Friday Night School Board Announces Suddenly Swollen Deficit for 2013-14

Before the ink is even dry on the current round of District take-backs (everyone seems to have forgotten that WE STILL HAVE TO VOTE), at tonight’s School Board meeting the District dropped a new bomb. They are now predicting a $80 to $92 million deficit for 2013-14 AFTER the current round of concessions.

It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry, since the entire reason the union is ostensibly pushing us to vote for the incredibly bad deal in the first place is that it will “lock up our contract through the District’s worst budget year of 2013.” It seems obvious that quite the opposite is true. This deal does nothing but set us up for another year of excessive layoffs based on an inflated budget deficit, followed by another round of deeper concessions out of our supposedly closed contract. And all we’ll have left to give up is our healthcare.

Even Voice of San Diego reporter Will Carless, who has been one of the biggest supporters of the District’s push for concessions all year, left tonight’s School Board meeting with the quote, “Starting to get the distinct feeling that people have been less than honest with me in the past few months. Bad smell in this room.”

See below for his live Twitter feed from tonight’s School Board meeting, and click here to view the previous VOSD analysis of the District’s alleged budget problem and why this concessions deal should have erased it.

And then set your alarm to get up early Sunday morning and send both the SDUSD Board AND the SDEA Board a strong message: WE CAN ALL DO BETTER.


2 thoughts on “Friday Night School Board Announces Suddenly Swollen Deficit for 2013-14

  1. The district never hid the fact that there would be an $80 million deficit in 2013-14. We’ve known about this since December. I don’t know how you can talk about a strike for more money when the current economic situation in this state is so dire. I joined the strike the last time but there is no way I would vote to strike now or next year. The district is not out to “get us” despite what you believe. What would they have to gain by denying us benefits and salary? No one is getting plush new offices, raises, or anything else for that matter. This money is not going into their pockets, it’s being used to pay bills – 92% of which is salary!
    People seem to forget that it is the board that is making these decisions and the board was elected by the people of San Diego. If you don’t like the board’s decisions then get rid of the board members!
    You complain because you haven’t gotten a raise in salary. Think about the 1,500 people who will have NO SALARY come next week. Many of these teachers are excellent teachers. Our children will lose a lot by not having them in the classroom. These teachers know what will be happening down the road and will have more time to prepare, plan, and make decisions regarding their future careers. We are going to lose good teachers, no doubt, down the road. And that makes me sad because I still have children in San Diego City Schools.
    Try to be a little less self-centered and selfish. The whole state has had to tighten it’s belt. My sister works for the City of San Diego. She’s had one furlough day A WEEK for over a year. She works twelve months, so that translates to at least FIFTY days a year without pay.
    One more thing; where were you when so many clerical and custodial staff were cut? Or don’t they matter? It didn’t affect you so you didn’t protest. And don’t forget that administrators have had their salaries cut as well.
    What really irritates me about your diatribes is how inaccurate and speculative your information is. If you had been paying attention to the economic situation the last three years none of this would be a surprise.You’d have to have your head stuck in the sand to not realize that there are going to be more cuts. None of this is easy for anyone but especially not for those people losing their jobs. All I see happening right now is a group of individuals hell bent on creating a strong division among SDEA members that is very disturbing to me. This divisiveness is what will ultimately bring us down and I don’t think as a union we can afford that right now.
    Susan Forest-Rode
    Teacher – Scripps Ranch High School

  2. Susan I know that you are good hearted, but don’t be fooled by the district’s tactics.
    The district has the money to rescind the 1500 layoffs and pay our contractual raises.
    San Diego Unified spends nearly 7% less on teachers that other school districts in our area. Poway issued no layoff notices this year. This is a bargaining tactic to pit teacher against teacher instead of our union versus our employer.

    If the district is truly about to fall off the cliff financially as Mr. Freeman claims, why haven’t they proposed cross the board cuts to programs which don’t directly serve our mission, educating children? Why hasn’t the district proposed eliminating all extra curricular activities? How many millions could be saved by eliminating after school sports? Don’t you think parents might become involved if athletics were part of the budget cut? The district’s answer always is cut teachers, those most responsible in providing the district’s end product.

    Shouldn’t eliminating all city bussing be considered before cutting teachers? Think of how rising fuel costs have affected out pocketbooks. How many millions could be saved in transportation costs?

    Shouldn’t the admin. layer of area assistant superintendents, who go around to schools to see us perform like trained seals be cut as well? These folk make 3 to 4 times what a teacher makes and with all the benefits. How many teaching position could be funded by eliminating these positions, which are twice removed from the classroom?

    Instead the district proclaims to the public it will be business as usual whether we have 1500 layoffs or no layoffs and no raises. Thus what incentive have we provided to the average voter to support the Governor’s funding initiatives? Why would anyone vote for a tax increase if it isn’t a necessity?

    The TA contains no language that prohibits the district from using layoffs in the following years. Next year the district could use layoffs (and who could blame them) to force us into renegotiating our health care benefits. The board has set a bad precedent that a fairly negotiated contract doesn’t mean a binding contract.

    Lastly why is it that our negotiators didn’t suggest we freeze all salaries, putting a hold on all step increases? At the least, shouldn’t all teachers shoulder the financial burden? Why should only veteran teachers not receive raises? Most veteran teachers have advanced degrees and have honed their craft over time. Don’t they also make up a large percentage of “good” teachers? Consider the staff at Scripps Ranch who are veteran teachers. Many have children in college, how do they cope with rising costs of board and tuition? Don’t you think they are worthy and deserving to at least keep pace with inflation?

    I am sorry for your sister and your children who have been affected by the state’s budget debacle. It is time for strong leadership together with organized, active membership that we the people convince Californians that the state budget cannot be balanced on the backs of teachers, state and city workers and at the expense of our children.
    Peter Burrell

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