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Budget Survey Results Administrative Council - Reduction Suggestions

What suggestions do you have for budget reductions in MDUSD?
 
Tosa’s and other non teaching FTE as well as site admin not assigned to sites. 
Conferences and Contracts (we could do in-house trainings) ; PBIS Incentives (cheap toys)
Some classified staff reduction and certificated by site and look at reconfiguring or reducing alternative Ed look at better use of resources and sharing facilities
less VPs, bigger class-size, no athletics, review IEP process, no overtime
Elementary counselors, elem librarians, elem PE, coaches, EL support teachers, lay off some M&O departments and contract out? 
reduce PD from outside sources. 
Combine clerical staff positions at high schools. 
TOSAs are over abundant at Principal meetings but have very little value at a site level. The TOSAs have been growing in numbers but are not diving into what is needed at a site level.  I have a strong site team that is pushing the learning and have minimal specific support. 
specific to site needs can not be a cookie cutter approach. i.e. Some schools need counselors which is a priority other do not. school needs are very different around the district. 
Counseling and reduction of singleton classes that do not have the minimum enrollment of 25 students. 
Close Summit High School
Reduce instrumental music in elementary, reduce electives/singletons in middle school, reduce librarians in middle and High school, reduce in M&O and sub out work to local businesses in the areas of plumbing, painting, and electrical. Reduce  iready from middle school, reduce alternative schools,  lease technology and technology support rather than purchase and not maintain. 
Creative and thoughtful use of time for current itinerant employees.  There may be too many at this time because some schedule have blocks of time where the employee does nothing.  Example: PE teachers' schedules.
Have school's front office staffing match enrollment #s/and office volume. Cut TOSAs, PE teachers, stop paying teachers $100 every time they get extra students.
I suggest budget reduction with district TOSA's.  The TOSA's are a great resource but  they are spread thin amongst the district and may be better suited as TOSAs to a school site that needs the most instructional support so that there's the continual instructional investment, coaching, and support.  Also that will support more admin support for schools that our short VPs. In addition,  I suggest clear roles for the district administration.  It hasn't been clear who supports which middle schools with the absent assistant superintendent. Maybe have less directors and hire an actual assistant superintendent for middle schools.  Also hire someone to support the meetings and instructional support for principals  and VP meetings that has a clear vision, passion, and compassion to more the leadership forward.  The admin monthly meetings haven't supported professional growth/learning in leadership but  have been more of an afterthought.  And is felt by the principals and VP's.  Thank you for hearing my suggestions.  
One of the areas that we should seek budget reductions is looking at every department, every subject, every school and find areas that they are over staffed and may have people in the positions that aren't doing the job. This will allow us to keep the right people in the right positions. 
The number one suggestion is to do budget reductions based on school needs, not on figure amounts. Use an Equity Lense based on data to eliminate or reduce positions. For example, Mount Diablo High School might need more administrators (VPs) than Northgate or College Park. The same is the case for Bel Air compared to Hidden Valley. Here are some budget reduction suggestions: Eliminate Physical Education teaching positions at elementary level. Reduce number of office staff at Middle and High school level. Reduce hours for all Office Staff. Eliminate or reduce Athletic Directors' hours at High School Level. Reduce number of Counselors for High, and Middle schools. Eliminate Science TOSA (keep TOSAs focused on Math, EL and TISP). Re-evaluate TOSAs that are site-based and eliminate the ones that are not essential (i.e. Science and Math TOSAs at SunTerrace, or ELA TOSA at middle high school level). Have IB, and AVID schools stop attending expensive conferences, do everything in house. Freeze conferences that are over a certain budget for all levels (from central office to schools).
consolidation of resources, like a Site TOSA or Social Worker working in a feeder pattern.
Give us a percentage for our sites and we will reduce that %.  Elementary PE and elementary instrumental music
Reduce number of APs based on formula
Adjust site staffing ratios for office staff
Reduce admin assistants for Asst Superintendents
Look into roving PM crews for elementary and middle school custodians
Charge teams for use of district transportation and ask parents for donations
Two furlough days for all employees and reduction of instructional year to 178 days
Eliminate IB options if classes are not filled to capacity like other classes 
4th grade music
Increase class sizes 30:1
Really promote early retirement incentives
Parcel tax
Bond for future work that could help with jobs
Closing smaller schools
Reorganization of leadership roles
Looking at specific sites and finding what would work for budget reductions instead of general for all
Although all areas feel critical, I believe we could reduce our budget through the elimination of district TOSAs.  I also believe that reduction of office staff calendar year (and possibly site time) could also be done, but I would ask that size of the site and office volume be taken into consideration.  Is it possible to close or consolidate sites to conserve administrative costs?
