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SRVUSD Board of Ed Approves $1 Million in Staffing Needs

Needs include increasing tech support allocation, adding four half-time special assignment teachers, and five positions in the business, facilities and maintenance area.

Superintendent introduced an item at Tuesday night's board of education meeting with some foreboding words.

"There is never a good time to have this conversation," he told the board.

Then he began to outline nearly $1 million in district staffing needs, which the board would unanimously approve.

"I am very aware that we are facing financial challenges as a district," he said. "Another reality (facing the district), however, is we continue to be a growing school district."

It's nearing 30,000 students and has been growing at about 4 percent, or 1,000 students, a year, according to a presentation by the in January.

The needs included increasing the per student allocation for tech support at the middle and elementary schools, hiring four half-time teachers on special assignment (or TSAs), and opening up five positions in the area of business and maintenance/maintenance services.

Those positions are:

  • Assistant Superintendent of Facilities and Operations
  • CBO / Controller
  • Purchasing Director
  • Energy Manager
  • Night custodian supervisor

District at risk as services thin out, Enoch says

Enoch said that with a district of this size, not having these needs filled leaves it at risk of a system failure and, potentially, in a financial crisis due to inadequate oversight and monitoring.

"Being thin in business support services is risky business," Enoch said. "It's just the prudent thing to do because of the amount of dollars that flow through this district."

Yet, these positions aren't necessarily new to the district. Community Relations Directory Terry Koehne said that at one point, the district had someone in each of these jobs, except energy manager, which is somewhat new due to the various energy technologies that have evolved and are now part of the district.

"In '96, when I came on board, we had all of these positions filled and enrollment was under 20,000," Koehne said. Over the course of the last decade and a half, the district has added 10 schools and 10,000 students.

"We have more buildings, more students, more cleaning, more maintenance, with less and less support," Koehne said. "We bite the bullet to maintain these levels, to maintain what we have. But the more strain we push on the system, the more chance the system could break."

Central administration first cut but it's time to fill

Koehne said that as funding dwindles, central administration is always the first to get cut. And, over the years, each of these positions have either been slashed or, in the CBO/controller and assistant superintendent of facilities and operations positions, combined.

Currently, Gary Black, under the title assistant superintendent of business services and facilities, is at the helm of both finances and facilities.

"The work of the CBO and the facilities maintenance will eventuality crush Gary," Board member Paul Gardner said. "You've done an amazing job (Gary) but I do think it has to be split."

Black would continue on as assistant superintendent of facilities and operations, while his fiscal operations would be fall under the CBO/controller's job.

"It's too much, too big, too unrealistic," Enoch said of Black's current duties. "The scope is too big and it should be split at this point."

For the other position, Enoch said that adding a purchasing and an energy manager could actually save the district money, though numbers weren't available at the time of the meeting.

The energy manager would oversee both the human aspect of energy conservation as well as the implementation of energy monitoring and energy technology controlling. "We would recoup significant dollars (with this position)," Enoch told the board.

The energy manager, Koehne said, has been a discussion in the district for about two years.

The purchasing manager has been on the books but has remained unfilled, Enoch said. There is no singular person at the head of purchasing in the district, currently, Enoch said. Due to this, he added, the district may in fact be losing dollars. Staff documents state "the district will experience better pricing of goods and services, as well as better quality of product and strong legal contract protection once this position is filled."

The night custodian supervisor was requested because, currently, the district has 83 custodians working at night with no direct supervisor. Staff documents state that this is an "unacceptable structure."

Board approves needs but what's the cost?

The board approved the positions, as well as the increase in tech support at the middle and elementary schools and the four half-time TSAs.

The five business and facilities/maintenance positions would increase the general fund by about $500,000, and increase the cost to Fund 21 by $44,000.

For tech support, the district currently spends $6.24 per middle school student and $5 per elementary student in tech support. Enoch requested that those per pupil allocations both be raised to $12. The high school allocation is $15.61 and will stay the same. The cost associated here would be an increase to the general fund by $139,739.

And, finally, the four half-time TSAs would increase the general fun by $100,000 and categorical funding by $200,000.

The board's unanimous approval for these needs lock them in for the 2012-13 budget, which starts July 1. The total increase in cost to the general fund for the 2012-13 budget is $739,742, plus $244,000 in categorical funding.

Questions were raised about when to actually fill the positions but it was clear that all the members agreed that these needs should be filled.

"We are big boys and girls now, and we've let them go too long," Gardner said.

