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March 2, 2010

Walnut Creek schools district cuts proposed: Class sizes may be affected, a middle school vice principal position eliminated, teacher furloughs instituted

Walnut Creek School District Superintendent Patty Wool sent out this bulletin to parents, letting them know about recommendations made by a Budget Review Committee to cut $1 million from the 2010-11 academic year budget.  These recommended cuts will be presented to the school board on March 8.

As Wool says: "Due to dwindling state funds to school districts, the Walnut Creek School District must cut $1 million dollars from its budget for the 2010-11 school year. During February, three groups--employees, managers, and parents--met separately and created three different cost containment lists. Then on February 24, the Budget Review Committee--comprised of two school board members, two principals, the superintendent, the chief business official, two parents, three classified employees, and four teachers--met and created the 'Draft Cost Containment List' that will be presented to the Governing Board on March 8."

Here are some highlights (or lowlights, rather) of the "Draft Cost Containment List":

District Office Savings:
--Superintendent Secretary, 20 percent, $18,990
--Director of Facilities 20 percent, $24,066 as of Sept 1
--Tech Support, $73,808
--Purchasing, $29,447
--Sub Coordinator, $30,318
--No Summer School (Regular Ed), $35,000
TOTAL: Around $200,000 

Special Education Savings
--Contracted Speech Therapist, $16,000
--School Psych .10, $8,403
--Para-three hour, $8,791 (no lay off)
--Speech therapist .4, $32,323
--Guest speech program, $12,529
--Change of student placement, $33,700
TOTAL: around $100,000

Staff and teacher salary savings--Furlough, 2 days (One staff development day; one student day), $200,000
--Reduce 1 Middle School vice principal, $120,000
--Reduce one Coach, (If State budget crisis continues, cut coach program entirely for 2011-12) $80,000
--25 percent cut from SIP, $50,000

Class sizes and related issues
--Efficiently fill classes to ratios implemented in 2009-10, $260,000-$300,000
--25:1 K-3
--28:1 4-5
--Cap middle school core at 32:1
--Eliminate the Walnut Creek Intermediate chair prep period, $48,000

Savings to be Worked On:
--Medi-Cal Billing, $100,000
--Mats & amp; Uniforms $20,000
--Food Served at Events: $2,000
--Strategic Planning, $7,000
--Subbing: Managers to Sub 10-11, $3,000
--Roto Rooter: $4,000
--Facility Use/Contracts - Renegotiate. Amount TBD
--Close district office every Friday/employees work 10-hour days: $1,000

Wool concludes by saying: "We regret that any of these cuts are necessary; however, we need to make these cuts so that the Walnut Creek School District will be able to remain solvent in these difficult fiscal times."

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, there will be many layoffs with this budget crisis. Like many parents in our community, staff and teachers (and one VP in the district) will be loosing their jobs or taking a pay cut in order to keep their job. Rather than cutting salaries, the budget cites two furlough days for all district employees, which represents less than a 1% decrease in pay for the superintendent and principals who are the highest paid personnel in the district. Unlike the teachers, the superintendent and principals will not experience layoffs. This sends the wrong message. These administrators, as leaders of the district, should voluntarily take a 5% cut in pay to lead the way for their teachers and staff who will be receiving pink slips, or loosing prep periods, or adding more students to their classes. I do not think it is right that our administrators salaries do not reflect the fact that we are in a budget crisis. Two extra unpaid vacation days to someone who is making over 100,000 (principals) and 200,000 (superintendent) do not count as a sacrifice by any definition. Lead the way, leaders, and volunteer to take a cut: Take the moral high road. Your faculty, staff and parents will respect you for doing so. School Board:If they don't, then take a stand, and tell them that to keep their jobs, they will have to take a pay cut, just like everyone else. We need real leadership in this budget crisis. Such an act from our leadership creates a bonding in a crisis, a feeling like, we are all in this together, rather than the message that is implied from our leaders now, which is each man (or woman) for herself."

Murwood and WCI Parent

Anonymous said...

It's awful that people will be losing their jobs...I've been there. But they seem to have done a very good job considering the thankless task at hand.

Anonymous said...

Special Education Savings
--Contracted Speech Therapist, $16,000
--School Psych .10, $8,403
--Para-three hour, $8,791 (no lay off)
--Speech therapist .4, $32,323
***********

These cuts are INSANE! Note that secretary for the Superintindent has been cut, but there's no cut for the Sup's salary. Disgusting, but par.

Laura Joy said...

As the Superintendent's administrative assistant, I want to set the record straight. I chose to reduce my hours next year to spend more time with my husband who recently retired. I did not have my hours reduced.
Donna Ackermann

Anonymous said...

I'm sure it was a difficult task for the group to come handle. Taking into consideration, the sup's sec said it was her choice to cut her hours, I think the group did a decent job with the task that was given to them. At least it was a group effort.

Anonymous said...

As a 20 year veteran teacher of WCSD, I wholeheartedly support the budget advisory committee! Efforts and energy should be focused at the State level.

Anonymous said...

And it begins... Thanks to our nimrod Legislature and California's gifted ability to waste precious public resources on wasteful or unnecessary programs we end up having to make cuts to the very programs we ought to be focusing our investment on - schools and our childrens' future. How are we ever going to improve our situation if we're not educating our youth? Good luck keeping up with the India's and China's of the world in scientific pursuit and economic innovation if we can't even spend money to get our kids through K-6. Disgusting.

The District is making hard choices not entirely of their own making. It's unfortunate that those at the lower end of the totem pole are taking the brunt of the cuts, but it's not unique and the decision-making is not a simple calculus. At the end of the day, everybody - whether private or public sector, management or labor - is being forced to do more with less and to make painful cuts. Management will take its hits. This is not the end of the pain. I don't disagree that management should step up and cut its line, too. There is plenty of bloat from the top to the bottom. Dollars that could go to speech therapists, teachers, music and arts (they're important, too), and other activities that directly impact kids.

When are taxpayers going to wake up and tell the Legislature through the voting booth to get the house in order? We can't run finances like this as businesses or households - why do we think our government should be any different? For the sake of your own children, wake up sheeple!