I attended the Superintendent’s Budget Meeting last Thursday as part of a group of some nearly fifty employees. Superintendent Ritter presented information showing the budget challenges facing TVUSD. He also responded to several questions submitted by attendees.
The meeting then morphed into a non-scripted, productive discussion in which employees shared multiple concerns in relation to what the Superintendent termed TVUSD “Conscious Decisions” related to employee hiring, compensation, and job assignments. The participants overriding concern appeared to be if such decisions have been fiscally wise given our current circumstances.
Thank you to Superintendent Ritter as well as Board President Hinkson for demonstrating leadership by attending and participating. It was the sort of open and honest budget dialogue that has been much needed and I believe long overdue. We have encouraged our TVEA elected and appointed leaders to attend and participate in the next session February 13th.
This type of effort to meet with people face to face sharing critical information and seeking feedback has been an important strategy for TVEA.
Hopefully the district will continue to widen their efforts to meet with various groups of employees and promote such two-way communication.
I only wish this sort of open and honest budget dialogue had been initiated back in the fall after the First Interim Budget report was approved by the board.
Despite TVUSD’s efforts this month and TVEA’s January Site Visit Blitz and consistent communication updates, our members are understandably struggling to endorse potential restructuring models which are likely perceived as adversely impacting their ability to effectively serve TVUSD students.
We at TVEA have and will continue to work with TVUSD to collaboratively seek solutions. Yet, despite our commitment of working up till the eleventh hour of any set deadline, it may be unrealistic to expect employees to digest and to embrace such widespread proposed changes within a matter of weeks.