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Fontana faces school cuts to sports, library

March 8, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A crowd of angry parents is expected at a local school board meeting Tuesday night. The district will consider cutting all high school sports to help solve its budget problems.

Raul Rosales is a former Fontana High School football player. His son, a freshman at Jurupa Hills High School, is also a football player. But come next year he may not be able to follow in his father's footsteps on the gridiron.

The Fontana Unified School District is looking at cutting all of its sports and afterschool programs in an effort to save $2 million.

Tuesday night, the school board will also decide whether to let go of its library specialists, school counselors and a host of other jobs.

"We are mandated by law to provide a core educational program and unfortunately all the things that we've grown accustomed to that are wonderful things for students are now being looked at as extras," said Cali Olsen-Binks, Fontana Unified School District superintendent.

The district is placing its hopes for a solution in Governor Jerry Brown's ballot measure to extend tax increases another five years. If that doesn't appear on a ballot, or it doesn't pass, the district will have to cut a total of $13 million from its budget.

Julie Sanchez says as a parent she is willing to foot some of the bill to keep her son in the game next year.

She and others believe not all learning takes place in the classroom. Some times what students learn on the field is just as important.

The school board is also considering cutting some classes.

The meeting was scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. An overflow crowd is expected.