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Superintendent Message

Update on budget challenge

April 17, 2018

Dear SAISD Staff

In my past two messages, I’ve touched on the difficult topic of declining enrollment and how it impacts our 2018-19 budget. I know this kind of news can cause concern, but please know I will communicate with you often throughout our budget analysis.

In this letter, I want to share with you more about where we are in the process.

At the April 9 Board meeting, we spoke of the challenges we have in regard to aligning staff levels to projected student enrollment. We are down more than 2,000 students this year, and project a loss of an additional 800 students for next school year. The Trustees asked us to come back and present options on how we will address the resulting $31 million revenue decline.

As we have discussed, we need to assess staffing requirements for both Central Office and campus administration based on District and campus needs, and also adjust the number of teaching positions on campuses to align with expected enrollment.

Even though we feel cautiously optimistic that through attrition and other identified savings we will be able to balance the budget with minimal impact on our staff; tonight we asked the Board to approve the option of employee reductions, should it be needed as we move forward in our budget calculations.

The Board approved the processes titled Reduction in Force and Necessary Reduction in Personnel. The processes would be governed by law and policy – primarily based on employee performance.  We expect that any employee reduction action, if needed, would be brought to the Board in mid-May.

Approval of this allows us to do two things:

  • To work with any staff that could be affected by these actions. If we don’t receive enough timely attrition, then less than five percent of employees would be affected.
  • To guarantee positions to more than 95 percent of our staff.

Those areas potentially impacted are District administrators, campus administration and teachers. Master Teachers would not be impacted. While Probationary teachers would not be part of this specific process, as has been done historically, there will be some contracts that won’t be renewed.

We will be watching daily for notifications of those planning to retire or resign at the end of the year, We ask those already planning to retire or leave at the end of the year to let us know as soon as possible, so we have a more accurate attrition number with which to use in our analyses.

I will continue to keep you informed as we work through this difficult budget process.,

Sincerely,
Pedro