2003-2004 Budget Reductions Frequently Asked Questions
1.)Why is AUSD planning for budget reductions in 2003-2004?
The 2002-03 California state budget passed in August, 2002 used hocus pocus to ignore a $26 billion problem. After the election, the Governor revealed there was a problem. That problem appeared to be around $30 billion. The Governor convened a Special Session in January to begin to address the problem. By March the Legislature sent legislation to Governor that uses more hocus pocus to address the problem. For the details of impact all of this hocus pocus, see Impact on AUSD.
2.)How much did AUSD sreduce its 2003-04 budget?
As of early April, AUSD is reduced its budget by $1,700,000.
3.)How was the $1,700,000 figure arrived at?
In the Governor's budget there is an assumption of a reduction to revenue limit of $100 per Average Daily Attendance(ADA). So $100 ADA x 10,000 AUSD students = $1,000,000. In addition, the Governor's 2003-04 budget does not allow for any Cost of Living Allowance(COLA) increase. So the 2003 1.5% COLA of the General Fund equals $700,000. In past years, AUSD has used COLA increases from the State to pay for the annual increases in operating expenses(insurance, utilities, supplies, etc) as well as salary increases associated with contractual langauge for length of service and professional development. In order to have it budget approved by the Alameda County Office of Education, the District is required to follow these guidelines.
4.)What steps did AUSD take to receive community input about the budget reductions?
In mid-March, the Superintendent's Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) met. They developed SEAC's Recommendations to the Superintendent that were given to the Superintendent on March 31st. For additional information, see SEAC Process.
5.)What are the District personnel implications of the Board of Education reductions?
6.)The SEAC recommendations contained $230,000 in District Office reductions plus an additional $120,000 in District Office reductions if the furlough is not obtained. However, the Superintendent's recommendations only contains $110,000 in District office reductions. Why?
In 2001, the Board of Edcuation approved reductions totaling $1,600,000. Of that total,$400,000+ were District Office reductions. These reductions have not been added back in 2002/03. As a result, AUSD has the lowest number of Administrators in Alameda county. In addition, the mandates from the State and Federal government continue to increase, resulting in signficant increases in District office work.
7.)I do not understand the budget reduction item lableled 9th Grade Student/Teacher Staffing Ratio. Only Freshmen Math and English have 20 to 1 student/teacher ratios. What does it mean to change the staffing ratio for the high schools?
This item could be labeled better. In the past, the high schools have been developing a master calendar using a staffing ratio that was less than the 29 to 1 student/teacher ratio. As a result between the two high schools ten additional teachers were being hired. By changing the staffing ratio, this reduce the number of teachers at the high school.
8.)How does the reduction of high school teachers impact the amount of courses offered?
As a general rule with less teachers there will be less periods taught. To determine the actual impact of a particular class you would have to contact the principal at the respective high school.
9.)What is the impact of AUSD not contributing to pay for a School Resource Officer in 2003/04?
In 2002/03 AUSD has three School Resource Officer working at three middle schools and two high schools. As a result of budget cuts in 2001/02, the city of Alameda assumed the cost of two officers for 2002/03. In 2003/04 AUSD will be not paying for any School Resource Officers. If the City of Alameda, continues to fund the two officers they pay for in 2002/03, then AUSD and city of Alameda would work together to determine how two School Resource Officers would be best utilized.
10.)Does the budget reduction item labeled Student Teacher Ratio increased the number of students in K-3 classes?
No. The Student Teacher Ratio item reflects a tighten of ratios across the District.
11.)Does the furlough reduce the number of days my child will attend school?
No. By law there are 180 student days that are required. The teacher have a 185 work day contract. Two of those five days are designated as Teacher Work Days. If the furlough is approved by all of the employee groups, then these two work days would be eliminated. The teachers would still be working, they just would not be paid.
12.)I must also question the timeline which was presented. I fail to understand the haste with which this budget cutting process was run. If the budget will have May revisions why did the Board feel compelled to act if they will, in all likelihood, have to revisit the issue again in May? Wouldn’t it have been more prudent to allow more time for other options to be explored? Don’t we as a district have until June to complete this process?
While the Board will be able to make adjustments until early June, administrative deadlines required the Board of Education take action on matters related to certificated employees layoffs. The District had to send on letters to affected employees by April 9th. Hence,the Board acted on April 8th.
13.)What happens if the furlough is passed by all employees bargaining units?
Depending on when the furlough is passed, affected employees layoff process would be averted (by May 13th when the Board must final action on certificated employees) or employees would be rehired based on their contractual rights.
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