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Budget Update

 

Mt. Diablo Unified’s Budget for 2019-2020

The Mt. Diablo Unified School District is committed to educational equity, excellence, and access for every student, and continued fiscal stability.     With the input of our families, community members, staff, and students – all important partners in education – we have developed budgets and funding priorities, identified through our school-based Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) and district-level Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP), that help us meet these priorities while also living within our means, and remaining financially stable and sustainable for years to come. 

 

While the increases to California’s preliminary budget for education are welcome and overdue, school districts across California remain seriously underfunded. The goal of the state’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is to gradually return school districts to the level of funding in place before California’s 2008 depression decimated education funding. When you read or hear things about the LCFF being “fully funded,” this is a good thing – but it’s important to understand this means school districts are returned to funding levels from 2007, not what districts would consider adequate funding for 2019-2020. In November 2018, the non-partisan Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) published its Financing California’s Public Schools report, showing that per pupil funding in California has increased dramatically but remains below the national average. Report summaries are available online in English and Spanish.

 

Although we would prefer that California were fully funding our schools, we must prepare to present a budget with significant reductions of $12M in the Fiscal Year 2019-2020. In our MDUSD Budget Survey, we ask you to provide feedback on areas of potential reduction and prioritize final reductions. This survey and additional community outreach efforts are running parallel to the efforts at the District Office to make necessary reductions and find additional efficiencies centrally.

 

Negotiations Update

We have received many questions about our contract and the budget in the last month.  Below please find some frequently asked questions about our district staffing, school support, and comparisons with other districts.

1.     When did negotiations begin with our unions?  Why are employees without a contract?

While the contract expired on June 30, 2018, negotiation teams from the District and each of our employee bargaining units with the exception of CST waited to begin negotiations until either summer break or once school was underway.

 

Employee Bargaining Unit

Negotiation Start Date

California School Employees Association (CSEA)

June 27, 2018

Clerical, Secretarial, Technical – Local 1 (CST)

February 8, 2018

Mt. Diablo Education Association (MDEA)

September 19, 2018

Mt. Diablo School Psychologists Association (MDSPA)

October 1, 2018

Teamsters Local 856

September 26, 2018

 

2.     Is staff without protection? What happens if we do not have a contract? 

Employees keep the contract that was in place from the past-negotiated agreement.

3.     The MDEA bargaining team has asked to increase the number of nurses, counselors, and librarians. What is the current ratio of counselors,             librarians, and nurses to students?

         Our current ratios are as follows:

Position

# Employees in Position

Ratio to # of Students

Counselor

62

498:1

Librarians

21

1464:1

Nurses

14

2183:1

Psychologists

72

428:1

Speech/Language/Hearing Specialists

43

719:1

 

In the last few years, the District has been able to centrally-fund a number of these positions, giving school sites the option of supplementing these FTEs with site discretionary funds as agreed upon by the schools’ SSCs based on site-specific needs and priorities. Centrally-funded FTE changes over past five years are:

  • Counselors = 61.60 FTE increase
  • Librarians = 3.24 FTE increase
  • Nurses = 3.75 FTE increase
  • Speech/Language/Hearing Specialists = <3.15> FTE decrease

It’s important to note that some student support positions, especially Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) and Special Education Assistants (SEAs), are historically hard to fill; a nationwide concern. (MDUSD offers a $5,000 signing bonus for SLPs.)

4.     How does this compare to others in the area?

        MDUSD’s ratios for 2017-2018 are shown below for the most recent year these data are available for other districts. MDUSD has continued to invest in student            services positions. 

number of students

5.     What about class size?

Over the past three years, we have been able to reduce class sizes to a rate well below the contract maximums. Going into 2019-2020, we anticipate class sizes going up slightly as enrollment decreases and funding in some categories decreases. Under the LCFF funding model, the District is funded for an average ratio of 24:1 for grades K- 3.

 

6.     How come some K-3 classes are higher?

        Individual classes may be slightly lower or higher than 24:1 but on average per school site, the District does maintain ratios of 24:1 for grades K – 3.

 

7.     What are the ratios for the other grades?

        The chart below shows the average class size for TK through grade 12.

chart of average class size by grade level

8.     What kind of measures are being put in place to reduce spending?

        Budget restrictions put into place February 7, 2019 include:

  • Reducing expenditures for this year to conserve the ending fund balance to fund the deficit and avoid some reductions.
  • Restrictions included unapproved/unfunded professional development, overtime, filling of most vacancies, and non-critical supplies

         Potential Savings from Restrictions:  $2,800,000

 

        Budget reductions put into place for this year, and the associated savings, include:

  • Filling non-critical staffing vacancies
    • Anticipated Savings - $2,900,000
  • Contracts
    • Anticipated Savings - $100,000
  • Cellphone Stipends
    • Anticipated Savings - $40,000
  • Food
    • Anticipated Savings - $15,000

         Potential Savings from Other Budget Reductions:  $3,055,000

 

We encourage our staff, families, and other educational partners to participate in our MDUSD Budget Survey and provide feedback on areas of potential reduction and to prioritize final reductions. This survey is running parallel to central office actions taken for budget restrictions, reductions, and efforts to find additional efficiencies centrally.

 

9.     There has been some talk that the District has $19 million it is planning to spend on books and supplies.  Is that accurate?

That is not accurate. The District has budgeted $19.7 million in restricted funds for a variety of expenditures, including $3.3 million for books and other instructional materials. The full $19.7 million restricted budget is detailed in the chart below.

restricted budget

10.   How much do we receive in funding compared to other districts in the area?

Mt. Diablo Unified last year received approximately $11,600 in per-pupil funding, falling about mid-range for local districts for all funding sources.

2017-18 funding received by student

11.    How much has teacher, librarian, counselor and nurse compensation increased in the last four years?

The increase in compensation over the last four years for teachers, librarians, counselors and nurses is higher than most other districts in the region.  Comparisons of increased total compensation can be seen below.

teacher compensation

12.   Where can I go to get more information?                                                                                                                   

         Our current budget development timeline, reports, presentations, and other materials are posted here.  Additionally, we have a survey where we encourage staff, families, community members and others to provide input on budget priorities, restrictions, and reductions.