Monday, January 25, 2010

Furlough Days in Martinez School District saves 140k per day

Will it work in the MDUSD?

"Mandatory furlough days have come to the Martinez Unified School District (MUSD) after administrators and the teachers’ union representatives agreed to take an unpaid day off on Monday, Jan. 25. Jan. 26 will be a minimum student day at the district’s nine schools."

Will our teacher union agree with their colleagues in Martinez? From the Martinez Gazette:

“Each of the employee groups are willing to help shoulder part of the budget crisis burden,” said MUSD Superintendent Rami Muth this week. “In answer to the District’s inquiry at the first session of whether Martinez Educational Association (MEA) would work with the District to address the fiscal crisis, MEA responded with a “yes” and demonstrated its willingness to do so by agreeing to a one day reduction in pay.”

Tomorrow, Tues January 26th, our MDUSD School Board will be meeting to discuss cuts. Check out the agenda, and note the cuts they're considering. You can find the cuts for consideration at item 13.2 and view the spreadsheet here. Note the items with the asterisk on the spreadsheet are being recommended for action tomorrow night, but may take action on any item on the list. It is a big list.



  1. Thanks you for posting this notice. I have been going through the agenda and reduction list since it came out on Friday afternoon but have not come across any discusions about it on either the MDUSD blog nor on Viewers might also want to examine the detailed fiscal transactions for the month of December under consent agenda item 10.21 and see for themselves the many expenses involved in running this school district.
    Maybe this will highlight some other areas where reductions can be made in lieu of those proposed on this current list.

  2. Posted this idea on another blog and decided to post it here also. Wish people could make donations to our school district via text messages similar to how it's being done for Haiti. Anyone from anywhere could participate if they wanted to.

  3. Anon 2:38,

    So that the board can give out attorney raises? That seems like an odd thing to donate for.

  4. Anon 2:18
    I believe this was due to an accessibility lawsuit. Children who are 'Differently abled" are not able to maneuver on wood chips, therefore the rubberized surface is required.

  5. I posted this on Claycord, but wanted to "vent" here too!

    Regarding the postings about the MDUSD budget cuts and the board. Paul was being honest. He did not shoot down every suggestion. Why can't some of you understand that if the State or Federal government mandates something, it has to be done, there is no skirting that.
    Writing to our legislators does no good because they already cast their votes in our favor. There are about 14 legislators from other areas that won't or don't vote in favor of funding schools properly.
    We have no bearing on them at all, as we cannot vote them out.
    Our only option at this point is to work on changing the laws.
    We have no choice but to cut things.
    EVERYONE needs to be willing to give up something. Teachers need to agree to a few furlough days. Non-teaching union members need to start contributing to their medical premiums (gone are the days of 100% of premiums paid by an employer), parents need to kick in more cash, unions need to back off and allow parents to volunteer more in classrooms, libraries and campus care. Administration needs to take furlough days as well. Those community members without students can help as well. If you don't want the crap offered in fundraisers, donate $10 to the school's PTA,or PFC, then 100% of your contribution goes to that organization. Save your Box Tops for Education, sign up your Safeway card on Escrip. Call your local school to find out how you can help.

    If we have 38000 students, and a budget deficit of 35 million, that is less than 100 per kid. If every single parent and employee of MDUSD found a way to "contribute" 100 bucks, whether through a cash contribution, or a cut to compensation, problem solved. I know it can't be that easy, but seriously, a population as large as that covered by MDUSD ought to be able to solve this issue!

  6. Why is it that volunteers should be used for school jobs? If you work do you want a volunteer to come do your job or your wifes/husbands job?

  7. Sorry to bother but I cannot open the spreadsheet link and cannot find 16.2 on the public agenda. Is there another link someone can post?

  8. Something has recently changed or revised on the agenda. Consent agenda item #10.21 referred to by Anon 2:18 is now #9.21. The list of reductions that Anon 10:14 is looking which was 16.2 now appears to be 13.2.

  9. When cuts are starting to impact the very safety and efficient running of our schools, we should be allowed to volunteer. When our offices are staffed with just ONE office person for 400-900 kids, we should be allowed to help. This is not laying off employees to save money and replace them with volunteers, this is survival. I don't feel comfortable that my kid will be taken care of when it's only the office manager to deal with all the work including band-aids, sick kids, calls home, injuries, emergencies etc.

  10. Anon 9;50,
    Unfortunately, we are not dealing with an ideal situation. It is horrendous that district employees are losing their jobs. The board is not cutting these jobs just for the fun of it. They have no choice. Do I think it is fair that volunteers should be able to do the jobs once done by paid employees? Of course not. I would much rather have trained, educated professionals being paid to work with my children, and all the children in the state of California. Unfortunately, the powers that be in CA don't seem to agree. These are desperate times. In times like these we need to do what is necessary to educate the students of this district. If that means a parent coming in to reshelve library books so the librarian can actually work with the students, then so be it.

    Until the majority of voters in this state start raising Holy Hell on ALL the lawmakers, this is the situation we are stuck with, we are going to have to suck it up and deal with it.

