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AUSD to Pass $79 million Budget for 2010/11 School Year

At a special Board of Trustees Meeting tomorrow night, the Alameda Unified School District will consider a resolution approving a $79 million school budget for the 2010/11 school year. The budget includes a $4.8 million deficit.

The $4.8 million deficit will be covered by an existing general fund balance of $6.6 million according to a District budget presentation and includes $7.3 million in revenue from existing parcel taxes, Measures A and H.

Notes in the presentation on planned cuts for the 2011/12 school year mention class size increases for grades K through 3, and the closure of one middle school, and one high school, but no elementary school closures. These changes would save over $2.75 million per year according to the presentation.

Notes for the 2012/13 school year include a proposed $4.3 million saving through negotiated salary rollbacks for all employees, representing 6% of a planned $64.3 million expenditure for salaries and benefits in that year. Salaries and benefits for the 2010/11 school year total $62.8 million.

25 comments to AUSD to Pass $79 million Budget for 2010/11 School Year

  • Barb

    Is there a breakdown between overhead salaries and benefits and those of the classroom teachers somewhere? Is it the General Counsel who chose “deferrals effecting cash”?

  • Yes, the website breaksdown the detail under “financial reports by District” :

    Latest data available is for 2008-2009:

    Certificated salaries total expenditure: $43,575,132 or $4,580 per student. (Statewide avg for all Districts is $4,495)
    Classified Salaries: $12,807,516 or $1,346 per student (Statewide avg is $1,398)

    (Note there are over 400 out-of-district students in Alameda schools)

    Employee Benefits
    State Teachers Retirement System: $3,344,716
    Public Employee Retirement System: $1,098,910
    Other expenses are OASDI/Medicare, Health & Welfare, UI, Workers Comp, OPEB, PERS
    Total Benefits: $11,855,640

    oh! There were over $5 million in “professional/consulting services and operating expenditures” in the “Services and other operating expenses” category. (Total, $11,507,030.00 129% of the statewide average for all school districts.)

  • Barb

    Nearly an $80 million dollar budget with $5 million plus $12.8 million for non-teacher salaries? Not quite 20% right? The retirement payments reflect $3.34 going to teachers retirement and $1.10 to overhead retirement. But $5 million of the overhead is purchased and not going to “employees”? Is my math wrong or is the retirement for the overhead a bit disproportionate? How much do these administrators and non-teachers get paid? Is their retirement really that expensive? Why isn’t Social Security good enough?

  • In 2008-2009, total expenditures were $85,594,998 (revenue was $83 million)

  • Hot R

    Barb: Teachers and administrators don’t qualify for social security. Those who held a private sector job before teaching have their social security drastically reduced to avoid double dipping. But because the longer you worked in the private sector the more money is taken from your social security, you end up with much less than you paid in. As presently constituted, it’s a disincentive to teach as a second career.

  • Not that the NEA hasn’t been trying to change that through the Social Security Fairness Act

  • HotR, as usual, fails to indicate all those many INCENTIVES to teach. They tell us, “Well, our pensions aren’t nearly as generous as Police & Fire, (as if that means anything), who can retire at 50 with 75% of final year’s salary. Less generous than that? Such retirement benefits threaten all cities,but especially Alameda, where they are unfunded!

    Alameda Ckty Councils have also failed to fund infrastructure repairs, all this so that they could fund many redevelopment projects at the expense of our schools. And two of those proven nitwits are now running for mayor!

    Time to cote the bastards OUT!


  • Barb

    I don’t think I was born when the teachers and administrators decided to have their own retirement system. My question should have been why wasn’t Social Security good enough for them? I think all government employees, President Obama on down, should be required to contribute to Social Security. Or fund supplemental programs from their own earnings. Instead of demanding taxpayers to pay for some of their extremely exhorbitant retirements. There should be a disincentive to double or triple dipping on publically funded pensions as well. We should not treat our employees – municipal or otherwise – better than we treat ourselves.

    If I retire before age 66 (so far) and I own income property or earn more than a few thousand dollars working, I am penalized by losing Social Security benefits. Should teachers be different? It is this mentality of entitlement at the public trough that has gotten the taxpayer into this grave situation. Why should muncipal “servants” receive 6 figure incomes, lavish pensions, and great benefits at taxpayer expense? And their accountability is limited. If they screw up one jurisdiction or municipality, or school district, they just go to another one at a higher salary.

  • CalStrs is expecting the State and school districts to increase funding later to make up for losses during the recession.

    CalStrs 2009 Press Release
    Recovery won’t close funding gap

    The CalSTRS board is working together with stakeholders to address a long-term benefits funding shortfall of $22.5 billion as of June 30, 2008. While investment earnings are the single largest source of funds to pay benefits, the historic market declines show investments alone cannot close the funding gap. Closing the gap will require legislative action in the future to increase contributions made by the school districts and the state.