Reconsider large contracts funded centrally - how can we offer similar programs and supports with existing local resources; or partnering with local businesses/corporations, and/or universities.
Student Services
Elementary Classified hours (Office staff does not need to work so long into June); I hear secondary credentialed positions are way over budget due to lightly filled sections; elementary dual language classes that are under enrolled. Stop spending money on training/programs that are "here today, gone tomorrow" like Marzano "Art & Science of Teaching" and AVID. If we do something we need to commit to it!
TOSA's. There seems to be a lot of weight at the upper level that is not producing much at a site level. Teachers do not take advantage nor are offered of opportunities to grow by them. At every principal meeting whether all levels, or level specific there are an over abundant amount present. Although not every principal is versed in every curricular area they seem to just be 'present' rather than contributory. Although I may not be proficient with my credentials in science I am able to guide my site with the initiatives regardless of the TOSA's.
TOSA's, ELD Teachers (who mostly do ELPAC testing and are not much help to ELD students), Librarians (other districts use a classified staff member to staff the library) and that money can support PE prep instead of library, Instrumental Music at Elementary, Middle School sports, Counselors at the High School level, Office staff at the high school level
Let individual sites review all personnel and make reductions that make sense for them as opposed to one size fits all cuts.  Hypothetically if each site had to cut 50K let us work to make those cuts.  
Eliminate site administrators working at district level
Restructure TOSA model to support site instructional leaders to support teachers instead of trying to support all teachers (less TOSAs needed)
Is it cheaper to contract out transportation services rather than maintain a whole department? 
Garden Ed Program
CST/CSEA
District Positions
5 years ago, we did not pay for SROs at our high school sites.  That is a huge expense and it should be placed back on the cities.  Walnut Creek is the only city that provides the service without charging us.
District Personnel and school counselors
TOSAs and district level people, also too many "administrators" that are not on school sites: Special Ed admin at district level, administrator of special programs, etc. 
Teachers on Special Assignment (TOSA) and personnel not supporting the school sites.  Site staffing ratios should not just be based on enrollment but should integrate other factors like SPED and IEPs, level of discipline, site demands, etc... Please look at multiple measures. 
Middle School Sports, Reduce TOSA's
gen ed counselors, vice pricipals, increased class size when possible, furlough days
I think we could reduce TOSAS and Librarians. We could also cut on things like the certified mail you send out to all admin every year. Give the assignment sheets to the secretaries at their meetings and they can have a signature sheet that people received it. Middle School Sports could be eliminated. Schools can do their own sports program without renting buses and hiring referees. 
Reduce personnel that is not on school campus including coaches, TSAs, district level managers. Working with site personnel to see if there are any non student days that can be reduced for classified employees. I am OK with a no "me too" if it helps admins to not have further cuts! 
Consider all items that were cut during previous budget crisis. What do we need to fund to maintain compliance? Print Shop vs sending things out to print. All staff (credentialed, admin, classified) furlough days on the two teacher in-service days. Consider other staff furlough days as needed in August and June. Bring elementary site offices down to two positions for larger schools and 1 position for smaller schools. Consider the need for all staff who do not directly serve students on campuses by teaching who are generally funded (counselors, secondary librarians, third admins, IMAs, clerks).  Ensure that classes are full (IB classes with 8 students???). Evaluate the number of families drawn to enroll and live in our district due to IB. Consider eliminating the IB program and focus as a district on AVID. Reduce the number of VPs by splitting time between larger schools. Encourage sites who may need additional VP time to consider the expense from their base or LCFF funds, same with any other need for staff time (counselors, librarians, IMAs). Reduce site budgets. Place sites on a rotating cleaning schedule for the month (Weeks A, B, C, and D schedules). Consider the need for TOSAs funded generally. Can they serve in another capacity from a different funding? We are a DA district and need to consider all staff that can help our sites move forward. Can all TOSAs be funded from Titled funds? Can we explore the need to develop a CSI/DA Tosa or two? Have any newly credentialed teachers go through their tier II program with the county at a cost to themselves and not district. Reduce the number hours all sites serve the public. Consider how to reduce contracts from general funds with outside vendors. Ask vendors to consider reduced premiums to keep our business. Reduce the number of texts and workbooks in the warehouse. Workbooks are supplemental. Are we obligated to provide them? Consider ways to reduce or combine the number of meetings held each week, each month, etc. 
