Friday, April 3, 2009

SUSD Budget Update 4-3-09

The SUSD Board of Trustees held a study session and comment forum at Sherwood Elementary School last Tuesday evening. No action was taken and the following is a summary of that discussion:

Class Size Reduction- Revisited

Another version of class size increases in K-3 was reviewed. This version established an upper target average class size in any school or grade level of 25. This version, now posted on this blog site to the right, calculates a projected District average class size at K-3 of 21.72 students per classroom. It targets a net savings of $450,000, and a reduction of 17 teaching positions. This version is named CSR- 19-25. Another version has been calculated since the study session, also posted, and named CSR- 20-30.

Master Reduction List

The Board received back the results of their survey on the many suggestions received from the Sylvan staff and educational community. In this survey, the Board considered whether they wanted to include the suggestion or not on their final prioritization list. The suggestions were categorized into three areas:
1. Suggestions that a majority of the Board felt should be included in their priority list.
2. Suggestions without a majority
3. Suggestions with a majority that did not have an immediately determined savings.

This list is now posted on this blog site.

Remaining Targets

The Board reviewed the following chart to determine what their potential remaining target will be for reduction of staff. Please note that if reductions are one-time only, like in 2008-09, the reduction will not carry across to the following year.

The Board considered what could be moved from categorical programs to the unrestricted fund this year ($1,550,952), next year ($656,895) 2009-10, and the year after ($679,779) 2010-11. The Board also considered additional suggestions and reduction plans previously considered in 2008. Details of these suggestions are also found as a link on our blog site and titled “Reduction Options.”

Fair Share

The Board had previously asked administration to meet with SEA and CSEA to consider, in negotiations, possible salary rollback or furlough days as an option to offsetting staff layoffs. It was reported to the Board that a joint meeting with SEA and CSEA took place on March 18th. No decisions were reached and options are still under consideration by all.
Administration reported that both SEA and CSEA expressed concern that any potential salary reductions reflect a sunset date and are directly linked to saving positions only within their respective employee groups. I suggested, and the Board agreed, to consider a fair share reduction strategy when reducing positions or considering salary proposals.

Fair share would work as follows:
1. Identify targeted reductions needed in each year
2. Reduce target by non-staff related reductions as prioritized by the Board
3. Divide the remaining target into proportional “fair shares”
9% - Unrepresented groups (Management / Confidential)
22% - CSEA- remaining classified employees (non-management)
69% - SEA- certificated (non-management or temporary certificated)
4. Board prioritizes staff reductions based the fair share portions of the remaining target.

This would allow each group to consider salary or furlough options and assure a direct and proportional impact on the groups they represented.
The chart above suggests what that remaining target might be. It was pointed out to the Board that the remaining target would undoubtedly change based on the May election impact and Federal Stimulus. However, both these issue will take some time to determine due the uncertainty about how much we will receive and when we might receive it. Again, this fair share data is posted on our blog site.

As always, I welcome and encourage your questions. Our next Board meeting and budget discussion will be held next Tuesday, April 7th, starting at 7:00 p.m. at Sanders Elementary School.

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