Thursday, May 21, 2009

Budget Crisis

An email I received at work:

Here is what I’ve been told:

  • The Board will meet 6/09/09 and determine layoffs
  • Classes sizes will go to 38-1 next year
  • There is very little chance of teachers coming back from initial layoffs in March
  • Vanden will be cutting 6 FTE. Mathematically it works out to 6.6 FTE
  • English will lose over one FTE. Math will lose over one FTE. Science will lose over one FTE. Social Science will lose about one FTE. I’m not sure where the other cuts will come.
  • Visual Arts will go to 34-1
  • Career Tech will go to 30-1
  • English 38-1 (This translates into over 1 FTE layoff. Keep in mind Golden West is slated to lose 4-5 FTE total)
  • Foreign Language will go to 38-1
  • Math will go to 38-1
  • Physical Ed will go to 50-1
  • Science will go to 32-1
  • Social Science will go to 38-1
  • Health will go to 38-1

The district is planning to purchase furniture

Golden West will be forced to eliminate 4-5 FTE

Tech is not scheduled for reductions

Questions that were not answered:

Can the district support 4 levels of language at Vanden?

What else will be cut?

It is unclear who will lose their job since bumping rights come into play. Teachers with more time in Travis may move from other school sites into jobs at Vanden. Senior members of our department understand this process more than I do.

A response from a co-worker:

Here are some ideas being contemplated around the nation in order to preserve core programs and class sizes. These are not my recommendations, but they are things I’ve read about when mammoth budget cuts hit. They aren’t pretty, but I can see how other districts are trying to keep cuts as far away from the classroom as possible. That might not be too bad of an idea. I’m certain our trusty leadership is looking into alternate ways to avert such a catastrophic degradation of learning conditions.

(1) Axe sports. The kids can play in a city league. Or they can fundraise to make their sports happen.

(2) Eliminate district office clerical staff. If teachers have no secretaries, why do administrators get so many of them?

(3) Eliminate standardized testing. It costs the state a ton of money. It's a luxury for when we have money.

(4) On the days there would've been testing, furlough everyone in the district and reduce their pay by that amount.

(5) Charge students and parents for things not required by ed-code (lab fees, art fees, bus fees, parking fees).

(6) Add minutes to each school day in order to eliminate a day or two from the calendar. Those days will save on electricity, busses, etc.

(7) Get rid of career/college counselors. Kids can research on their own online.

(8) Eliminate libraries. Make the kids go to the county and city libraries.

(9) Increase class sizes to 25 per teacher in K-3, an in-between number.

(10) Sell ad space (on student handouts, lockers, desktops) to local and national businesses.

(11) Merge districts. Companies merge to save on overhead and corporate office expenses. It's streamlining.

(12) Eliminate campus monitors, yard duty supervisors. Call 911 when there's a fight or an injury.

(13) Do not hire consultants or lawyers for the district. Delay these expenses until there is money.

(14) Rent land and facilities. Schools sit empty at night, on weekends, and during the summer. Rent the space out to another group. The gyms can become health clubs when not being used.

It doesn't look good for me. I wont know anything definite for a while but it honestly doesn't look good.

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