Eliminate TOSA's, outside consultants and conferences
Eliminate Assessment, Research & Evaluation Department - Keep one position and absorb work into other departments
Teachers on special assignments.
District Office Staff
Eliminate iready, tighten class sizes to max, look at gaps in vocal music and library schedules-possible to go from 2 days on site to 1.5 days, eliminate TOSA, Eliminate elem. counselors, eliminate instrumental music at elem sites, consider site needs while elimination process happens, small sites need less  than larger sites, eliminate middle school athletics, equitable distribution of cuts to elem, middle and high school, HVAC systems get turned off by a certain time so they are not running nights and weekends, 
Reductions in all units (managers, clerical, certificated, M&O, etc)
Eliminate the elementary PE teachers for grades 4-5. I believe this program started to support 4th and 5th grade teachers who were unable to participate in class size reduction like their K-3 colleagues. Since K-3 no longer has class size reduction, this program should be obsolete.
We could also consider moving to a 4-day/week program. There could be many reductions in spending with this model...less classified employees to pay, less $ on power/electricity, etc.
I would also recommend to no longer make large one-size-fits-all purchases for schools/teachers, like text books or curriculum. I have visited many school sites and see materials not being used because there was no adequate training, no buy-in, disagreement with the pedagogy, etc.
To save on classified personnel costs, we could create a student internship program where high school students could get job/career training in secretarial, custodial, tech, food service and other types of roles in schools and district office.
Reduce Vice Principals, School Psychologist, Reduce Various Special Education Resources, Outsource Landscaping, M&O Swing Shift Restructure, and Reduce Elementary Attendance Clerks, 
Second time around - close a low enrollment elementary school or two, ask principals at low enrollment schools to take on other responsibilities - Tier II Induction, planning Wednesday PD time for colleagues, textbook ordering for colleagues, work with an itinerant group - music, PE, or library teachers including their schedules.
Outside consultants, underused programs
TOSAs ,  re-close Holbrook Elementary 
Excess copying, non-essential new materials, don't fill non-essential vacancies (but listen to/heed the boots on the ground as to what's essential and what isn't - whether materials or positions), delay or don't give raises to administrators/other highly paid district positions, especially if there might be reductions elsewhere...
TOSA's I think they are great, but they could be greatly reduced to help the budget.
TOSAs; Auxiliary District Staff; Secondary Librarians; SPED staff. (Do NOT reduce site admins or site counselors!)
Cutting work years/days for staff, making staff have school breaks off that don't usually have that type of schedule. For example: Winter Break time - 1 week, Spring Break off, Month of July Off, End of June Week off.  Not just certificated class have shortened work years but Classified as well.  Perhaps cutting hours - some staff can work 30 hours instead of 40?  Keeping the positions but cutting the hours.  -- note not staff that work with the students but more office type staff
Electronic sign in and out for SEAs and substitutes in every office similar to students at Dianne Adair to make payroll more efficient.
CUT: PE teachers, instrumental music teachers, ELD teacher, TOSAs . Stop dual language and IB programs. Reduce central office positions. We have such a sub shortage that when we have to split up classes of students because we have no subs, it costs us significantly more than if we had a sub. The district could SAVE money by hiring full time roving subs. 
Eliminate positions that are not providing direct services to the students and families, especially at the District's level. 
Eliminate positions that don't provide direct service to students. 
Year round district administrators working four days a week during the summer or close district office one day a week during summer
Work year reduction for year-round staff; more assertive SEA hiring practices to avoid non-public agency and non-public school referrals and litigation costs; school closure (Wren?); build in-house behavioral programs to bring back non-public school students 
TOSA's, Curriculum Specialists
Reductions should be made in District Office starting with the TOSA's.  Sites cannot function when positions are eliminated.
Get rid of iReady and have TOSAS create benchmark exams that align to the curriculum scope and sequence. This data will be more accurate because students do not take iReady seriously after a few years of using the program. They are burnt out! Stop buying textbooks that teachers do not use only because of Williams. There has to be another way to meet Williams requirements. 
purchases, conferences, events
Elementary counselors (can contract out with outside service provider)
Anywhere, but the school site budgets themselves.
Postage, paper, mailings.  Be paperless when possible.
Restrict overtime, its the biggest budget "killer" maximize work that is done within the regular hours.