Sam Clemens May 11, 2012 at 02:42 PM
The district paid teachers $2 million in 2011 for 2 furlough days in 2010. Why did they pay teachers $2 million for time not worked and now ask for more money? When will we see a cash flow analysis associated with the solar panels. (results not projections). The district is rift with waste and abuse. The answer is always spend more and avoid hard decisions (like terminating long tenure but highly compensated staff that under perform, and avoiding wasteful spending) We all know why this is so. The district exists to serve employees primarily, and students secondarily. We need to spin off a charter district and fund it for the future. The terminally ill union driven establishment needs to be run with minimal investment.
Sam Clemens May 11, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Ill equipped (time, guts, knowhow) school boards hire Union codependent superintendents and rubber stamp what ever the superintendent request (Union demands). School Board can break this cycle by hiring superintendent recommended by Michelle Rhee's Sacramento Based www.studentsfirst.org I'll bet the board is so afraid of the Union that they would never consider such a candidate.
concerned resident May 11, 2012 at 03:04 PM
You are right on Sam. Now they want another $260 million or more bond issue for us to approve in November. Pay off the existing bonds first then ask for more money. More bond money equals more bureaucrats to "oversee" the spending. When will the SRVUSD get its fiscal house in order, maybe when Enoch is retired?
Trish May 11, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Sam, I couldn't agree with you more! We continue to throw more and more money into a broken system controlled by the Unions. Teachers should not have Unions. What purpose do they serve in present day? It's time for a re-prioritization and getting back to basics. It's time for accountability in spending of taxpayer funds on ALL aspects of government spending. We put our faith and trust in politicians who have lied to put themselves in power and are motivated by their own self interests. What are the roles of these positions? Assistant Superintendent of Facilities and Operations CBO / Controller Purchasing Director Energy Manager Night custodian supervisor Seems like a pretty top heavy list of staff (management and ?...). How do our children benefit from this? Really?!.. $1,000,000?! ... To hire five additional folks? Sounds like some hidden wasteful spending may be involved...
Sam Clemens May 11, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Union dominated organizations are too vested in the current order to allow the required change. They always say "let's work together" etc, but what they mean is "let's work together, but let's not make things uncomfortable for the member". Look at the UAW (autos); and steel workers and their associated industries if you need examples of formidable unions and codependent management failing to change enough create successful entities. The teachers union is just a thugish, and much more powerful than either of these. So, if we citizens expect the public schools to ever change; you need to force "creative destruction" on the public schools. that means give choice to the students and parents to take their money and students elsewhere. Sadly, even the evaporation of customers and funding does not change Union dominated organizations. They merely continue to serve the remaining declining work force, as each member strives to be "the last rat to drown".
Sam Clemens May 11, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Obama wants to pay science and math teachers more than PE teachers....And the teachers union stands in the way. What hope is there for this bunch if such an obvious improvement; recommended by liberal president fails to gain traction with the teachers union. So the question is...."what are the people going to do about it"?
Terry Parris Jr. May 11, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Just to be clear, the budget implications break down as follow: Increasing tech support to middle and elementary schools: $139,000 (general fund) Hiring four, half-time TSAs: $200,000 (categorical), $100,000 (general fund) The business, facilities and maintenance service positions: $500,003 (general fund), $44,000 (Fund 21) Not all of it is dedicated just to the positions you listed above.
Terry Parris Jr. May 11, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Concerned resident: Technically, the board isn't asking for the money when it comes to these needs. It has approved and will make room for them in the coming budget year.
Beau Hunk May 11, 2012 at 09:55 PM
The increase in students each year is about 1000 with no decline in sight. This is the equivalent of a new middle school being built each year. Where are you going to put those students? How will construction be funded if not through bond issues? Do you want year-round school? Two kids per one seat? I went to a school where half of the sixth grade was two kids per seat. It was horrible, believe me. Bad mouthing the Board of Ed or the Teachers will not solve the space problem. I agree that major changes are needed, and in the meantime... Two kids per seat...
Terry Parris Jr. May 11, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Good points, Beau. There is specific concern in the DV area, too. The board has said that school is already full, with a new development coming in those boundaries, they say, will only increase the capacity issue. Sorry I don't have specific data at present but this is what the board has said.
Sam Clemens May 11, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Invest in charters; disinvest in the failed system. Strive to be the best globally. Get some intestinal fortitude and take on the Union on codependent management. Spend the minimum on the sinking ship.
Sam Clemens May 11, 2012 at 11:31 PM
$544000 for 5 people. Put the work out to bid. No crazy salaries and no unfunded pension liability for our chikdren to pay off. Or did the Union boss say no no no; and SRVSD said yes sir!
Judy May 13, 2012 at 05:26 AM
