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Superintendent Special Message: Budget Update Feb. 7

En Español

February 7, 2020

Dear WCCUSD Community Member,

As we continue work to solve the budget challenge that we face, I want to ensure that you are receiving regular up-to-date and accurate information.

Just to recap, the District faces a $47.8 million budget deficit. While the number is daunting, we do have a plan to address the challenge. We have made a commitment to reduce expenses by $32 million in the 2020-21 school year and have decided to reduce the remaining $15.8 million in the 2021-22 school year using our remaining one-time funds. This two-year solution will minimize the impact of painful cuts while we advocate for more appropriate school funding in Sacramento.

While we absolutely own our situation, this is not just a problem being faced in this District; school systems throughout the state are facing the same fiscal pressures and structural deficits. I encourage you to join us in advocating for our students with our state legislators and to support initiatives that prioritize education funding in the state. This week both Contra Costa County and Alameda County held events throughout both counties highlighting the need to properly fund education in the state.

While we continue to urge the state to fund education in a manner more fitting for the world’s fifth largest economy, we have to focus on local solutions. As I wrote last week, we have proposed more than $6 million in non-salary reductions, $2 million reduction in unrepresented central management personnel costs, and $2 million decrease in discretionary funds given to schools for the 2020-21 school year. The additional $22 million in reductions will need to be negotiated with our four bargaining units.  While we are negotiating and finalizing our reductions, we do have to prepare to potentially lay off employees if we can not successfully find negotiated solutions.  

I’m optimistic that working together, we can make these reductions. All four of our unions are actively discussing potential solutions which is a tremendous step in addressing the budget challenge and we thank everyone for the collaborative work. 

Just as a reminder, the list of non-salary reductions will be discussed publicly at the February 12 board meeting. This is another step in the process and your input is welcome. 

I encourage you to give your feedback either by email at budgetinfo@wccusd.net or at the next Board meeting. Additional information about the District’s budget challenge can be found on our budget information page wccusd.net/budget.

In community,

Matthew Duffy
Superintendent