Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
Created: 12/23/2010 04:18:16 PM PST

CHINO – The state has agreed to significantly reduce a $7.5 million penalty for the Chino Valley Unified School District over missed instructional minutes at two schools.

Under an agreement with education officials, and brokered by Assemblyman Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills, the penalty will be reduced to $1.5 million and paid over 8 years at $187,500 annually, starting next school year.

The agreement also requires the district to offer 428 additional minutes of instruction to all district students for the next two school years, as it had last school year.

During the 2008-09 school year, an accounting error caused Rolling Ridge and Doris Dickson elementary schools to offer less instructional time than required for fourth- through sixth-grade classes. The shortfall was about 170 minutes over 34 days, officials said.

The penalty reduction comes as the district projects a $31.5 million deficit over the next two years and is in the process of finding budget cut options.

“This chapter is now closed for the school district,” Hagman said.

Chino Valley Unified Superintendent Wayne Joseph thanked Hagman for his efforts.

“Credit would have to go to Curt Hagman, because from the beginning, he has been an advocate for us and he needs to be lauded for his efforts,” Joseph said. “Without Curt, there’s no way any of this could have happened.

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