Other school districts are reducing teacher layoffs, why isn’t the SAUSD?

SAUSD still laying off hundreds of teachers

I received the following message from a reader, who got it from John Palacio, a Trustee at the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD). Apparently we will have an opportunity to complain to the SAUSD School Board this week at a special meeting regarding the district’s budget.

A Special Meeting of the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education will convene in the Board Room of the District Administration Building, 1601 East Chestnut Avenue, Santa Ana, at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 4, 2008.

The Board will be receiving an update on the proposed FY 2008-2009 budget for the District.

The implications on the District budget continues to to be fluid, as the State budget crisis changes and the District’s own continued internal fiscal problems of the past 5 years continues to be addressed.

Unlike other school districts, Santa Ana Unified School District is facing two budget problems, one external created by the State Legislature / Governor and the other, a combination of declining student enrollment and District staff mis-management (i.e.; class size reduction program , summer school program, school construction, student attendance and after school program).

Among Orange County school districts, Santa Ana has the 4th highest rate of student enrollment decline percentage wise.

Since 2003, the Board has approved over $130 million in budget cuts, including reduction of employee workforce via layoffs, freezing of positions; permanent elimination of selective positions, reduction of selective employee employment contracts from 12 months to l1 months to 10.5 months respectively, and reduction of weekly selective part-time employee work hours from 30 hours to less than 19 hours.

In addition the following have also been implemented over the past 5 years: employee furloughs for non teaching positions for a 2 year period; reducing management and teaching salaries by 4 percent for a two year period; reducing employee medical benefits coverage; increasing employee direct costs for medical benefits; elimination of employee medical benefits for certain part-time job classifications; reduction of services for special education students; and using categorical funds and school site funds to pay for certain positions formerly funded by the District general fund.

There are 12 Orange County school districts who are not eliminating teaching positions: 1) Fountain Valley Elementary; 2) Fullerton Joint Union High; 3) Garden Grove Unified; 4) Huntington Beach Union High; 5) Laguna Beach Unified; 6) Lowell Joint; 7) Los Alamitos; 8) Magnolia Elementary; 9) Newport-Mesa Unified; 10) Ocean View; 11) Orange Unified and 12) Westminster Elementary.

The good news is that in the past 2 weeks school districts throughout the State are reducing and/or eliminating employee layoffs due to the recent May budget revise by the Governor’s Office.

Parents, students, SAUSD employees, taxpayers and concerned residents are encouraged to attend Board meetings, in particular the next several Board meetings. It is important that your concerns about the proposed budget are heard. The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 10th, at 6:00 p.m.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me at 714-542-0589. Your input is most appreciated. Thank you.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.