Saturday, March 21, 2009

Budget Update 3-20-09

At their meeting this week, the Board of Trustees continued their discussion regarding our budget crisis and planning for reductions. The following is a brief summary of the discussion, reports, direction given and future meetings:

Budget Suggestions

After soliciting suggestions from groups and individuals on ways to reduce expenditures, a list of 155 suggestions was compiled. The suggestions were grouped into the categories of:
1. Programs
2. Services
3. Materials
4. Conservation Practices
5. Efficiency Practices
6. Staffing Levels
7. Salaries / Benefits

I looked at each suggestion and added a potential $ savings, if I could determine it. Additional comments on rationale were added and I concluded with my recommendation to the Board regarding each suggestion. This list is posted to the right.
Each Board member will be returning this list to me next week indicating whether or not they want to see that suggestion on their final list for prioritizing in April.

The Board will discuss these suggestions on March 31st, along with the additional suggestions I have given them and those they generated last year. This March 31st study session will be held at Sherwood Elementary School starting at 7:00 p.m. Public comment will be invited immediately following the study session.

The Board’s list of possible reductions will be compiled by April 7th. Each Board member will submit their personal priorities from this list. The Board will analyze and review their collective priorities for a final decision at the April 28 Board Meeting.

District Office Administration

The Board asked for a comparison of District Administration levels compared to other districts. One study from our area was completed by the Patterson Unified School District in January. The second study was done by our District back in September. Both studies are posted on the blog. As in all previous studies of this nature, the results indicated SUSD continues to retain the fewest number of administrative staff per enrollment of any comparison group.

Class Size Reduction

The Board asked for an analysis of the potential savings to implementing the new flexibility in exceeding 20:1 in our K-3 classrooms. The analysis presented and posted on this blog site compared the impact of increasing class sizes based on the number of students projected next year in each grade level at all schools.

This analysis suggests that by increasing from 20:1 to an average of 22.5:1 the number of teachers needed would reduce by 21. The penalties associated with exceeding 20 would cause a loss of 60% of the CSR revenue. However, the net savings, after reduction of staff, would be approximately $540,000. The Board reluctantly agreed that we should continue to consider K-3 class size increases as an option as we look for ways to find $5.4 million in cuts this spring.

Please email your questions regarding any of these topics and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Meeting With SEA and CSEA

The Board asked that SEA and CSEA be invited to a meeting to discuss the possibilities of salary rollbacks or furlough days. That meeting took place on Wednesday of this week. Information was shared and no decisions were made pending further discussions.

Future Meetings

April 7th , 7:00 p.m. at Sanders Elementary School
April 28th, 7:00 p.m. location to be determined
May 19th, 7:00 p.m. location to be determined
June 9th, 7:00 p.m., location to be determined

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