TVEA President School Board Comments
TVEA members have been processing TVUSD’S announcement to employees six weeks previous that the district is facing a large deficit in future years. Since that time the district has taken steps to hold two Superintendent led budget meetings and posted employee questions on the TVUSD website. Despite these efforts, the average TVEA member seems unfulfilled about the district communicated reasons for the deficit. Perhaps timing is a factor. The adage “A day late and a dollar short” applies here as “A day late and $14 million dollars short”.
The district states on the TVUSD website: “The deficit model has been shared at public board meetings with employee representatives and employees in attendance for the last two years as we looked at forecasts for the 17/18 and 18/19 school years. The district has been engaged in conversations regarding the need for structural changes to reduce the workforce for the last year and a half. These discussions have not produced any changes”. I ask, has this been a proactive and highly interactive effort over the duration of the last two years? TVUSD’s first direct communication to employees was a lengthy four-page “Budget Bits” Newsletter on January 9, 2017.
The district and board have the exclusive fiduciary responsibility of developing and authorizing a fiscally sound TVUSD budget. Yet, most district fingers continue to point north at Sacramento for our crisis.
The facts are that increased STRS costs apply to ALL California districts. 85% or more of California school funding is through student enrollment and attendance, clearly known to have been flat or declining in TVUSD. Yet the number of TVUSD positions and employees have increased over the last few years.
As the elected TVEA spokesperson for some 1350 employees, I am sharing with you that there is frustration over the predicament of which we are all impacted. TVUSD’s January and February 2017 efforts to inform and answer questions have been a small positive step in addressing this crisis. Yet for the most part, our own members’ voices have not been heard. Tonight’s Public Comments are an opportunity for the School Board to hear the perspective of sample concerned individuals from your largest employee group.