Tonight, the Mt. Diablo School Board will meet to discuss, on several fronts, what are likely to be the next round of severe budget cuts. According to the Mt. Diablo Blog, the word from the state is that that the budget shortfall is expected to be $20.7 billion over the next 18 months.
On December 8th we will begin the process of looking at reductions and we need our community to weigh in. On December 14th there will be a community meeting to discuss action plans on how we are going to move forward as a community to protect services that we provide to our students. A link to the information for that meeting is contained here.
At the same time, the board is expected to vote tonight on extending the teacher contracts for the next three years, which will save teachers from salary cuts but also freeze any salary increases. A parent posted a commentary voicing concern about keeping the contract in place on the MDUSD parents blog:
Is that fair? I don't think so. In the same meeting they will be discussing more cuts that will impact the students, and then will vote to keep status quo for the teachers?
Parents and other community members are rallying to find ways to raise money to protect programs. As Claycord.com reported the Mount Diablo Education Foundation will hold a 24-hour Music-A-Thon early next year to save elementary school music. The fourth grade music program was cut in last year’s cuts, and now the fifth-grade program is at risk. Elementary, middle, and high school bands will perform for 24 hours over the weekend of January 16 and 17 at Concord High School to raise money for these programs.
Finally, if you’re interested in working on a new effort to pass another parcel tax, you can attend another meeting on Monday, December 14 to hear the results of a recent community polling effort as well as learn how you can help.
As you may remember, in the spring, the district attempted to pass a $99 per parcel tax that would have greatly reduced the necessity to further cut education spending. The measure received 59 percent approval from voters—a majority, yes—but not the two-thirds majority necessary for passage.