    “Our members’ benefits are secure, yet the current economic picture clearly illustrates investments alone cannot meet pension obligations in the long term,” said Ehnes.

  • Hot R

    Barb: What Alameda teacher is getting a 6 figure income either in salary or retirement? Aren’t you talking about police, fire, prison guards, assemblymen and women, State senators, and the like? Teachers do not double or triple dip.

    And Dennis – you should know better…The City of Alameda does not pay for a teacher’s retirement, nor are the retirements or medical benefits in any way comparable to police and fire.

  • When I interviewed Mike McMahon, he told me that losses in the retirement fund investments would have to be made up in the AUSD budget. Several million dollars a year. You say teacher’s benefits are in no way comparable to police and fire. What percentage of their salaries do teachers pay into their retirement or medical coverage? At what age can they retire, and what percentage of their final year’s salary do they collect in retirement funds? We ordinary citizens don’t compare our retirement benefits to police and fire, and we want you to compare your retirement benefits to us, not to police and fire, who are outrageously overpaid, especially in sleepy little Alameda, where we haven’t had a wildfire or a crime wave in our entire history.

  • And by the way, police and fire pay 9% of their salaries toward retirement benefits. Teachers don’t make anywhere near such high contributions, more like 1.5% or 3% of their salaries. Private sector employees pay far more than that toward Social Security, and small business owners even more. Yet the returns on SS are far lower, and no wonder police and fire enjoy better benefits than teachers. They pay three to six times more of their salaries into their retirement funds.

  • Hot R

    What I always notice about our online dialogue is that you never actually address any points made by an opponent. Instead you confuse the issue. No one can ever seriously claims that teachers are overpaid or live off th fat of the land on cushy pensions except you. Although I enjoy our exchanges, you have to be more reasonable in your comments. “Ordinary” citizens set up 401K’s, get social security, and pension benefits from their jobs. Statistically this is much more generous than teachers’ pensions. Most teachers cannot afford to live in town or retire here.

    The fiscal crisis in town is coming but it does not involve the teachers. Oakland currently has to commit 75% of its budget to police and fire. To finnance it there have to be cuts to all other services, or layoffs of police and fire. Vallejo is the example. You can claim that “nothing” ever happens in Alameda, but you will be glad we have a police department when the Mehserle riots break out in Oakland next week. We are surrounded by crime-ridden communities. But as our schools decline and our police department is diminished,crime will increase and property values will plummet. In the end, you get what you pay for, and what you don’t pay for too. Enjoy that $2 a day you saved on the parcel tax.

  • At $64,092/year (a 2008-09 figure), the average AUSD teacher makes $50 to $60 per hour, based on 5 hours of teaching, and 1-2 hours of prep. That is above the median household income for Alameda (~$56K according to the U.S. Census) and when we checked teacher income level against affordable housing income limits vis-a-vis the proposed Island High site affordable housing project in 2008, we found that most teachers earned too much money to qualify for affordable housing. The argument that “most teachers cannot afford to live in town” ignores that fact, and the consideration that teachers are often part of a household with another high-income earner.

    HotR, your arguments about Dennis Green not actually addressing any points made by his opponent are disingenuous. You are guilty of the same thing. You keep re-directing the discussion to the fire and police benefits, and don’t even acknowledge that Green is actually agreeing with you! It’s amusing to watch.

  • Barb

    Hey I live off that crime in Oakland. As a criminal defense lawyer I can say it’s been there forever and is slowly declining due to the gentrification started by Brown. The demographics have shifted some of my work to Hayward, Pleasanton and Fremont. But the truth is, the isolation caused by Alameda being an island, keeps much of the crime out. [Wasn’t always an island. The Army Corps of Engineers dug across the isthmus in the early 1900’s. CF the wonderful photo exhibit on the 2nd floor of the Oakland Main Library] Crime has always depended on easy undetectable egress/ingress which has kept crim low here. At least for the last 6 decades I have been living here. And if SUNCAL gets built, the crime will go down some. No self-respecting criminal will burglarize a home in Alameda, or rob somebody at gunpoint, carjack a car, only to get caught in traffic on his or her way out.
    I can say that my son’s 5th grade teacher from AUSD, is now retired and living in Alameda. She is single and a good 10 years plus younger than I am. I look forward to my Social Security in 7 more years. No 401k, having spent most of my income putting two children through private schools (after the last school closures and mismanagement of AUSD made me give up on it) and then universities.
    I am content that I did the right thing, but my retirement from Social Security doesn’t compare to teachers’ retirement. And the cost of medical and dental coverage is about $700 per month. MEdicare will make it less when I am eligible.

