Dear Students, Staff, Parents, and Community Members,
The single greatest challenge we face as a school district in the next couple of months is financial. Our district’s multi-year projections (three years) indicates that we are facing a dramatic budget shortfall test. There are three factors that have caused the current fiscal challenge:
-MDUSD has been experiencing a consistent decline in student enrollment over the past ten years. It is important to note that many school districts in the Bay Area and throughout the state are faced with the same impact of declining enrollment.
-The California Department of Education has required every school district in the state to dramatically increase the contribution to CalSTRS (State Teachers Retirement) and CalPERS (Public School Employees Retirement System). This increased funding demand directly impacts the district’s general fund that is normally intended for general education programs and staffing.
-MDUSD, along with every other school district in the state, is required to comply with all state and federal regulations to provide special education services. We are proud to serve our students with special needs, and yet this mandate does not come with the requisite funding to address the increased financial burden to the district. As a result, the district must make up the difference in cost with general funds that were intended to fund general education programs.
MDUSD has been deficit spending over the last six years, with expenditures exceeding revenue. As a result, our “reserve” or savings to help with increases in expenditures has been eroded to be close to the state required minimum.
It is important to note the district has weathered budget storms like this before (late 1990s and 2008). While the impacts and effects of these budget challenges are real, Mt Diablo Unified has always endured and emerged from each budget crisis stronger and more focused on the needs of students. The central focus of our school board members, as they address this challenge, is to work collaboratively with the community to keep students at the center of all financial decisions.
The timeline for addressing these required budget reductions is compressed to comply with the March 15th deadline to notify certificated staff (teachers and leaders) of possible reassignment or elimination of positions. With input from the community, staff, and students, the school board will review a list of budget solutions (more commonly known as reductions) over the next couple of weeks. There are many ways the greater school community can provide feedback, discuss budget solutions, and ultimately make budget reductions.
This page will continue to have weekly updates to provide the community with current information about our budget solution process as it moves into actions by the school board. Please note that an additional Special Board Meeting has been added to continue to discuss budget solutions on Monday, March 2nd at 5 pm.