Remember that the school board approves the budget, so if you do not like what happens remember this at election time.
Sam Clemens May 13, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I see in paper today Brown we are $16 billion deficit. And have to cut schools if taxes not raised. I also read in WSJ that pension funds (Marianna Islands govt pension for one) can file for bankruptcy, and have done so. Pension benefits were cut 50%. I wish/hope CA pension funds can do same. Either way CA should use this as an opportunity to cut government compensation, benefits and head count. And increase charter schools and out sourcing (like prisons to 3rd world countries)
Sam Clemens May 13, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Teacher pension mobility would allow the charters to hire the best public school teachers without having them loose pension benefits. Check our: http://www.studentsfirst.org/blog/entry/challenging-the-myths-around-pension-reform
Concerned Parent May 14, 2012 at 03:34 AM
The Board should investigate the qualifications of individuals being promoted specifically Gary Black. I have friends that work in the school district and everyone I've talked to have said Gary is a micro manager with very poor people skills and makes decisions on subjects he has very little knowledge but does not take into consideration input from people doing the grudge work. Managers like Gary Black does not belong in a growing school district! Someday his incompetence will severely contribute to the failures of such a fine school district. Board ED, I encourage you to do some investigations before it's too late! Have a closed door meetings with people reporting to Gary Black.
Laura Finco May 14, 2012 at 04:20 AM
Just to be perfectly clear: the teachers' association did not request, let alone have any say in these positions. No where in the article, let alone at the meeting, was it even inferred thatnthe teachers union asked for this. Remember, these teachers have not had an increase in salary since 2007 whereas administators have. As for why do we still need unions-- well, just look at what the Board has done. Now imagine if there wasn't someone, like the Union keeping tabs and doing what they can to protect our students and yes, protecting our teachers. Say what you may, but I for one am glad that there is a union.
Terry Parris Jr. May 14, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Laura: Are you part of the teachers' union?
Truth13 May 14, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Sam Sam Sam??? I agree with some of your points but the hypocrisy , although subtle shines through. I agree, the system s broken and government has never done a great job in controlling spending and waste. Doesn't matter which party , the wasteful spending is outrageous. Here is my problem. You complain about a million dollar increase in spending. Yet when a community and school district try and take a hard line on truancy which would save and earn the district money due to increased attendance you claim harassment. In a time where every penny counts in would think every solution to raise money should be considered.
Sam Clemens May 14, 2012 at 02:55 PM
The teachers union isn't protecting the students. How can u possibly say that when they won't allow poor teachers to be terminated, good teachers rewarded, or the introduction of new technologies that require changes in union work rules. Please......what a joke. The union promotes the welfare of the union bosses, and the mediocre portion of it's members make no mistake about it. Think Teamsters, Jimmy Hoffa, UAW, Steel workers SEIU. Teachers union operates with same union thug mentality. We ALL know that.
Sam Clemens May 14, 2012 at 03:00 PM
I am not claiming harassment re truancy, I'm claiming having people in class rooms that don't want to be there hurts the learning experience of those that do. I think the focus on truancy perfectly illustrates the union mentality. Get more money, get more members, collect more dues. .......but no consideration given to education results.
Sam Clemens May 14, 2012 at 03:05 PM
And by the way the school board authorized $2 million in back pay in 2011 for two unworked furlough days. No consideration given to adding back the instructional days; just a plan to award TWO EXTRA vacation days. Again, it's all about the union; and not about the kids. Protecting the kids. Do they thing we are stupid (not); negligent if our children's future; (probably)
Sam Clemens May 14, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Was the need for an energy manager factored into the solar panel cash flow? It sounds like this person is "needed" because of the solar panels. Timing too coincidental. What's this position do anyway? Set thermostat and light switch policy & check PG&E meters? What a waste. When will we see the ACTUAL cash flow flowing to service the $25 million in solar panel debt we saddled the schools with? (that our children will pay for for the most part). The silence is deafening. Does the district know that the state is broke? Any sane management would restructure the admin to get what must be done done , and cut what isn't. They certainly wiuldn't be adding costs at a time like this!!!
Truth13 May 14, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Sam I cannot disagree with some of your points. The solar energy project will never pay fo itself. Repairs , maintenance and theft are costs that were not factored by the board. Fluff is what this district and tri-valley area loves. Direction kiosks, brick crosswalks just to name a few expenditures. I also cannot argue the money wasted on two furlough days. I sm not a fan of Mr. Enoch. I have never seen a person so disinterested in children. So unaware of the needs of his staff. Impersonal, robotic, status quo leadership is the last thing this district needs or needed. Tough choices will need to be made,I hope the district chooses wisely and finds a candidate that inspires instead of expires.
Sam Clemens May 14, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Hire a superintendent endorsed by Michelle Rhee's www.studentsfirst.org

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