News

PUSD prepares to cut $11 million from 2020-21 budget

With dueling proposals from governor & legislature, PUSD bracing for reductions from state

A special online study session for the Pleasanton Unified School District Board of Trustees has been called for Monday night, starting at 5:30 p.m., to discuss the 2020-21 budget and what officials called "the need for fiscal changes as a result of the Governor’s May Revise Budget."

The district said it "needs to identify $11 million of reductions from the baseline budget to be ready for potential state cuts" attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Gavin Newsom's May revise budget projects a $41.2 billion revenue shortfall and a $12.8 billion expenditures increase for the state in fiscal years 2019-20 and 2020-21. Significant reductions including 10% from the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) have been proposed by Newsom.

An alternative state budget rejecting most of Newsom's proposals for K-12 education funding is currently being developed by the State Legislature. That option "reallocates funds to the LCFF formula and relies on potential federal funding to lessen the impact to school districts from the current financial crisis," according to district documents.

"Significant changes" to the proposed state budget and "a great deal of negotiations" are expected between now and June 15 -- the deadline for legislators to send the approved budget for Newsom's signature -- but the district said it "must plan for the more conservative budget proposal (May Revise) and be ready to make the needed adjustments once we have a final approved state budget" in order to move forward.

Help sustain the local news you depend on.

Your contribution matters. Become a member today.

Join

The board held a May 26 study session to review and discuss the 2020-21 budget. Key items from that meeting will be reviewed on Monday when assistant superintendent of business services Ahmad Sheikholeslami is expected to give a presentation.

Topics and items that Sheikholeslami will also cover include the 2020-21 district budget, a review of the state funding for school districts, and an update on the state budget and proposed K-12 funding options.

Other considerations like increased costs related to reopening campuses for the 2020-21 school year during the pandemic such as extra cleaning, custodial and operational costs and startup expenses for distance learning and independent studies will also be discussed.

The district said it will "only make the necessary and needed reductions to remain fiscally healthy and solvent" and "anticipates it will have to make significant changes to the budget after the state’s budget is finalized."

PUSD staff will present a budget proposal for the board's approval at their June 25 meeting. A progress report will be given at the board's June 11 meeting.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Follow PleasantonWeekly.com and the Pleasanton Weekly on Twitter @pleasantonnews, Facebook and on Instagram @pleasantonweekly for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

PUSD prepares to cut $11 million from 2020-21 budget

With dueling proposals from governor & legislature, PUSD bracing for reductions from state

by Julia Baum / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Sun, Jun 7, 2020, 2:45 pm

A special online study session for the Pleasanton Unified School District Board of Trustees has been called for Monday night, starting at 5:30 p.m., to discuss the 2020-21 budget and what officials called "the need for fiscal changes as a result of the Governor’s May Revise Budget."

The district said it "needs to identify $11 million of reductions from the baseline budget to be ready for potential state cuts" attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Gavin Newsom's May revise budget projects a $41.2 billion revenue shortfall and a $12.8 billion expenditures increase for the state in fiscal years 2019-20 and 2020-21. Significant reductions including 10% from the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) have been proposed by Newsom.

An alternative state budget rejecting most of Newsom's proposals for K-12 education funding is currently being developed by the State Legislature. That option "reallocates funds to the LCFF formula and relies on potential federal funding to lessen the impact to school districts from the current financial crisis," according to district documents.

"Significant changes" to the proposed state budget and "a great deal of negotiations" are expected between now and June 15 -- the deadline for legislators to send the approved budget for Newsom's signature -- but the district said it "must plan for the more conservative budget proposal (May Revise) and be ready to make the needed adjustments once we have a final approved state budget" in order to move forward.

The board held a May 26 study session to review and discuss the 2020-21 budget. Key items from that meeting will be reviewed on Monday when assistant superintendent of business services Ahmad Sheikholeslami is expected to give a presentation.

Topics and items that Sheikholeslami will also cover include the 2020-21 district budget, a review of the state funding for school districts, and an update on the state budget and proposed K-12 funding options.

Other considerations like increased costs related to reopening campuses for the 2020-21 school year during the pandemic such as extra cleaning, custodial and operational costs and startup expenses for distance learning and independent studies will also be discussed.

The district said it will "only make the necessary and needed reductions to remain fiscally healthy and solvent" and "anticipates it will have to make significant changes to the budget after the state’s budget is finalized."

PUSD staff will present a budget proposal for the board's approval at their June 25 meeting. A progress report will be given at the board's June 11 meeting.

Comments

William Dengler
Old Towne
on Jun 8, 2020 at 2:08 pm
William Dengler, Old Towne
on Jun 8, 2020 at 2:08 pm

Schools need to cut salaries for teachers, no question. And stop raising my business tax.


P-Town
Birdland
on Jun 8, 2020 at 6:49 pm
P-Town, Birdland
on Jun 8, 2020 at 6:49 pm

Boom - there it is. Raises in May. Cuts in June.


Fiscally Unsound
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2020 at 8:50 pm
Fiscally Unsound, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2020 at 8:50 pm

Why is the district proposing an entirely new position called, get this, the "Director of Educational Options" in the District Office? What is this and why does the PUSD need this?

Also why is the District paying the Speech Pathology Group, a firm in Walnut Creek, what looks to be around $1 million or more in checks in May to provide speech and language services? One check alone is 3/4 of a million dollars. So during COVID-19, does this during the shutdown, the District's own Speech and Language staff could not Zoom into students' homes and provide the needed services once or twice a week? How much did the District pay out in April and March?