    When the riots in Oakland occured in the 60’s, Alameda was secure. And believe me, the police in Oakland are so overworked it is frightening. Police in Alameda, Fremont, Pleasanton, Hayward, San Leandro and the other cities have a cake walk compared to the war zone that has been Oakland for the last 25 years. Maybe that means that we have too many police and Oakland has too few. Maybe it means we should all do like San Carlos and hire the Alameda County Sheriff a la Dublin for our policing. The Sheriff does a great job.
    I don’t know what the solution is. It certainly isn’t throwing money at AUSD’s continued mismanagement, or calling people names. Hey Hot R, why don’t you run for the School Board? Those people volunteer perhaps 20-30 hours a month and try to do the best they can, but they aren’t a match for an incompetent bureaucracy. I will vote for you becasue you seem to have the energy to do the job.

  • Hot R: What prevents you and all the other people who voted Yes on E from sending that $659 to AUSD anyway? “It’s only two dollars a day,” and I’m sure if more than 14,000 supporters of E would simply pony up, put their money where their mouth is, those kids in elementary school might keep their art/music/P.E. teachers, and Vital might be able to keep her high-priced political consultants and her outside attorney. If you really care, you could contribute to Measures A, H and E combined. It’s only…what?…three dollars a day? And go ahead, put some pressure on all the businesses that supported E to send in what they would have paid if it had passed. Just because you lost the election doesn’t mean you have to deprive the kids of the higher quality education your money will provide!

  • Moreover, I see a new valuable precedent here for all parcel tax elections. Instead of exempting “Senior and the Disabled,” exempt anyone who votes “No!” We could even reward those who fight to defeat the parcel tax initiative, so that they would benefit, as many of the proponents surely would have if the parcel tax had passed! Now, that’s true democracy in action…


  • Hot R

    Let’s take it one step further Dennis. You pay for your own house fire and police calls, and the roads you travel on in town. Seriously, what you suggested is not “democracy.” You have already benefited all these years from Alameda’s schools whether you admit it or not. Maybe you owe the rest of us for that under your pay as you go plan. Time for you to move off the grid.

    At the school board meeting last night many people agreed with your suggestion that contributions be made directly to the schools, instead of through a parcel tax, and Board Member Spencer suggested a direct solicitation campaign. I take it you and Barb will not be contributing. Another suggestion was a bond issue to build a new high school and rebuild other schools. Unfortunately for you, that only needs 51% of the vote. That is guaranteed to raise your blood pressure.

  • If there was a bond issue to equalize the capacity of the elementary schools – the smallest (franklin) is less than half the size of the largest – and equalize access to schools across race and economic class lines, that would probably find some support. There is a patent unfairness built into the elementary school attendance zones as it stands now, one that benefits a certain group of people, the same people that organize to push for parcel taxes every time.

  • Have you called an ambulance lately Hot R? They send out $1,200 invoices for a paramedic call to a house and delivery to a hospital.

  • Hot R, my blood pressure is just fine, and my cholesterol is below 80. As for YOU, there you go again changing the subject. Will YOU personally contribute $659 to the schools this year? For the next eight years? Will you deduct Measure A&H? How devoted are YOU, really?

    I like your idea. Only people with kids in the schools pay any property taxes toward them. Think they would have to get their act together then? And I pay for a parking garage I don’t use, a hospital I can’t use, a library I choose not to use, and only a few of those streets in Alameda. So if my taxes were adjusted accordingly, only paying for services I use, I think I’d come out ahead.

    Oh, and the last time I was hospitalized, in an emergency situation, I got a huge fire engine rather than an ambulance, seven EMTs, and a bill for $1200 for the ride and one for $7,000 for being “stabilized” at Alameda Hospital, which meant a phone call with a former cardiologist on call there.

    And if we total up all the benefits I’ve received from AUSD students who succeeded, and deducted the costs from all those who failed, I’m probably, again, coming out on the down side. Nobody ever deducts the costs of those failures, because it’s just more glib to talk about how property taxes, the “future,” etc. and other benefits are shared by us all, not the downside. Get real.

  • Barb

    Before the parcel taxes I willingly donated in excess of the parcel taxes to my alma matter. Not UC Berkeley or Hastings, but to my high school, EHS. I felt it needed the money more. But after being forced to pay two parcel taxes, and watching it be misspent, I stopped.

  • nomoretaxes

    Many full-time AUSD teachers make in excess of $70K annually in salary (not including medical, dental, vision & retirement) with summers mid-June – late August off. They also get a 2-week winter break, a 1-week spring break & a fall recess. If you annualize this salary….well you do the math & it just may equal six figures. This is a FACT – check it yourself.

    I am a broken record on all blogs – all of the people that voted yes can write an annual check for their share of the parcel tax that they would have had to pay if Measure E passed.

  • It does. a $50/hour to $60/hour teaching job translates into over $100K for someone working at the same hourly rate in a regular full-time, year-round job.

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