[Math Alert! While proofreading this entry for print publication, my editor actually tallied up the list of cuts proposed here. Unless I'm missing something, it adds up to more than $43 million, not the $35 million listed in the presentation.]
Seven unions that make up the Oakland Schools Labor Coalition say they have the answer to the Oakland school district’s budget woes: They have identified $35 million to cut from the school district’s general purpose fund. The presentation is posted on Wednesday night’s Oakland school board agenda.
The unions propose the following cutbacks:
- $10 million in “excess administrators.” (The state has a maximum administrator-to-teacher ratio, and OUSD was fined $1.3 million for having 78 too many administrators in the 2006-07 school year. The unions rounded that number up to 80 and multiplied by $125,000 to reach $10 million.)
- $10 million in “unmandated testing”
- $4.6 million by reducing the district’s reserves by half, down to 1 percent of the budget. This would require a waiver, as the state requires districts to have a 2 percent reserve.
- $7 million by (somehow) getting the district’s loan repayments to the state waived
- $ 1 million by consolidating three to four schools.
- $317,500 by eliminating the state trustee position, held by former State Administrator Vincent Matthews
- A $1.2 million contract with the New Teacher Project
- $5 million in parcel tax money used for coaching and professional development for teachers — and, in some cases, for principals
- $5 million in consultants
Which parts of the proposal do you agree with? Do you think it would be wise for OUSD to reduce its reserves for financial uncertainty?