People who do not LEARN from history are doomed to repeat it. (Un)Fortunately, we don’t have to strain our brains much to remember how SDUSD regularly fabricates Fake Future Financial 911s to support its position at the bargaining table. I documented this back in 2013 and you can click here to get a quick history lesson on how SDUSD creates FFF911s –it’s a user-friendly tutorial on how to decipher district budgetary bullshit. Because we have changed to Local Control Funding Formula budgeting, the documents look a little different now, but the game the district is playing has remained the same.
At the June 28, 2016 SDUSD Board meeting, agenda item H.2 Public Hearing and Adoption of Proposed 2016-17 District Budget and Resolution to Certify Fiscal Solvency for Subsequent Two Years was approved. In it, a three-year projection of solvency was required. On Page 8 of 187, Section D. Fund Balance:
D.1 shows a three-year projection in which SDUSD maintains a positive Net Beginning Fund Balance of $81.380.188 (16-17), $35.776.480 (17-18), and $34.850.480 (18-19).
D.2 shows that the Ending Fund Balance is also healthy and stable at $35.776.480 (16-17), $34.850.480 (17-18), and $34.646.480
D.3.e.1 the district’s required Reserve for Economic Uncertainties is totally flush and fully funded for all three years as well $26.941.000 (16-17), $26.015.000 (17-18), $25.811.000 (18-19).
AND all of these healthy, stable budgetary projections were made BEFORE Prop 55 was passed by California voters and assumed no additional revenues would be coming into our district. And three months later in September, 2016, after certifying SDUSD’s fiscal solvency, the district had no problem bargaining a 4% raise for SDEA during our salary reopener.
Just a side note, our district self-insures for workers’ compensation claims and reported having $67,420,000 in that account as of December, 2016. Who’s deciding how much gets stashed in there…?
But suddenly three months later, the 2016-17 First Interim Report presented on December 13, 2016, began to hint at trouble. Agenda item H.3 includes the recommendation that the school board “Approve the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 First Interim Report and Resolution to declare that the district may not be able to meet its financial obligations for the current fiscal year and subsequent two fiscal years (Qualified Certification) and direct staff to prepare specific actions to implement solutions to balance the 2017-18 budget.” Really?! Who do they think they are kidding?
Additionally, I cannot emphasize enough that almost NO ONE ELSE IS LAYING OFF. The couple of places that are laying off cite severe declining enrollment or long-standings fiscal issues/mismanagement as the reason. Not the budget. Not retirement. Not healthcare. And it’s not just SDEA that is being laid off. ALL the bargaining units are because we are ALL heading into contract negotiations. The total layoffs districtwide are around 1600 people including classified and admin. SDUSD is attempting to shake our collective resolve, break our solidarity, and gaslight us as we all head to the bargaining table. Do not fall for the oldest, easiest, and laziest trick in the book. It is crucial that we do not allow them to divide and conquer us and that we all actively engage at our sites and in our community to support SDEA’s LEARN campaign.
I hope to see you Tuesday, March 14th, at 4100 Normal Street at the SDUSD School Board Meeting.