Translate this page

1936 Carlotta Drive, Concord, CA 94519 (925) 682-8000

 District NewsRoom

You are here: Mt. Diablo Unified School District > District NewsRoom

Superintendent's Newsletter 

View pdf in English ~ View pdf in Spanish

Mt. Diablo USD News Update

Where Kids Come First

October 7, 2011




Under State law, the Board cannot consider the financial impact of a charter on the District when considering whether to approve or deny a charter school.  Now that the charter has been conditionally approved, the District must determine the impending on-going financial impact.  The information below was not part of the Board deliberation on the charter petition, but it now must be considered as part of the Board’s fiduciary responsibility to maintain fiscal solvency and educational programs for all District students.  The fiscal impact must be included in the 2011-12 First Interim financial report in December.

Per Student Funding

1.      Not all school districts are funded at the same rate.  Unified schooldistricts receive less funding per pupil than high schooldistrictsunder California’s funding formula.  Educational programs generally become more costly as students’ progress through the grades. (As explained below, however, our District is atypical regarding the cost to run an average elementary versus middle/high school). 

2.      Our District receives the unified school district per pupil fundingamount of $5,207 per student. By contrast, a conversion charter high school would receive the averageamount for high school districts which is $6,148.

3.      Our District, not the State, will be responsible for paying the conversion charter the $941[1] per student difference between the unified rate and the high school rate.  Payment will come from the funds generated by all other students in ourDistrict.

4.      Under AB 114, which was part of the 2011-12 budget adopted by the state in July, 2011, districts must transfer additional funds to new charters at the rate of $127 per student out of their StateCategoricalFunds.  OurDistrict is using most of these funds to balance our budgetincludingkeepingpeople employed and maintaining programs. 

5.      Consequently, one component of the charter’s cost to ourDistrict is:

$1.8 million[2]or $55 per pupil district-wide.[3]

Additional Expenses

6.      Currently, the average Districtteacherexpense including salary, statutory benefits, and health/dental benefits is:

·        Elementary:             $78,748

·        Middle School:       $71,285

·        High School:           $69,261


Note thatour elementary teachers have more years of experience than our secondary teachers.Therefore, the District’s average elementary school teacherexpense is 13.7 percent more than a high school teacher.

7.      Given the variance in teacher costs,plus the impact of the State budget cuts, and the overall cost of programs, we use revenue generated from each high school to support all programs and teachers District-wide. We estimate that due to the charter conversion, ourDistrict will have to cut an additional $598,002 to offset CVHS’ contribution to the General Fund.

Total Fiscal Impact

8.      Therefore, the Board must plan tocutthe General Fund by $2.4 million[4]or approximately $74 per pupil, beginning in 2012-13 school year when CVCHS opens.  This will need to be an on-going, not one time, reduction.

9.      School Services of California (a leading school finance authority)analyzed and verifiedthe calculations above.  Our District finance team is willing to partner with the charter organizers to bring in the Contra Costa County Office of Education or Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team (FCMAT),  bothunbiased outside organizations respected for their financial analysis ability, to conduct anotherreviewof the above calculations.


1.      When CVHS converts to a charter school, any CVHS teacheror classified support staff memberwho wants to remain a District employee has theright to do so.  The State’s contractual “bumping” process will displace more junior teachers and support staff members district-wide to ensure the District absorbs the more senior staff members from CVHS who intend to remain employed by the District. A teacher’s “bumping rights” will be determined by his/her years of experience and credentials.A classified support staff member’s “bumping rights” are determined by job classification and hours of service.This “bumping” will impacta majority of our schools. 

2.      Before March 15, 2012,we will create “bumping” listsand issue layoff notices to the least senior teachers throughout the District.  We will need to go through the same process for classified support staff members by April 30, 2012.

3.      Teachers and support staff members at CVHS need not notify us until June 30, 2012, whether they will remain with the District.  The timing will make it difficult to retain teachers who receive a layoff notice and are uncertain about their District employment.  We continue to ask the charter organizers and our CVHS faculty and staff members to provide the District with as much notice as possible.  Early notification will allow our District and CVCHS to adequately staff and plan for the students.  We ask for professional courtesy and integrity in this matter.   


1.      Our District must redraw the high school attendance boundaries to create a home school for students who currently attend CVHS and wish to attend a District high school.


2.      Based on space availability, students who are removed from or leave CVCHS will have the right to attend the high school in their attendance boundary.

[1] $6,148 - $5,207 = $941

[2]$1,792,960 is the total amount lost because of the $941 difference and the $127 per student loss in revenue.

[3] In a May2011, News Update, we explained the above facts, but did not know about the additional reduction of $127 from districts’ categorical funding to new charter schools.

[4]$1,792,960 + $598,002 = $2,390,962