Monday, February 9, 2009

February 5th Budget Update to Staff

Sylvan Staff,

Tuesday night our Board of Trustees met and considered the resolution I presented to them to notice 60 certificated employees of possible layoff. As you probably know, the Board tabled this action until a special Board meeting to be held on February 17th. A location and time will be distributed in one of my future updates. The layoff notification is required to be completed prior to March 15th. If notification is not made prior to this date, no layoffs can be made for the next school year.

First of all, it is most unfortunate that any consideration for layoff is necessary. Second, we are forced to begin the process without any real knowledge about our budget status for this year or next year. This is like walking blindfolded through a minefield. All we really know is that the economic situation is dire and the District must be prepared to cut as much as $ 4 million dollars or more from next year’s budget.

At the meeting I was asked, “Why are teachers being singled out for reduction while no other reductions are being considered?” This is an understandable question and concern. The answer is a matter of the timing of events that need to occur according to the Education Code. In fact, many additional reductions will be considered in the weeks to come. To help answer this question I put together the timeline below:

February 17th- The Board authorizes the District to deliver notices for potential layoffs.
February 23rd- Superintendent presents and addresses questions regarding the impact of the State deficit/budget plan(if known) on SUSD. Meeting or Webcast TBD
February 24th- The Board discusses potential reductions to classified positions and other reduction options (may vary based on decisions made at the State level). The Board approves the seniority lists and considers a resolution for tie breaking criteria.
Feb. 25th–Mar.13th- District staff meets individually with all certificated employees receiving notice of potential layoff
March 10th- Possible Board study session on the budget
March 17th- Board meeting- Discussion of all potential reductions
March 31st- Tentative 1st public forum on budget reductions
April 7th- Board meeting- Further discussion on potential reductions, direction on potential classified layoff notices
April 14th- Tentative 2nd public forum on budget reductions
Apr 20th–29th- District staff meets individually with all classified employees receiving notice of potential layoff
April 28th- Board meeting- Board gives direction to staff on reduction priorities
May 12th- Special Board meeting- final direction on certificated & classified layoff
May 15th- Certificated layoff becomes final
June 9th - Board meeting- Board gives final direction to staff on 2009-10 budget
June 23rd - Board meeting- Board approves final budget for 2009-10
June 30th- Classified layoff becomes final

As you can see, most of the discussion and decision making takes place in March through June. The period of time for certificated layoffs closes long before a full array of decisions can be made. Therefore, we need to keep our options open through the full decision making timeline. The shaded dates represent future opportunities to hear and/or have input regarding budget decision making.

Here are some facts relative to the process of layoffs:
Notices will be given on the basis of seniority as shown on the seniority list.
Notices will be delivered in person by David Holtz or John Halverson (see timeline above).
Actual layoffs for the 2009-10 school year are not final until May 15th.
The actual budget adopted by the State is expected to impact the number of final layoffs.
Decisions on other SUSD reduction options determined in March through May are expected to impact the number of final layoffs.

Again, I encourage your responses and questions. I am preparing a Q&A to go out tomorrow from the many questions submitted to date.


John Halverson

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