New budget cut details

A central office hiring freeze, closure of the OTAP truancy center, cuts to special education and to schools, and fewer academic coaches are among the ways OUSD’s staff proposes to shrink the district’s general purpose spending by about $29 million in 2009-10.

To put that in perspective, the district’s general purpose budget — also known as “unrestricted” money, meaning it can be spent on any school program — is currently $230 million. You can read the 29-page presentation here.

With some exceptions, the proposal doesn’t spell out which programs and departments might be axed entirely, and which might be funded from a different pot. It says, for example, that the central office would shoulder 77 percent of the general purpose cuts — a reduction of a whopping 42 percent. But some of those central office programs might be funded through other grants, so it’s hard to tell at this point what the bottom line will be.

School districts have until March 15 to issue layoff notices, so maybe some of the specifics have yet to be figured out.

What do you make of the proposal? Oakland’s new CFO, Vernon Hal, presents it at this Wednesday’s board meeting, 1025 Second Ave., if you want to ask questions or add your two cents. Note: Closed session starts at 5 p.m. now, instead of 4. Here is the agenda.

Note of clarification: I listed the wrong TAP center originally. Apparently there is a TAP (Temporary Alternative Placement Center), as well as an OTAP (Oakland Truancy Attendance Program). OTAP is the one that might be shut down.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • skyline parent

    Teacher Health Benefits
    08-09 09-10
    2,877,633 0
    Included in core classroom support for 2009-10

    This is what is written about cuts to teacher health benefits; although it says that it is included in core classroom support (an entirely new category), it seems like it is the first move toward OUSD teachers not receiving health benefits as part of their benefits package. Is this their way of removing those benefits from the bargaining table?

  • http://Daretodreamattendantservices.com Nick Feldman

    Shame on the governor…No cuts to education!

  • Nextset

    Nick Feldman: You amuse me! We are headed into Great Depression II. Plans are being made by business and government for collapse of civic order – soon. That means riots, looting, and shutdown of banks and food distribution and failure of water and power.

    And you are talking about how there must be NO cuts to education. You are not functioning well here. Your position is not humanly possible.

    In order to delay what is coming, the national government is printing money at a historic rate. They know what always follows this (and soon), think Weimar Republic in 1937.. They are doing it anyway because the nation is in collapse and there is no other way out for the current form of government to remain standing at all.

    So you had better start thinking survival mode. Smart money already is. Education is important and we haven’t had much in the Urban Public Schools for some time. We can severely cut Urban School budgets without working much about bad scores – they are already bad. The Governor must and will shutdown state operations to match the money on hand. That includes education before Prisons.

    It’s clear to me that some people are more equal than others in this Brave New World and you can be very sure that people that count will be taken better care of than those who don’t. That includes those impacted by education Budget Cuts.

    Superinflation is the ultimate budget cut.

  • oakteach

    California state ranking- #1 in prison spending, #46 in education spending. We’re already cutting education before prisons, there’s not much left to cut. Love your logic: we’re at nearly the bottom of per student spending nationally (which contributes to low scores) so lets just keep cutting! Brilliant! FYI, we’re last in staff to student ratio as well.

  • Teri Gruenwald

    Nextset Said: In order to delay what is coming, the national government is printing money at a historic rate. They know what always follows this (and soon), think Weimar Republic in 1937.. They are doing it anyway because the nation is in collapse and there is no other way out for the current form of government to remain standing at all.

    There was no Weimar Republic in 1937. The Nazis took power in 1933.

  • John

    You’re right Teri, Nextset typed the wrong date (probably a typo), but it does not change the predictive reality of speeding up the government money press and sucking the ink barrels dry (to stimulate Obama constituent pockets while turning savings and economic recovery investment money into play money).

    Don’t hide your money in your mattress or you may end up compromising your invetment in a good (increasingly restless) night’s sleep. Sweet lost dreams everyone.

    Anyway, thanks for catching that date misttake Teri, I was so caught up with looking at the (Nextset communicated) big picture I hadn’t noticed it. Having an eye for detail (and typos) is what every executive looks for in a good secretary.

    P.S. If you want to discredit any of these comments, find my (above) misspelled word and I’ll declare you an inconsequential WINNER here as well!

  • Sharon

    To piggyback on Oakteach’s comments about prison spending: A PowerPoint presentation available online from the Kirwan Institute at Ohio State has a graph that shows prison admissions by race. Link to it at http://tinyurl.com/bvyqo7 (or at 4909e99d35cada63e7f757471b7243be73e53e14.gripelements.com/presentations/BrownPresDisparityData.ppt if that doesn’t work).

