector employees must do. 
  4. Significantly decrease pension plan provisions and costs for all future employees, effective immediately.  Pension costs are already unsustainable, per CalPERS, as noted above).  LVUSD, as with government throughout California, needs to bring related pension plan provisions and benefits in line with that in the private sector. As the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association recently put it, "Government Workers Ride Into a Golden Sunset on the Backs of Taxpayers" -- government workers reap extraordinary benefits, far surpassing benefits that taxpayers in the private sector get.   LVUSD staff are fortunate to have jobs given current unemployment rates in the private sector in California are at a record high.  Exorbitant benefits, pensions, and golden-parachutes need to end, now.
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