I stayed all the way to the end. There were some important decisions made tonight.
First, the board is going forward with plans to cut over $9 million out of the budget for the next academic year. These are serious cuts -- the total budget of the district is about $130 million.
Second, they have not yet voted to go forward with a parcel tax (though it sounds like several are leaning that way) and they are open to community input. If you didn't feel comfortable speaking up at the meeting, you can email them to express your point of view.
Third, Superintendent Casey is rolling back five days of his pay between now and the end of this fiscal year, and another five days in the next fiscal year (2009-2010). Other administrators will be asked if they can voluntarily take days without pay.
Fourth, 17.5 administrative positions were eliminated. Those people in management positions do not have union contracts. They were not "laid off". The likelihood that they will rehired is probably zero. Those positions amount to over 20% of the administrative positions in the district.
Fifth, the only reason that another position was not eliminated was that three members of the human relations staff volunteered to take pay cuts. Two of them will reduce their salary by 40%. The third will reduce salary by 20%. Together, these voluntary actions will save more from the administrative budget than would the reduction of a full position.
Sixth, Valerie Arkin stated a desire to ask the teachers' union to modify their contracts, so that they are paid for one non-student work day during the year, rather than two. After the meeting, Superintendent Casey stated that the district is meeting with the teachers' union this Friday, so negotiating will be underway. I do not know what other concessions the district may ask for from the teachers.
If others who were not present have questions, and are not able to view the meeting on TV 30 when it airs, please post here and I will see if I can answer from my notes.
I was a member of the audience, so that's what I heard -- I don't speak for anyone else, and any errors in my understanding are mine alone.