    Look at Slide 22 to see a stunning graph of US prison admissions by race from 1930 to 1997. The trends were flat until 1970 and have been steeply climbing since. You’ll be astonished by how much.

    Keep in mind that this graph compares pure numbers, not percentages. In this same time period, the Black population ranged from less than 1/7th of the White population to slightly more than 1/9th. The rise started about a decade after the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    I hope at some point we’ll really address what’s wrong with our society. As far as I’ve figured out, at the very least, it must be connected to the chronic unemployment that’s been tolerated, the breakdown of the family and America’s widespread drug use. Minimally funded schools, and teachers trying as hard as they might, won’t ever be able to fix this.

  • Sharon

    By the way, there was a significant US population growth from 1930 to 1990 (~122,775 million to ~248,710 million), but this doubling does not at all match up with the curve of the prison admissions graph.

  • Molly Morelock

    What are the thousands are Oakland parents supposed to do with their kids next Friday? No before school care? No after school care? It’s amazing that OUSD thinks everyone can just “take the day off”.

  • Nextset

    Molly: “What are the thousands are Oakland parents supposed to do with their kids next Friday?”

    I suppose that’s their problem and not the taxpayers.

    Molly, If you have the kids you are supposed to provide care for them. Public School has never been a daycare program. This is why good people don’t have more kids than they can properly take care of.

    Now I don’t mind government daycare, especially during time of national mobilization for war. Free Daycare is way optional otherwise. As we move into the Great Depression II we will likely give up many luxuries we had when times were good. Like law and order, power and light, medical care, Meals, etc…

    Look on the bright side. The sun will still rise. And maybe families will be closer. A lot closer!!

    Education will still go on. But there will have to be some changes. Starting with the after-school care thing perhaps. We will soon be seeing discussions about what is a mission priority and what is not. OUSD isn’t doing service cuts because they want to. Stop speaking of them like they are cruel. I may have policy differences with OUSD but I respect their position as being the elected arbiters of what to do with the budget they have to work with.

    If this post sounds sarcastic, it’s not meant to be. We cannot allow ourselves to be angry with our electeds because they do their jobs as well as anybody could. No money means service cuts. Get used to it.

  • John

    Sharon! I guess in your part of the galaxy simply displaying a negative graph and “hoping” for an end to the “toleration of chronic unemployment, broken families, and widespread drug use” will cure the ills. Being clear about problems with ‘cum by ya’ ethereal solutions constitutes the feel good anti-fiscal logic of present day D.C. fuzzes who’ll soon put us in fiscal B.C. living in a state of warm urine equality with legislative expectations that hard working folks give the fruit of their labors and accomplishments to illegal and legal parasites, among other members of the not entitled entitlement class. An innovative dosage of expectorant is needed to spit out what’s ailing our infected body politic.

    The government, using the Community Reinvestment Act, created the current economic disaster. None of the other stuff could have happened, if the Clinton-Dodd-Frank-Polosi gang hadn’t forced the millions of bad loans on which the whole house of cards was based. Now, nobody in political office, including Republicans as well as Democrats, is willing to notice that elephant sitting on the living room sofa, because they all have pet projects that they want to promote as “cures.” It is all snake oil, and the result is going to be horrid inflation of our currency, and we will all lose, including the chronically unemployed, broken families. When the reality of it all sinks in, for those with the grey for it to sink into, it could give legitimate rise to an exponential “widening of drug abuse” among hard working responsible Americans, who will be the REAL VICTIMS.

    Create a disaster, then politically profit from it while fill up your political power energizing pork barrels under the guise of responding to disaster you created before the clock runs out on this golden opportunity to fiscally rape the nation and hang mill stones of debt around the necks of generations to come.

    Hey Sharon, maybe you should also try feeling a little sorrow and compassion for your children!?

  • Emily

    Could you comment on how principals are being affected by budget cuts? Are more senior administrators going to push less senior principals out through cuts? Are Vice Principals going to remain in the schools, or will they be cut as well? Hayward Unified has voted to end all elementary and middle school VPs and newer principals could be, likely will be, pink-slipped so former principals on assignment can take their place. Are there principalships to be had in Oakland next year or are people going to be shuffled around?

    Thank you!

  • Katy Murphy

    I don’t have a definitive answer to all of your questions yet, but I do know this:

    Each Oakland school is supposed to make its own cuts and determine which programs and services to keep (under OUSD’s Results-Based Budgeting system). So some schools already do without assistant principals — or counselors, for that matter.

    Last I checked, the district was hoping to avoid pink-slipping tenured teachers, but I don’t know about principals. More than a dozen principals have left — either quit, retired, fired or reassigned — each year for the last couple of years, so I think they’re always recruiting.

    Anyone have more insight on this subject?