Dear Community Member,
As many of you know, we are working diligently to reduce our deficit for next year. We have made a commitment to reduce $32 million of expenses for the 2020-2021 school year and have decided to reduce the remaining $16 million in the 2021-2022 school year. Doing this over two years will allow us to understand what improvements to our budget may come next year with the new state budget and important initiatives on the ballot such as the "Schools and Communities First" measure to increase funding for education.
It is worth mentioning that just this past week, our neighbor San Francisco Unified identified a current year structural deficit of over $30 million with needed cuts next year of over $80 million. They join Sacramento, San Diego, Los Angeles, Sweetwater, and Oakland, to name a few, that are urban school districts that collectively need to make more than half a billion in reductions for next school year. We truly have a system crisis.
To hit our target of $32 million, we are taking a balanced approach to reductions by focusing on non-staff costs, management, school site budgets and items that require negotiation because they are bound by contracts. More specific proposals for the non-salary reductions will be shared with the public on January 30.
Additionally, you will hear about an incentive for District employees to notify us if they plan to leave their jobs at the end of the school year. The reason for this incentive is so that we can reduce the number of people affected if layoffs are necessary to reach the reduction targets.
The next public discussion we will have will center around our non-salary reductions such as contracts and materials at the February 12th Board meeting. We have received much community input about our budget and will continue to engage and listen to as many voices as possible through the coming months.
Please refer to our website where we will keep the most updated information at https://www.wccusd.net/Page/13241
This is a difficult time for our community and our employees who are all concerned that we stay as whole and strong as possible and I ask for your patience and your grace as we move forward. Personally, I am in my 4th year here and have seen tremendous progress made in our schools and departments. It is extraordinarily painful for me to contemplate potential losses. Updates will continue to come and I know together we will weather the storm and continue the most important focus on how to make learning experiences engaging, empowering and challenging for our students every day.