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  • Monday, March 22, 2010

     

    NEW OUSD BUDGET CUTS INCLUDE POTENTIAL LAYOFFS

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    a news service of Orange Net News /O/N/N/
    Independent insight into OUSD

    NEW OUSD BUDGET CUTS INCLUDE POTENTIAL LAYOFFS

    “The state has said here’s your two fish and five loaves, now go make an educational banquet” –OUSD Board Member Melissa Smith 3/4/10


    At the March 4th OUSD Board of Trustees meeting, the somber and at often times angry OUSD Trustees approved a trio of measures required under state mandated deadlines that included further cuts to district programs and set the ground work for further staff layoffs beyond the $88 million in cuts already instituted in the last three years. Working almost blindly with only an initially proposed and surely to be changed Governor’s Proposed Budget, the Trustees often lashed out at the gridlocked state government in Sacramento as they unanimously voted to put in place additional deep budget cuts aimed at closing continued projected budget deficits. Those votes keep the financially conservative Orange Unified as one of the few districts in Orange County to be able to report a Positive Certification to the Orange County Department of Education for the state required Second Interim Financial Report. This means that the district projects it can meet its financial obligations for the current year and the subsequent two fiscal years. The coming 2010-2011 budget year is by most accounts on track to be the most challenging budget year in the current recession for state and local governments. Qualifying their votes as worst case scenarios, the OUSD Trustees often spoke of their duty to vote to meet the legal budget deadlines for the budget that has been squeezed by a recession and a state government in political gridlock.

    Few new options remain for the Trustees after three years of cuts totaling $88 million. Yet the Trustees grasped at the few rays of potential hope. Trustee Kathy Moffat and Kim Nichols looked hopefully to unforeseen one time funding, which by their own admissions was unlikely to possibly ease some of the budget pain. Trustee Mark Wayland looked to leasing unused district surplus land to generate revenue. When told those monies would by state laws only to be used for capital improvements, Wayland continued to think out-of-the-box and asked if installing solar at schools (he has solar panels on his home) could qualify as a capital improvement that then could save general funds used to pay electrical bills. Wayland was told that would be scenario that would be allowed. In examining the “menu” of cuts on the agenda, Trustee Rick Ledesma supported by Trustee Dr. Alexia Deligianni stated they would like the teachers to be presented with the choice to opt to take further pay cuts or opt for class size increases. Absent from the OUSD Staff suggested “menu” of cuts, and the a-la-cart off the cuff Trustee proposals, was the option of consolidation of the remaining OUSD surplus small elementary schools. It appears that the option for closing more small schools (which has grown in popularity as deeper cuts have been introduced) has been taken off “the menu” in favor of cutting programs and the school year, increasing class sizes, and cutting jobs and wages.
    (For a complete rundown of the Agenda Items approved at the 3/4/10 meeting CLICK ON: OUSD MARCH 4)

    INSIDE the March 25, 2010 Board Agenda
    The Thursday March 25 Orange Unified School Board agenda will include publicly declaring OUSD’s negotiating intentions with its employee unions. The process also known as “sun shining” includes the OUSD Board approved cuts from the March 4, 2010 OUSD Board Meeting. Agenda Action Item 12 A (page 3-4) March 25, 2010 lists the initial OUSD bargaining proposals to the Orange Unified Educators Association, the district’s teachers union. The proposals include: freezing step (longevity) pay increases; limiting column pay increases for completing educational units to one time a year; extending terms of the September 2009 MOU agreement; reducing the school year by 5 days; extending kindergarten to a full day; increasing class size rations in 3-12 grades; extending the temporary high school counselor staffing provision.

    Agenda Action Item 12 B (page 5-6) for the March 25 meeting is the agenda item for the same “sun shining” process for the support staff union, the California School Employees Association Chapter 67. OUSD’s bargaining proposals for the support staff union includes: salary cuts; restructuring salary schedules; and extension of furlough days.

    Other March 25, 2010 Agenda Items:
    Agenda Action Item 12 C (page 7-8): revising the Board Policy to allow all day kindergarten designed to generate more revenue for OUSD

    Agenda Information Item 12 A (page 9): A Progress Update on the OUSD Three Year Strategic Plan 2009-2012.

    INSIDE Community Donations
    Canyon Band Boosters-$8345.00 for Canyon H.S. salary stipends; Cero Villa PFSO-$4958.15 for Cerro Villa M.S. supplies; Vanguard Football Boosters $700-for El Modena H.S. salary stipends; Villa Park H.S. Baseball Boosters- $3,500 for Villa Park H.S. salary stipends; Pacific Life Foundation- $3,000 for Running Springs technology equipment. (For a complete list of the $88, 850 in donations see Agenda page 11).

    INSIDE the OUSD Budget

    INSIDE’s EDUCATIONAL TAX DOLLARS WATCH 2010:
    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2010: $ 0 *

    INSIDE’s EDUCATIONAL TAX DOLLARS WATCH 2009:
    Total $378,000*
    2009 Attorney Fee Tally:
    11/13/08 Parker & Covert (for 1/09 -6/09) $200,000
    3/12/09 Atkinson, Andelson, Loya (Sp. Ed) $ 50,000
    Parker & Covert (Special Ed) $ 98,000
    Total $348,000

    2009 Consultant/ Speaker Fee Tally:
    01/24/09 Leadership Associates Consultants $ 3,000
    2009 TOTAL $ 378,000

    Former Superintendent Godley’s Retirement Bonus running total (beginning 8/2008): $22,710.00*

    * The Godley Retirement Bonus presented here is an estimate of the amount in “bonus retirement” accrued since the Superintendent’s retirement on 6/30/08 using a 6% lifetime formula calculated here at $1210 a month since 8/08. The actual retirement plan the former OUSD Superintendent opted to take is not public information and the figures presented are only as an estimate of the taxpayer costs after the OUSD trustees voted against an amendment to exclude Godley from the retirement program. The on-going estimated figure is presented as a reminder to the community of the high cost in educational tax dollars the OUSD Board vote to allow the former Superintendent to participate in the 6% retirement incentive cost the OUSD education community in tax dollars. Godley retired from OUSD on June 30, 2008 after he worked for the school district for a little over five years.

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2008: $901,200*

    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2007: $704,090*


    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2006: $849,717*
    2006 Administrative Conference/Travel: Total $ 18,317 *

    * JUNE 8th, 2006 Trustees VOTE to Give OUSD Superintendent the power to
    APPROVE OUSD Travel Requests taking this item OUT of the PUBLIC AGENDA


    Total for Watched Tax Dollars approved in 2005: $978,300

    Next OUSD Board Meeting March 25, 2010 -OUSD BOARD ROOMFOR the Agenda CLICK ON: AGENDA MARCH 25, 2010

    CLOSED SESSION- 6:00 pm
    OUSD Regular Session: 7:00 pm

    For more information call the OUSD Superintendent’s office at 714-628-4040
    For budgeting questions call Business Services at 714-628-4015

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
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