Since the most recent School Board Meeting, TVUSD released a bulletin to employees from the Public Information Office titled “Financial FAQ’s: Are the District’s Financial Problems Solved?
As an employee stakeholder, I read the featured FAQ’s with interest, yet I found myself left with more questions than clarity of understanding.
District Press Release: The district suggests that TVUSD has for years been spending more money each year than it has been receiving in new funds.
1) Why has overspending been an ongoing pattern over the last several years and what are the primary factors, both controllable and uncontrollable?
2) Is deficit spending a common budgetary practice across school districts?
District Press Release: The district has made undisclosed “Decisions” reducing the number of $18 million in necessary cuts reported last year to a reported $6 million needed for 2019-20 to remain solvent.
Questions: Can TVUSD provide an accounting of such decisions including HOW this number has been reduced through an itemized list of both eliminated and vacated and/or unfilled positions?
Press Release: TVUSD suggests its plan to address the current deficit going forward is to “Collaborate with our bargaining unit teams of TVEA and CSEA to implement changes that will achieve ongoing budget savings….”.
Question: Can TVUSD shed light on the remaining components of what surely must be a multifaceted deficit reduction plan?
These questions can perhaps be addressed in the next district communication.
With the district seeking for bargaining unit members to adjust their working conditions and potential workload, similar adjustments at the district level would be well received.
Yet the authorizations made by the governing board this past summer, both to their own stipends and the administrative salary steps promote a “Business as Usual” approach at the top of the organization.
A quote by the great Albert Einstein stands out here:
“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means.”