Message from the Superintendent – October.08.2018
Welcome back to the second quarter of the 2018-19 school year! Hope you had a great break!
During the break many of you hopefully read the email I sent September 26, 2018, on behalf of the Board of Trustees and me, regarding our budget situation. Perhaps you also read some concerning information in the media or heard rumors about how we were going to solve our budget challenges. We are sorry that all this news may have caused uncertainty or worry about how this might impact you personally.
Please know that during the break lots of work has been done to resolve our significant budget challenges. We are confident to say that by working together, we have been able to achieve a balanced operating budget and do so in a way that results in the least disruption to staff, continues to put students first, and does not jeopardize student/staff safety on our campuses.
Our team began to reconstruct our 2018-19 budget and rebuild it in a way that would meet the identified shortfalls and do so in a way that is solid, sound, and compassionate to all stakeholders. Since the September 24th Board Meeting, we immediately began discussing with our internal labor partners, district leaders, as well as outside agencies such as the California Department of Education and the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) to address this current challenge.
We appreciate all the suggestions from staff that we heard in meetings or received via email or the online survey. Many of those suggestions are being brought forward to the Board at the Monday, October 8th, meeting. Some examples include energy cost savings, freezing unfilled positions, reduction in the work year for all Management, and program funding shifts from General Fund budgets to restricted budgets such as Title I and Title IV.
Throughout this budget challenge, we believe that we have remained pragmatic, honest, and transparent in our efforts. This process has also enabled us to implement new practices and protocols that will help prevent this situation in the future. We cannot give enough thanks to our labor partners and all of our employee units who were willing to work together and find solutions while not compromising our Mission, Beliefs, and organizational values.
You are invited to look at the documents we are presenting to our Board of Trustees on Monday by going to this link. We encourage all stakeholders to watch the live streaming of this meeting.
Thank you for your continued support for our Mission, Beliefs, and LCAP Goals. As we move forward, let’s continue to remember our theme of T.E.A.M. – Together Everyone Always Matters – and organizational decisions are always better when we work together as partners.