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Parents find $8M deficit hard to swallow

Original post made on Feb 4, 2010

Pleasanton Unified School District is now preparing to make $8 million in reductions to next year's budget, and parents aren't happy about it.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, February 4, 2010, 7:07 AM

Comments (8)

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Posted by P-town Dad
a resident of Amador Estates
on Feb 4, 2010 at 8:40 am

Was there any discussion of reducing expenses in areas that don't directly affect children, such as district expenses or salary freezes or reductions?

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Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2010 at 8:43 am

Where did you get the details on this? They are extremely biased in their reporting. The markets are crashing today as Greece, Spain etc. are being decimated on sovereign debt risk. U.K. and U.S. are coming up.We have no choice but to cut salaries, pensions etc.

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Posted by Describer
a resident of Laguna Vista
on Feb 4, 2010 at 9:17 am

I say salary cuts across the whole district 15% would save a lot of programs. Several corporations did this, saved jobs and ended up making profit in the end. I am a teacher in waiting and want to volunteer my salary (I have support!) PUSD and several other districts said no thank you!!! Well, this type of volunteer could give this district high quality service for free!!! They said NO!!!
I have my credential and Master's to boot!!!

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Posted by HonestMom
a resident of Pleasanton Middle School
on Feb 4, 2010 at 2:35 pm

HonestMom is a registered user.

Yep: Problem at this point is the teachers union refusing to budge on wage concessions. The NEA and state teachers union would rather let the kids suffer than face reality and offer up some wage concessions and reduce some ofthe expesnive programs. At some point things will start to come crashing down thanks to these unions.

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Posted by mannyman
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 4, 2010 at 2:36 pm

mannyman is a registered user.

"such as district expenses or salary freezes or reductions?"

How are these not directly affecting students? If these do not, please tell we what expenditures the district has that directly affect students?

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Posted by mannyman
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 4, 2010 at 2:51 pm

mannyman is a registered user.

Just curious as to why its the teachers responsibility to take a pay cut to save educational programs?

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Posted by SteveP
a resident of Parkside
on Feb 5, 2010 at 8:41 am

SteveP is a registered user.

Teachers are not the only one's responsible, it's everyone on the district's payroll. Labor is one of the biggest expenses (if not the biggest), along with benefits.
You will get the biggest bang for the buck by addressing cuts to the largest expnses items on the district budget.

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Posted by Sandy
a resident of Mohr Park
on Feb 5, 2010 at 8:51 am

Sandy is a registered user.

To answer P-town dad, "Was there any discussion of reducing expenses in areas that don't directly affect children, such as district expenses?"

There are a number of district expenses included on the cut list.
- $72,000 reduction in district office professional services
- $450,000 reduction in site and district office classified support positions (2 each at Amador and Foothill, one at each middle school, and 3 in the district office)

On the negotiable items, if work days are reduced for teachers, they are also reduced for classified staff and for management (including the superintendent and assistant superintendents). I don't think it would be a stretch to ask management to commit to those furlough days now, before negotiations with the unions are completed.

I don't know what fraction of the $450K per day of work days is attributed to management. There are only 44 management positions left, and next year the total will probably only be 41, since the cut list also includes the reduction of 3 management employees at the sites (1 elementary VP and 1 each at Amador and Foothill.) (I do think that eliminating those positions will impact students directly, but others might disagree).

The other negotiable item that would impact district staff would be the outsourcing of the warehouse and graphics departments (projected savings $250,000). That will affect students indirectly, if teachers cannot get worksheets and such copied as quickly, but it would probably not be all that noticeable to parents or students.

So, that would add up to $772,000 in savings from cuts in district expenses and an unknown fraction of the $450K per day saved if work days are reduced.

Last year, management (including district office salaried employees and site principals and vice principals) made voluntary concessions as well, even though the unions did not (after the failure of measure G). With the fundraising from ILPP (which I believe raised about $450,000 in July and August) and the voluntary concessions and other late-in-the-game cuts in district expenses, $1.3 million in programs were restored for the current school year, including about 15 FTE in jobs.

So last year the voluntary concessions must have been pretty significant, if only 44 management team members generated somewhere between $200,000 and $400,000 in total (that's my estimate, the number is not broken out anywhere in particular). That works out to somewhere between $4,500 and $9,000 in concessions from each management team employee, on average.

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