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Alameda school board talks finances on election night

Submitted by on 1, March 7, 2011 – 12:01 am6 Comments

Alameda Unified is on track to spend $9.4 million more than it takes in this year, an interim budget report to be presented to the school board Tuesday will show.

The report, which will be presented to the board as ballots for the Measure A parcel tax election are counted, shows the district spending down most of its $14.2 million fund balance over the next three years and making $15.7 million in cuts for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years. The district is on track to spend $9.2 million of that balance this year and another $3.3 million in 2012-13, when the district’s existing parcel taxes lapse and state-offered flexibility on class sizes and the spending of funding previously restricted to specific programs ceases.

Proposed cuts for 2011-12 include elimination of adult education, 10 furlough days and 10 layoff days for teachers, closure of one of the district’s two remaining middle schools, increased K-3 class sizes to 32 students per teacher and elimination of freshman and junior varsity sports, for a total $3.9 million in savings.

District officials have proposed $11.8 million in cuts for 2012-13 that include a salary cut of up to 9.25 percent for teachers, three elementary school closures, a reduction a high school graduation requirements and elimination of elementary school music, media center and physical education programs and high school athletics, among other cuts.

Separately, the board is being asked to place an additional $2.9 million into its special fund for economic uncertainty. The district is legally required to maintain a 3 percent reserve for economic uncertainties, but it took the additional step to separate it from its budget in June 2008.

The money slated for the reserve includes nearly $2.4 million in per-student funding the school district got back from the state this year – money district officials anticipate they could lose again next year if a host of temporary state taxes aren’t extended. The amount headed for reserve would also include $500,000 district officials want to set aside for mental health services which the district is required to provide but which the state may no longer pay for.

The meeting is set to be held in the Alameda High School cafeteria. The school is at the corner of Central Avenue and Walnut Street. The public session is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m.

6 Comments »

  • Brad Hayward says:

    Worth noting for clarity: These are among the cuts to be made if Measure A does NOT pass. Measure A would fund continuation of many of these programs.

  • John says:

    Alameda Teachers Admistrators and Staff are probably in top 1% if not tops in Country and State of the Percentage of School funding going to them directly through Salaries Benefits and pensions.

    Isn’t this where the real problem lies?

    • SFB says:

      John is mistaken- alameda ausd is near the bottom of the county in terms of teacher pay

    • Jon Spangler says:

      John, please get your facts straight. AUSD salaries for teachers, administrators, and support staff are in the bottom half of school districts in Alameda County, which is not exactly a rich county for public employees.

      While the majority of ANY public school district’s budget goes for salary and benefits, that is for the simple reason that education is highly labor- and skill-intensive as a knowledge-g based activity. (How else are you going to educate elementary and secondary school students except with qualified teachers, John?)

    • SBellam says:

      “Probably in top 1%”? Not even close to the top 1% Get your facts straight.

    • Tracy says:

      John, I left a job in OUSD to teach in AUSD. When the hefty cost of benefits paid by AUSD teachers is considered, I took a substantial pay cut to do so.

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