Please cut above before cutting direct services providers (counselors and librarians). Does elementary need both a director for school support and an assistant superintendent? Can master scheduling be done by an onsite administrator? Should we consider closing Holbrook and focus on bolstering other dual language programs?
It would help to know how much we need to cut in one time and longer term funds. IF we are talking BIG dollars I think we should capitalize on the press about larger school districts, such as ours, closing schools in the bay area. My suggestion is to close two. If we are going to upset one pocket community, let's just make it two, or perhaps three. In looking at the populations of our neighboring districts within Contra Costa County, school districts that are fiscally balanced have far fewer physical school sites served than our district. The difference is startling. By my research near twenty! I understand closing schools is a political hot bed, however, we have multiple small schools currently open. Maintain the victory and positive momentum of HOLA, but take a serious look at the others. Can students easily get to a neighboring school by traversing the roads? What is the cost of a crossing guard compared to the operational expense of an entire school? Also, there are several small Alt Ed sites located on other larger campuses. Do we really need separate school admins to run these programs? This is my third sense! :)
There are some elementary schools that decided not to use the ELA/ELD core materials from McGraw Hill, but still they received all the materials that are sitting unopened somewhere. We can save a lot of money if this doesn't happen again in the future.
Close Summit; reduce 12-month employees to 11-months
It seems that site teams have an understanding of the strengths and space within their community, and principals could identify specific cuts or reductions that would have less impact on the sustainability of their structures.I am not aware of the effectiveness of the TOSA model, and it seems there is an abundance of money going towards those positions. It is possible there is mental health support that could come from individuals at an entry-level that would be more cost effective and allow a balance of site/student support with other more experienced practitioners.
clerical
Eliminate iReady - reduce TOSAs 
Budget reductions need to be made as far away from the classroom as possible. This would include reorganization of central office and district office departments. 
Field Trips
1.) Get rid of M&O and outsource everything. Every. Single. Thing. This would save money, generate efficiency, and better serve students. 2.) We don't need full admin/counseling staff at the elementary level. If college and career readiness (and cost reduction) are goals, strategic placement matters. 
EL Services for students born in the United States
Perhaps reducing the number of Teachers on Special Assignment. 
Counselors, Clerical/Office Staff, and TOSAs
Instrumental Music in Elementary (change the model somehow). iReady. 
No overtime. Do your job during regular hours.
Has anyone looked into the cost difference between an outside busing company (1st Student? Durham?) transporting our students? Seems like there might be a significant cost savings vs. the district bearing the brunt of buses and maintenance.
Restructure TOSA model of how they support sites as well as rethink certain positions and their effectiveness based on job descriptions such as Admin TOSAs as well as District level positions
materials and supplies; decrease conferences or training that are paid out of the general fund unless absolutely necessary. Do a survey of personal appliances that can be removed from the classrooms. Even though we have solar this might reduce electricity bill.
Look at Allocations for existing and unfilled positions- Do we really need the positions that are posted? Do we really need the same level of services at each site? How is the funding allocated based on site need? Shared services.
Reduction of materials-Online based programs to cut the cost of textbooks
 
Extraneous and redundant clerical staff, food, coffee, water services, fancy office supplies used at the district office. Look in a detailed way at every contract and vendor to determine academic return on investment for the education side of the house and the cost/benefit ratio for those serving the business side of the house. Every department should have to go through the same sort of process as sites do each year to get their site plan and budget through their SSC and board approval.
1. District
- I would look at opportunities to restructure our Maintenance & Operations division, with a more balanced internal/external model of resources. Not across the board, but the quality of service received at the site level is at times both lower in quality and higher in cost than from a 3rd party.
- I would look at ways to optimize expenses in TIS and tech infrastructure, as systems are both outdated and handled almost entirely by internal teams, yet MDUSD is behind the curve from a technology standpoint.
2. Site
- Last year at our site, certificated staffing & class sections for students were reduced but classified staffing remained the same (eg. clerical staffing, campus supervision, food service)
Programs that don’t work and are expensive such as AVID & IB. Excessive TOSAS.
