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Senator expected to tour Baker schools Friday
Fuller-authored bill would restore $300,000 to Baker's junior high
BAKER • Sen. Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield, is expected to tour schools within the Baker Valley Unified School District on Friday.
Fuller is the author of Senate Bill 143 which, if passed, would restore $300,000 from the state-backed Necessary Small School Funding to Baker’s junior high school, according to BVUSD Superintendent Ronda Tremblay — also the junior high’s principal.
The district covers a sparsely populated desert valley roughly 60 miles northeast of Barstow.
The funding was cut prior to this school year and has resulted in financial implications which extend to staffing, transportation and instructional materials for all of the district’s four schools and approximately 200 students, Tremblay said Thursday.
Possibly most detrimental is that the town’s only library, which sits on a campus shared by the junior high, preschool, elementary and high school, is in danger of closing in the fall without the budget infusion.
On April 10, Tremblay and other school officials traveled to Sacramento to speak to the financial woes facing their district.
With support from Fuller and Small School District Association lobbyist David Walrath, Tremblay and constituents were able to garner attention from key people.
“It wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t had gone,” Tremblay said. “We swayed the chair of the education committee.”
The bill went through appropriations on Monday, Tremblay noted, and a forthcoming Senate vote is expected soon.
The conversations the group had in Sacramento left Tremblay feeling “optimistic” that the bill will pass.
“We felt the kids of Baker deserved no stone unturned,” she said.
Shea Johnson can be reached at SJohnson@DesertDispatch.com or 760-256-4126.