DKHSK
Bridle Creek
on Jun 8, 2020 at 8:52 pm
DKHSK, Bridle Creek
on Jun 8, 2020 at 8:52 pm

1. Cut district management
2. Cut teachers and increase class size (cause you know they won't take a pay cut)
3. Renegotiate all procurement activities

We told you to not close down the economy.

You all thought you could teach from home while all that real estate went unused?

LOL!!!

Reap what you sow.

Oh I forgot, the union won't lose one dime of their revenues. You can bet on that.

Dan


PUSD Virtual School/Academy?
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2020 at 9:54 pm
PUSD Virtual School/Academy?, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2020 at 9:54 pm

From the job description of the new Educational Options Director, it sounds like the Superintendent wants to start a virtual online charter school -
"Oversees development of a virtual school/academy in accordance with Education
Code, including; WASC accreditation, UC course approvals, and charter
applications, grant writing, and budgets."

This Virtual School/Academy sounds very familiar. Isn't this what the current Pleasanton District's contracted auditor Ben Leavitt started with the Lennox Virtual Academy in southern California that was in all the Los Angeles, San Diego and San Bernadino county newspapers? The Lennox School District was subject to an investigation prior to this scheme being shut down, yes?

Here is one article from the LA Times ---
Web Link

Maybe this is why David Haglund hired Ben Leavitt in the first place as the PUSD auditor perhaps? Ben Leavitt created a firm called School Management Systems to manage the Lennox-created Virtual Academy and enroll students in private parochial schools that were attending Catholic schools into the Lennox Virtual Academy school.

Why is the superintendent proposing an online virtual academy charter school director without first getting buy-in from the community? It sounds like this job description is more like a mandate to create a charter school of online learning that will eliminate a lot of certificated teachers. The one in Lennox didn't even use teachers. It contracted with the Acellus company instead.

It seems like once again the summer is being used to sneak things through the community without adequate notice or transparency. And it looks as though this wee they are hiring this position as well simultaneously with approving the the job description. What a shame.


Fiscally Unsound
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2020 at 10:25 pm
Fiscally Unsound, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2020 at 10:25 pm

I just googled "Director of Educational Options" and lo and behold, it looks like David Haglund has basically copied his own previous job description that he had at Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) where he was Director of Educational Options and Principal of Riverside Virtual School in the Riverside Unified School District.


Fiscally Unsound
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2020 at 10:42 pm
Fiscally Unsound, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 8, 2020 at 10:42 pm

Also on EDJOIN Web Link given the application period just closed on Friday at noon, it sounds like this position is pre-wired for someone already. Come on, can we really believe that all the applicants were called in for interviews somewhere between 12:01 and 5:00 PM on Friday afternoon?

After all, how could they have possibly have been any interviews at all for this position if the Board is set to hire someone this week and it is on the agenda already for hiring?

Sounds like to me this has been in the works for quite a long time....


PUSD High School Teacher
another community
on Jun 9, 2020 at 8:37 am
PUSD High School Teacher, another community
on Jun 9, 2020 at 8:37 am

I suspect that the district anticipates a large number of students who won't choose to return to the classroom in the fall. This will require a robust virtual program and someone to oversee it. I'm ususally quite critical of the D.O., but I'm reserving judgement on this one. This position might be necessary.


DKHSK
Bridle Creek
on Jun 9, 2020 at 9:14 am
DKHSK, Bridle Creek
on Jun 9, 2020 at 9:14 am

"I suspect that the district anticipates a large number of students who won't choose to return to the classroom in the fall."

This sounds about right.

I would add:

1. Cut most electives.
-Electives should be jobs-based and cover trade skills, with the opportunity to earn certification equal to market-based programs. This would only be open to Juniors and Seniors.
-Electives that are not trades skills-based should be pay only and not be required.
2. Streamline the learning process and cover only core classes. Math, English (reading and writing), Science, History.

Number 1 is the key. Imagine a high school that gives kids the necessary skills and certification (HVAC, Electronics, Plumbing, construction technology, auto mechanics...etc.) to go out and work in the trades as soon as they are done with school.

Problem solved.

Dan


Wow
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2020 at 9:26 am
Wow , Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2020 at 9:26 am

Eliminate all school sports. Let the community do that. Then use all the funds and time to do what dan said.
Get these kids educated and working and paying taxes. Protest and poor decisions aren't free. They have a huge debt to pay. I for one just retired and am gonna watch this
As the reps from chi town just said
This s. T. Show go on
Wheres the popcorn?


PUSD Virtual School/Acadeny?
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2020 at 1:18 pm
PUSD Virtual School/Acadeny?, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2020 at 1:18 pm

Here is the Lennox SD agenda when the PUSD auditor's contract (Ben Leavitt) open ended contract for the Virtual Academy was approved
Web Link

Ben Leavitt's location on 4133 Redwood for School Management Solutions in this contract Web Link looks to be some sort of condominium or apartment, doesn't it?

Can someone explain this set up for the "Virtual School" and this open ended contract and can someone explain why PUSD's job posting for the Director of Educational Options position was only posted for 2 days (June 3 - June 5)?


resident
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2020 at 6:32 am
resident, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2020 at 6:32 am

DKHSK,

i never agree with you. that said....

"Number 1 is the key. Imagine a high school that gives kids the necessary skills and certification (HVAC, Electronics, Plumbing, construction technology, auto mechanics...etc.) to go out and work in the trades as soon as they are done with school."


i completely agree! great suggestion.



Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.