Friday, June 12, 2009

$12 million dollar budget reduction list for Tuesday, June 16th

Here we go again, with a goal of $12 million to be slashed Tuesday night, here is a partial list of "big ticket items" on the chopping block, as noted on the agenda for the evening (for budget reductions start at page 159):

Reduce home to school transportation by 11 Bus Driver positions and (1) clerical position. Eliminate all home to school transportation except in the Bay Point/Pittsburg area. Continue NCLB and home to school bussing. Work with County Connection to try to reestablish routes. (Per the CCTimes: "Nicoll said cutting buses for hundreds of children in the Crossings and Crystyl Ranch areas of Concord could be controversial." )

Eliminate one member of the Superintendent's Council. There would need to be a reorganization of duties among senior staff (starting in 2010-2011).

Eliminate administrative assistant for one member of the Superintendent's Council (2010-2011).

Eliminate one Senior General Maintenence Worker.

Eliminate Director of Purchasing.

Delay transfer of Meals for Needy Funds to Food and Nutrition Services. District has been transferring funds from Meals for Needy to Food Services. This would reduce the transfer by $100,000.

Additional reductions to Tier 3 programs. To be determined - this one item alone = $2.3 million dollars. What will it be? I have heard that cuts from this category will be considered on June 30th. Hopefully we'll have a list of what these will be before then. Perhaps a board member will give us more information on this one.

If you're interested in seeing the recommended athletics funding plan, then start at page 170 on the AGENDA.

New Article by Theresa Harrington at the Contra Costa Times: Mt. Diablo school board expects to cut $12 million more from three-year budget, bringing total cuts to $43 million



  1. i guess they aren't looking to close any schools yet? or is that still on the list?

  2. I believe closing two elementary schools was approved in the last group of cuts. Criteria will be developed to determine which two to close.

  3. Closing two elementary schools was not approved at the last board meeting. It is not being voted on at this meeting.

  4. The district is also counting on parent paid busing revenues will offset the probable cutbacks on home-to-school transportation. One needs to realize that more than half of the parent applications for busing from Baypoint are those applying for free transportation and are qualifying for it. I feel the district needs to consider eliminating free transportation and create reduced transportation. Possibly 60% less than the full cost.

  5. what is parent paid bussing revenues? do you mean charging the bay point and pittsburg families? Or are they going to start charging the NCLB transfer kids? I would imagine that would go against the intent of the 'school choice' rules wouldn't it?

  6. Sherry, can you give us some more specifics on that last item of 2.3 million? What is that? Are those programs the public will feel if cut? Shouldn't we know what they are? How can they be looked at on June 30th, isn't that when the balanced budget is due?

  7. Why if we have lost class size reduction, music and sports would not having bus service for the Crosssings and Crystal Ranch be so horrific?

  8. Many working parents rely on the buses because their schedules make it impossible to their kids to and from school.

    I hope they increase the bus fare rather than cancelling the service.

  9. Teachers with pink slips, K-3rd with class sizes at 31 kids, no music at elementary schools, high schools with larger class sizes, loss of AP classes, and athletes with no hope, and we are worried about the damn bus system for the Crossing and Crystal Ranch. We need to keep any more cutts away from the classroom! If working parents can not get there children to and from school this is a personal issue not one that all of us that are suffering have the time or patience for!!

  10. Anon 9:51
    Thnak you for saying what I believe all of us are thinking..I want to add that I think alot of children will be leaving the MDUSD. These cuts have been brewing for a long time. No one wanted to accept it.

  11. My children are leaving. We are packing up the house as we speak.

  12. Thank you, Thank you!! To the anonymous writer with regards to parents responsibilities. We were so very upset to read in the Contra Costa Times yesterday how the Crossings and Crystal Ranch bus transportation cancellation due to lack of funds would be "CONTROVERSIAL" Shame on the individual who shows up at Tuesday's meeting to discuss busses when our hearts are broken.

  13. I agree with you all and I too was surprised the Times noted the decision as "controversial" and why just those two neighborhoods, this obviously is going to hit many more neighborhoods than just those two. Why were those mentioned? I am curious. I think parents are just going to have to do what they used to do, talk to each other and carpool. Find a service they can pay for , or talk county connection in to adding lines and service (all during times they too are cutting back).

