VISTA, CA — It has been a rough couple of months for the Vista Unified School District. Weeks following the removal of Superintendent Linda Kimble, VUSD is now facing a large budget deficit. The district has been instructed by the San Diego County Board of Education to reduce its budget projection by $19 million dollars for fiscal year 2020-21. VUSD board had already cut almost $12 million from this year’s budget in February 2019.
At the October 17th meeting, Bill Faust, union leader for the California State Employees Association Vista Chapter 389, condemned the board’s handling of Dr. Kimble’s removal, citing the required $281,000 buyout of her contract.
“Since this board took over in January 2019, you’ve had to continue to work with declining enrollment, budget constraints and community discontent,” Faust said. “Our students are not being allowed to succeed.”
Also during this meeting, the board approved the hiring of a new superintendent, Dr. Matthew Doyle to the position in a 4-1 vote. The district administrator was the interim superintendent in 2017-18 before Kimble was hired and was assistant superintendent to Kimble.
The district will buy out 12 months of Kimble’s contract at $281,000 and allow her 12 months of district benefits. Additionally, the board called it a “no-fault termination” and Kimble can’t sue.
Doyle’s first act as superintendent was to eliminate the positions of assistant superintendent and director of communication.
“The elimination of these two positions reduces district-level administrative costs immediately by over $400,000,” Doyle said.
VUSD has set up a Budget Solutions webpage for more information.