Reduce budget for conferences and trainings
During times of fiscal uncertainties, we must be proactive instead of reactive. My recommendations for budget reductions would stem from the evaluation of data. I would recommend reflecting on our shared vision; i would utilize our LCAP goals because it unifies our district and it challenges us to systematically have a vision for our students, staff, and parents/communities. Looking at data from each site and the support they will need to meet these goals would give us a better understanding of what each of the individual site needs are. For example, schools with the most underserved student populations with high academic and socio-emotional needs cannot afford to lose mental health support (counselors). We will not change student academic outcomes if their socio-emotional needs are not met. Schools that are designated as needing improvement, CSI schools, are struggling for a reason. Traditionally the reason is due to the systemic changes that need to occur at various levels, including site, district and state. The question still continues to be, how do we create systemic changes for these sites when we continue to decrease human and fiscal resources? The underserved will continue to be underserved. My recommendations for budget reductions are based on making the equitable decisions to meet the needs of the sites, specifically those outlined on our LCAP - schools with high numbers of English Learners, Foster Students, Special Ed., our students of color...
Reduce positions at the district level; eliminate overtime; reduce/eliminate outside PD offerings or train district leadership to present it; re-negotiate MDEA contract to eliminate 1-2 PD days from work calendar; reduce Special Education costs; reduce TOSAs and have directors, program specialists, site admin, and department chairs lead PD and instructional initiatives; create more efficient systems in departments such as M&O (ex: create a schedule for the day that does not require traveling back and forth between Bisso Ln and sites, and take all tools necessary to sites to complete the work the first time)
I would preface by clarifying that equity is not equality. Educational Equity is about raising the achievement of all while narrowing the opportunity gap and if that is our goal then reductions or cuts should not be applied unilaterally. Our professed values need to be aligned with our resources.

At the core of student learning is ensuring that climate and culture is foundational. We will continue to lose money as sites struggle to develop and maintain healthy and humanizing learning environments. At its core this work is about developing healthy relationships between teachers and students, students who are increasingly culturally different than the adults on campus. By ignoring this we will continue to bleed money since students will not feel safe, validated, engaged or challenged to learn and we will continue to spiral down a never ending rabbit hole. The Dash Board speaks to this.

The standards have changed, our assessments have changed our demographics have changed and yet our pedagogy and mindset has remained the same. How are we developing the capacity and lens of ALL adults in the district to address this challenge systematically? To that end I would begin by eliminating positions furthest removed from impacting student learning yet mindful of the coaching and supports necessary to develop and sustain this new lens.

I would also explore the value and need for multiple initiatives to coexist on a site that inadvertently strains limited resources. While the various initiatives all have value and merit we should be careful about falling into the trap of trying to become a jack of all trades and master of none. I suggest creating a team composed of the district instructional team and site leadership teams making recommendations to determine which initiatives have the greatest return on investment. Among the questions or considerations might be the cost of running the initiative vs the impact on student learning. What does the data say regarding the merit vs another? Has one been more effective at raising student achievement, in particular our most disenfranchised populations? Which initiative is more expensive to sustain? This is not about voting for one or the other but taking a systems view from the balcony to determine which is more effective and using data to make informed decisions. If the students are not broken and the initiatives have research to support their value then where are the pressure points?

As a last resort we should consider consolidating elementary sites and renting or selling the property.
Counselors- elementary Schools
spread counselors out
These are tough cuts but Elem PE and possibly instrumental music although it breaks my heart!
Structure work loads to meet working hours to eliminate overtime.
Administrative overhead
Getting rid of large contracts like iReady etc...
Get rid of Clever
Librarians
Reduce landscape
Reduce adult education
Review site based contracts and combine and consolidate
Get rid of iReady
Allow varsity sports to count as PE credit
Have the police departments pay for the SROs
Stop buying ELA math consumables at elementary
Cut elementary PE and instrumental music
Closed schools that are K-8
Revisit counseling assignments
Stop mailing report cards email instead
Centralize kindergarten registration
Reduce communication specialist
Forgo me-too for administrative salaries
Furlough day at the central office
Combine positions with overlapping duties
Hard minimum class sizes
Shifting funding for SRO‘s
Increased enrollment for international baccalaureate
PBIS is it working?
Absentee SARB? Emailing notification improving attendance
Bringing trainings in the house rather than conferences
Location of programs clustering
Offering electives every other year
Online offerings MDUSD online school
Advertise our academies, magnet programs and IB to increase enrollment
Automating processes like timesheets and absentee letters
Leverage outside partnerships
Meetings and training via zoom to cut down on mileage
Bring trainings in house
Put a freeze a cat or a limit on overtime pay
Bill for transportation through medical
Expand university internships to increase mental health support to schools
Modified year-round school calendar
Close buildings to save utilities during nonschool days
Utilize district printing services instead of outside business
Allow orders through Amazon