  14. I just corrected the post to accurately reflect that it was the CCTimes quoting Dr. Nicoll as saying the decision might be controversial. The way it was looked like it was part of the budget agenda and it was not.

    You can also note that on the budget reduction list - on page 161 of the agenda is an alternate plan (43b) to raise fares as much as 87% to current "paid riders." This would also assume no decline in ridership. What do you think would happen if they raised bus fair from a current $320 a year to $601. My guess is that they suspect that the drop off from ridership due to that increase would negate the plausability of this plan. They say there are 864 paid riders each year, I wonder how many riders on top of that are unpaid?

  15. Saw the article in the CC Times Why did the interm superintendent feel this would be a controversial situation when we have lost so much? Where are the Crosssings and Crystal Ranch, where do these children go to school? Can't they walk to school? My husband and I both work and our children walk to school. What's the deal?

  16. I just checked a random street in the Crossings and mapquested the distance to Pine Hollow/Highlands and it = 2-3 miles (depending on which way you go).

    Realistically you're not going to have kids walking up to 3 miles each way and cross Ygnacio Valley Rd and all those busy streets at that age.

    And from a random address in Crystyl Ranch is is over 6 miles to Northgate.

    I can see why busses were relied upon. But they will have to come up with some new ideas I think.

  17. I see yellow school buses every day full of children coming and going in various areas of the MDUSD in various cities why would they only discontinue buses to two subdivision in Concord?

  18. MDUSD Parent,
    How far is Crystal Ranch and the Crossings from CVHS?

  19. 2:53, they are discontinuing ALL bus service except as noted above (Bay Point/Pittsburg and NCLB transfer students).

    5:46, fair enough question. From Crystyl Ranch in is "around" 2 miles +/- depending on where they are. Crossings between 1-2 miles, again, depending on where they are. HOWEVER, that is not where they are zoned, and I do not believe CVHS has any room for the additional students . I know it was a rhetorical question... changing the zoning for these neighborhoods is not on the horizon.

  20. My wife has taken second job to pay for our boy and girl to play high schcool sports. At most we pay $600.00 for each to play baseball and volleyball plus bus fees $200.00 For each sport for bus. We live off Minert we walk walk our children to Oak Grove with much traffic (2) and the other two to Y.V and we face very busy traffic and bad lights and many acccidents I want all people who can not walk children to schhol to shut up and hire limmo for your kids

  21. Way back when in the planning stages of the Crossings, the builders of the crossings made an agreement with the MDUSD that the Crossings would be zoned for Northgate High. If home-to-school busing is cut in the Concord-Walnut Creek-Pleasant Hill-Martinez areas, what happens to those in the crossings? Does the agreement with the builders of the Crossings still stand? Note that those being bused for Foothill MS and Northgate HS is strictly on parent-paid busing.

  22. June 13, 2009 10:24 AM - NCLB and overflow students will never be charged for busing. Students being bused from Baypoint and Pittsburg are only receiving free transportation because they qualified for free transportation. If a family in Bay Point/Pittsburg does not qualify for free busing, they too, would have to pay for their busing.

  23. 1:15 PM MDUSDParents - Thank you for clarifying that 43a and 43b are choices the board will be making on Tuesday night. When I first saw it, I thought the two went together. I, too, hope that 43a fails and 43b passes (increasing transportation fees). You realize that averages to $3.33 per day/round trip. County Connection can cost up to $4.00 a day round trip.

  24. 10:05pm. You'll note though on the list 43a has the asterisk next to it, 43a is what is being recommended by staff to cut. I don't know how much discussion will go into the 43b choice, but I guess we'll see on Tuesday.

  25. Sherry,
    Since you comment on this blog, could you please let us know if the elimination of one member of the Superintendent's Council will be based on seniority or will the decision be based on what is best for the district?

  26. So, if someone were going to make it appear that they "live" in another district for school purposes, is there any advice on which district within say 30 miles is the easiest to do this, or maybe a district that welcomes such activity.

    MDUSD blows.

  27. 7:29, good luck with that. I hope you're kidding though because as you know you would to require your kids to lie. I could never do that. I hate people who turn tail and run away instead of helping and being part of the solution at YOUR school. Seriously.