    At the present time, I can not bring back employees that have been laid off, whether they are in the MDUSD district, or anywhere in the general workforce. What I can do is spend some time with students, helping in classrooms, in the library, in the office, or even pulling weeds. If we all sit back on our rears, it will destroy an entire generation of students, and to me, that is totally unacceptable!

    Unfair, yes, but I can't fix that. Can you?

  11. the budget reduction excel spreadsheet can be found under 13.2 of the agenda.

  12. Stop the law suits in Sp. Ed. that's a good start.Every one pay for breakfast and lunch even if it's a nichel.Stop sending students out of state and then stop paying for the parents to go visit them.Turn off lights and stop dipping water. Three years ago PG&E over 4 mil and water over 800,000.I do volunteer around 30 hours a week, but never in someones job that got laid off

  13. Thank you to first poster anonymous 2:18. There are many other areas that can be cut in addition/ in lieu of those proposed on the current list. We are not being spoon fed a full list and have to dig to see the actual checks being cut monthly to find what money is being spent on. Then, maybe we can have more informed ideas.

    For example, did you know in December:
    We paid $20K to Resource Development Associates for Independent Services and another $25K to EMC Research for the same.

    We paid $5K for two days of professional development to Harmony Schoolhouse, $11,600 for one month of Education based services to Joyce A., $11,760 for 21 days (of something) to Marie W.

    In one month, we paid $280 thousand dollars to Ambrose Rec and Park, $75,000 to the City of Concord, and $115K to Bay Area Community Resources for subagreements. Can we negative COLA them?

    We paid $43K in fire system testing in one month.

    We bought $3,000 in Cirque de Soleil Tickets for 'adult group.'

    We paid $2637 to In-Shape health clubs.

    We cut $120K in monies to National Geographic.

    We paid tutoring costs to individual students along with physical therapy and BART tickets.

    We bought Math Vocababulary Cards for almost $5,000 from the Alameda County Office of Education - MDUSD, you can borrow mine.

    And, we paid $17,000 to Hewlett Packard in e-waste fees this month! I wish the district would have waited for PHE's e-waste fundraiser.

    It is hard to cut programs from the list given to us by the district when there is spending that can be cut operationally.

    And why is there a vote to add 3 classrooms to Riverside Middle school tonight? It doesn't matter where the funds are coming from. It is wasteful and we do not need to add construction simply because someone is paying for it. It takes our energies and resources.

  14. MDUSD Parent. No need to post this comment. I just wanted to ask if you have received the comment that I submitted about half hour ago in response to Anon 12:56 regarding items on expenditure list and changes to agenda. Usually when I post a comment on this blog it shows up pretty quickly - should I resend?

  15. Sorry if this comment shows up twice. Sent it in earlier but I guess it did not go through so I'm resubmitting it.

    Anon 12:46
    Glad you are taking a look at the expenditure list. There are also some items for Sunrise Catering for meals for employees including a $1109.93 gratuity. There are also numerous mileage reimbursements to some employees and parents. Wonder what they add up to. Don't know exactly were funds are coming from but account number indicates it's most likely a district account as opposed to a specific school site.
    Wish I had saved a copy of the original agenda that was posted Friday afternoon so that I could compare it to the one that is available now. As Anon 10:29 noted the item numbers on the agenda have changed. Does this mean there have been additions, deletions, corrections or other revisions to the agenda? Thought that legally the agenda had to be posted by 5pm Friday so if it has been changed is it still in compliance with the law

  16. Some of my comments didn't appear so I will retry. Sorry of they happen twice.

    Here's some answers for the questions about the warrants.

    Cirque de Soleil Tickets - French students fro College Park went to this. The students paid the school and the District wrote the check.

    Ambrose Park Recs, City of Concord, etc - MDUSD is the holder of grant money for after school programs. We hold the money and then pay the agency who provides the services.

    Transportation fees, Physical Therapy, etc - Dependent on the IEP requirements, MDUSD is mandated to provided the services. If this means that a child is driven to another district, then we have to pay transportation, and pay for all services deemed needed for the child.

    National Geographic - that's actually a publishing company (not the magazine or workbook) that was used to purchase textbooks.

    HP - we have to pay recycling fees to the state for all of the computers we purchase

    Some of the individual names you see listed are PT, OT, or other individuals that we have contracted with to provide the services because we do not have enough employees to do the work.

    Part of Title 1 is that MDUSD has to pay for tutoring for students who are socioeconomic disadvantaged and attending a program improvement school. We are obligated to offer services in the district and out of the district.

  17. Sherry thank you very much for your explanation to some of the warrants. It's getting close to your meeting time but if you have a few moments can you address some of the issues brought up by Anon 2:18.

  18. Thank you very much for taking the time to explain the warrants, Sherry

  19. Watching the board meeting live now. Confused on how to make comments live on broadcast. So far seems decision on school secretaries has been postponed.

  20. Busy little lawsuit generator this blog author is...always seems to have problems...lots and lots of problems....Could it be that funding from suing everyone is as profitable as the construction business?,10,04.htm

    Oh just do your own Google search on this joker. Then run like hell before he sues YOU!

  21. Ok, who is this Heathorn character? ? Did the district pay him anything? Can someone just sum this up for us here????