New budget ensures Foothill counselors return next year

Anaika Miller

After Governor Jerry Brown released a revised budget that allocated an additional $3 billion for education last week, Foothill counselors Debbie Freeman and Juana Vega have heard the news they’ve been waiting for since March: their jobs had been reinstated.

“Ms. Vega and I were ecstatic to say the least,” Freeman said, adding that she cried when she found out.

“I am very grateful and feel blessed that I will continue to be at Foothill,” Vega said.

Superintendent Trudy Arriaga made the announcement to both Ventura Unified principals and counselors at separate meetings Thursday morning.

“Everybody was hugging, it was very emotional,” Freeman said.

Principal Joe Bova said that the new state budget is a “huge difference from what we were expecting.”

Foothill was prepared to be budgeted for only two or two and a half counselors next year, but now all three full-time counselors will be working here again.

“The best news is that the three counselors we’re getting are our counselors who are a part of our team and who want to be here,” Bova said. “Students have formed bonds with these counselors and it’s very apparent they have great relationships with them.”

Vega is thankful to have the chance to continue building these bonds, and Freeman is “thrilled we get to continue doing not only what we love but also stay at Foothill which we also love.”

Freeman and Vega were among five other counselors and eight elementary teachers who were reinstated; however, temporary employees like Foothill counselor David Vallejo still do not know if they will be returning. Two of ten furlough days may also be retracted, though this would not affect students since they would add back teacher in-service days rather than student-contact days.

Click here for the revised state budget in its entirety.

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