PUSD board to meet Friday June 3

See update below…

A new agenda has been posted for a special meeting of the Pleasanton Unified School District on Friday, June 3, at 2 pm. (PDF)

There are four items on the agenda…

  1. a board workshop on “relevant skills needed for collaboration as a board and with members of the governance team”, from 2-4 pm
  2. closed session (conference with the labor negotiator, and public employee appointment)
  3. report, discussion and possible action to approve modification to actions the board took on February 22, 2011
  4. report, discussion and possible action to approve the personnel document
I am heartened to learn that the board is continuing to develop collaboration skills. With a new superintendent hired last summer, two new board members elected last fall, and key policy and budgetary decisions ahead, taking time to talk about how to best work together is a wise investment.
I am curious about the potential for modifications to the February 22 list of possible budget solutions (PDF). Will this agenda item simply take action on the CSEA concessions, removing some staff positions from the cut list, or will there be a more substantive discussion of prioritizing items to bring back, if the state legislature actually manages to pass a budget on time for FY 2011-12?

UPDATE, Thursday, June 2:

I just learned via the Mohr PTA page on Facebook some details for the modifications being considered to the February 22 list of budget cuts.

At the Special Board Meeting scheduled for this Friday, June 3, Cabinet will recommend restoring the following programs for 2011/12:

.5 reading specialists at 9 elementary sites and .5 Barton ($400,000)
Physical education sections at elementary schools ($400,000)
Maintain 25:1 in grades K-3 ($1,300,000)
Counseling ($200,000)

It is anticipated that this issue will be addressed at approximately 4:30 p.m. on June 3.

I’m surprised to hear that these decisions might be finalized before the Sacramento legislature and Governor Brown finalize a state budget. Nevertheless, I’m delighted to hear that the school district might be able to bring back some of these programs!

I had especially advocated that reading specialists and the Barton specialists not see reduced work hours, because I believe that the services they provide are so essential. These staff members provide extra small group and one-on-one tutoring to any students who are not yet reading proficiently at their grade level. (In the Barton program, one specialist and one classified staff member support the work of more than a hundred volunteers who actually do the tutoring. I’m a volunteer tutor.)

If the board approves these recommendations, then the only items that remain on the list from February 22 would be:

  • grade 9 class size reduction in English and Math
  • three furlough days for management employees
  • securing funds from the Regional Occupational Program
  • securing funds from Categorical Programs (including summer school, adult education, TVIP for new teachers, and the Peer Assistance and Review program)
  • securing funds from Kids Club
  • eliminating the Health Services liaison position
  • reducing site and district office classified support positions
Those last two bullet points are probably also coming off the list, because of the way that concessions were negotiated with the Classified School Employees Association earlier this spring, but I’m not sure that’s a completely done deal yet.

About Sandy Piderit

parent, education advocate, and professor

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