Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Invitation to Submit Budget Suggestions

Last night the Sylvan Union School District Board of Trustees began their journey to balance our budget in light of the newly signed State budget. The Board heard that they now must find $2.5 million in reductions to next year’s budget. In addition, they must also identify another $2.8 million in reductions for the 2010-11 school year. This reduction of $5.3 million must all be determined by June of this year to be included in our multiple year budget, as required by law.

The Board has asked that I invite you, as representative groups, to submit your suggestions for their consideration as a first step in our process. The Board will meet again on March 10th in a budget study session. They have asked that I gather suggestions from groups in our educational community on specific, cost reducing, strategies for their consideration.

On behalf of the Board, I would like to invite the following representative groups to submit suggestions to me, in writing, by March 9th:

- Employee Unions (SEA and CSEA)
- Unrepresented employee groups (Management and Confidential)
- School Staff
- Department Staff (M&O, Transportation, Food Service, District Office, Child Care)
- PTA/PTO groups at each school site
- Sylvan Educational Foundation
-Other common interest groups in the Sylvan educational community

While you may submit suggestions as individuals through this blog by emailing , the Board is asking that each representative group submit their own list of suggested budget reductions.

Suggestions should include specific anticipated savings and whether it is a one time or on-going savings. I can provide you fiscal information regarding any of your suggestions. I am available to meet with and/or answer questions or provide information to any and all of you who may be considering submitting suggestions to the Board of Trustees.

Please submit your suggestions directly to me. The Board will ask me to do a fiscal, feasibility and legal analysis of each suggestion before it is submitted to the Board. Again, the first opportunity for the Board to consider your suggestions will be on March 10th. I will need your suggestions by the 9th for inclusion at this meeting.

John Halverson
Superintendent / CBO


deltaman said...

I read this morning in the paper that Modesto City Union members were "shocked" by the $11 million in cuts they would need to endure. Thank you for having the decency to forewarn us of the probable cuts we will face. It is better to be informed and prepared than to be blind-sided.

I see that there are two solutions to this problem:

1. Everyone hurts a little, so no one gets hurt a lot.
--If everyone, including administration, certificated, and classified would take a pay cut, we can keep all of our programs. This would be my choice.

2. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Some will have to be let go so that others can continue unharmed. If this is the chosen path, I hope that you can keep some small amount of music at the elementary level.

I do not envy you for the choices you must make, but I understand why it is neccessary.

Anonymous said...

Furlough days would be a better option than a percentage pay cut because it will spread the hit over all classifications and it'll be a lot easier to get the working days put back on the calendar than getting percentages added back to the pay scale. Classified pay has been going backwards for several years anyway, but there's no sense giving up more ground unless we can get it back later.

Anonymous said...

1. Break all job classifications down into 25% chunks.

2. Put each 25% chunk into a group comprised of people from other classifications, and give each group an easily remembered number name (1,2,3,4) or color. (Blue, Red, Green, Yellow)

3. Assign the resulting group a week each month, i.e. first, second third, fourth, etc.

4. Pick a day of the week as a Furlough Day. (Wednesday, for example)

5. Print a calendar showing that the first Wednesday of every month, Group 1 is off, and on the second Wednesday of every month, it's Group 2's turn, and so on...

We'll end up with what amounts to one complete district workforce furlough day each month, without having to shut the district down to do so.

Anonymous said...

How about giving up some holiday pay? It would work as a sort of invisible furlough. Have holiday pay eliminated from a few holidays a year, and put back when/if things get better.