    But to answer your question, you have to prove you live there with either a lease or mortgage, property tax record, car insurance record or voter registration. They don't take utilities bills.

    No district welcomes this and parents in the "good district" would love to out you and your darling children. SO either move, or be a solution.

  28. Anon 7:29

    Thank you for saying it like it is. I am ACTUALY moving and believe me you have to have DOCUMENTATION. That old "Pg& E bill thing will never work . I agree either move or step up to the plate. By the way I am still paying my fair share of taxes to the MDUSD so I have and interest in my property value.

  29. This post includes Bussing, Tier 3 funds, and Superintendent’s Council

    Recommended Busing:
    1) All bussing for Bay Point and Pittsburg residents would continue
    2) All NCLB (No Child Left Behind) would continue
    3) Overflow student would continue
    4) All special ed busing would continue

    Even if we raised the fees it is too expensive to continue the home to school busing

    Tier 3 items may include but are not limited to funding such as adult education, full details to come.

    As a board we have not yet discussed how to reduce a superintendent’s council position. More to come on this as soon as I can release the info.

  30. The CAC blog links to the tier system on their Board meeting

  31. The Crystal Ranch (Concord) area developers were originally granted TEMPORARY enrollment rights at Northgate High as part of their development "deal." This came up in 2005/2006 when R.W., a parent in the Carriage Square neighborhood at the time, addressed the school board to make sure that students in closer proximity (i.e. Walnut Creek) would have the option to request intradistrict transfer once that temporary period ended. (Intradistrict transfers have been traditionally denied into Northgate based on arguments that the school has been/is impacted.

    In response, the board unanimously voted to make the temporary enrollment status of Crystal Ranch residents PERMANENT on February 14, 2006 (it should be noted that one of the school board members lives in Crystal Ranch).

  32. The school board member you refer to is Paul Strange. Also, there was NO fore warning on the decision to allow Crystal Ranch to obtain permanent status. Trust me all of us from THE NORTHGATE COMMUNITY would have been at that meeting. Community being homes that are actually next to the school. NOT 7-8 miles away up and over the hill down the street and up around the corner. Also, FYI Limeridge really only is the only subdivision that anyone that has graduated from Northgate and moved back to send our own children to Northgate really ever heard of. Oh well lets see what happens.... maybe the children could WALK to CVHS!

  33. People in Crystal Ranch and the Crossings should have to go to their own shitty schools and that includes the kids of any "Board Members" who may or may not live in those areas.

    Fellow Walnut Creekians, it is high time we take back our schools from the crappy control of the MDUSD.

  34. Well now we know why the article in the Contra Costa Times quoted the superintendent as saying this would be a controversial. Good to know though regardless there will be NO more buses coming up and over the hill with inter-district transfers to Valle Verde, Walnut Acres, and Foothill. NO more buses coming up and over the hill to Northgate. Hundreds of children meaning hundreds of cars coming up and over the hill. Oh, this shall be so interesting to watch. My advice send your children to local schools or you will be spending 45minutes each and every morning and afternoon traveling up and over that HILL. Won't go over big with W.C residents!!!

  35. Just got back from getting coffee at Encina Grande Shopping Center, this is all everyone is talking about. This is the only budget cutt that actually is putting a smile on EVERYONE's face.

  36. CVHS does not have the capacity to hold students from Lime Ridge, the Crossings, and Crystal Ranch. As it is students who live in Turtle Creek go to Concord High.

    When the boundaries were created, Northgate had the capacity.

    The continuation of Crystal Ranch to Northgate was voted on at a board meeting. It was before I was elected to the board but I remember the parental discussions at the elementary school about the board agenda item to make this a permanent boundary.

  37. Politicians just being political. Stay focused. WHY DO CHILDREN FROM CONCORD GO TO SCHOOL IN WALNUT CREEK. Now that the free bus ride is over. We will have hundreds of cars coming over the hill on Ygnacio Valley Rd. to sit and hold up ALL traffic turning on Oak Grove Rd. and all the way down to the freeway entrances!!! ALL WALNUT CREEK RESIDENTS CALL THE CITY OF WALNUT CREEK 8-31-09THE LIGHTS AT OAK GROVE AND BANCROFT MUST ONLY BE SET TO SERVE OUR COMMUNITY.



  39. Well, parents. Just returned from the school board meeting. Home-to-school busing has been saved, for the 09-10 school year. Parent-paid busing will be increased to $450 for the first child, with discounts for 2nd, 3rd childs, at the same percentages as in the past. The 10-11 and 11-12 school years will be revisited in the Spring.

  40. Oh and free busing will be available with the same qualifications. Be sure to have your paperwork ready by August 2009.

  41. Why would any parent from the Crossings or Crystal Ranch send their children to Walnut Creek schools. It is obvious they are not wanted there. I can only imagine how their poor children are treated. Good Luck to all of you.

  42. Keep Walnut Creek kids out of Alamo and San Ramon Districts NOW! Got ya, yes Walnut Creek kids go to schools in other districts too. Stop the discrimination, I am sickened to have been raised in Walnut Creek and embarrased by many WC people I meet with such elitist attitudes. What is ever sadder is that they are raising their children to have the same attitude. Granted I have met and worked with fantastic WC residents, so the minority elitist group are giving WC a not favorable image.

    This is about working together, we are one community.

  43. Sherry Whitmarch had stated that it would still be to expensive even if they raised fees for home to school bussing So, what happened last night regarding the bussing situation?

  44. The board decided to leave it in for the 09 - 10 school year. The transportation department is looking at various alternatives for 10-11 school year and beyond. This item will be reevaluated later this year.

  45. Linda L.

    On the superintendent's council position, we are leaving this pretty vague so that the new superintendent can determine the organization.

  46. What cuts were made last night? I wasn't able to listen in.

  47. Here are the cuts approved. The ARRA funds are one time funds that can spent across two years.

    14a. Fund the Learning Centers’ resource teachers and aides with Special Education ARRA funds $613, 367 each year for 09 – 10 and 10 – 11

    22. Maintain five program specialist for two years using ARRA Special Education funds. $593,789 each year for 09 10 and 10 – 11

    42 Shift funds from certain preschool program expenses to ARRA
    $287,094 each year for 09-10 and 10 – 11

    43b Increase transportation fee in order to maintain all home to school transportation
    $243,831 for 09-10 only. The discussion was to raise the rates for next school year to see if we could raise the same amount as would be saved by eliminating the program. If the funds are not raised then the service will be eliminated in 10 - 11 and 11-12 with the exception Bay Point/Pittsburg, special education, and No Child Left Behind

    44 Eliminate one member of the Superintendent’s Council
    $175,881 each year for 10 – 11 and 11-12

    45 Eliminate one Administrative Assistant for one member of the Superintendent’s Council
    $82,298 each year for 10 – 11 and 11 – 12

    46 Transfer from State Deferred Maintenance Funding
    $200,000 each year for all 3 years

    47 Delay transfer of Meals for Needing funding to Food and Nutrition Services
    $100,000 each year for all 3 years

    48 Eliminate one Senior General Maintenance Worker
    $77,564 each year for all 3 years

    49 Eliminate the Director of Purchasing
    $135,714 each year for all 3 years

    50 Reduce District funding for Leadership Conference by 50%
    $6,918 each year for 3 years

    51 Additional reductions to Tier 3 programs
    $2,300,000 each year for 3 years.

  48. Re: bussing for Crossings and Crystal Ranch. I happen to live in the Diablo Shadows subdivision, and I would LOVE more parents putting their kids on buses. The traffic at 8:00 is horrendous. Crossing Ygnacio, the right lane of Oak Grove is completely clogged with parents turning right after dropping kids at Foothill and Northgate going home to the Crossing and Crystal Ranch, parents on this side going to Valle Verde, (who got kicked out Walnut Acres 13 years ago)and people going to work. Then, there are those parents turning right off Ygnacio to go to Valle Verde heading into the mess of our neighborhood going to Valle Verde and people going to work at Shadelands. The number of car accidents is probably higher than at any other time of the day.If I lived in that area, no question, my kids would be on a bus, no matter what the cost. Kids whine that it's not cool. Too bad. The traffic logistics just makes sense. Put 60 kids on a bus, keep 60 cars off the road.Sure, sometimes you have to drive for early morning clubs but for the rest, save your sanity and leave the driving to the bus!
    By the way, 9:08a.m., kids don't care where their friends live. It's just parents who cause a ruckis.