Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 31, 2018

Everybody’s talking

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

In advance of the rumors that have been going around about possible cuts to educational programs — specifically innovative programs at AUSD — the Superintendent has put out a letter to help stave off some of the worst of the rumors, but also send out a preemptive warning about how much it will cost to fund raises for AUSD teachers:

From the letter:

Lately there has been talk around town about potential cuts to programs at our
school sites. So far, this talk is preliminary. The Board of Education has not yet
formally considered these ideas, and no decisions have been made.

The Board of Education has directed my staff and me to review budget priorities in
light of the fact that, despite recent raises, our AUSD employees are still among the
lowest paid public school district employees in the county. Last fall the district used
deferred maintenance funds to offset escalating costs of pensions and special
education. Two years ago we also cut 10% from central office department budgets.
Those are excellent examples of cutting “away from the classroom” in order to
reprioritize spending.

But to further increase AUSD salaries, we would need still more money.
How much money? A 1% salary increase for AUSD employees costs about $750,000.
As such, a 5% salary increase would cost $3,750,000. A 10% salary increase would
cost $7,500,000. Twenty percent would cost $15 million. That’s a lot of money for an
agency with a $100 million budget.

So expect more community meetings about spending priorities.  Recently there was discussion about how much it would cost to replace Lum Elementary with a similarly sized school and how much to build a much larger school.  FYI, the much larger school is more expensive to build, but in the long run might be less expensive to run if smaller schools are consolidated.

Since we’re on the subject of putting on “thinking caps” and dedicated inquiries, perhaps we should talk about this as well.


  1. The facts remain that: 1) AUSD teachers and sraff are paid less than their peers across Alameda County, and 2) our schools are underfunded overall. At some point our community and our nation need to step up and pay for a public education system that actually has the resources to do what we are asking it to do.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — January 31, 2018 @ 7:56 am

  2. Didn’t CA just make it a lot easier to pass citizen initiated parcel taxes or something last year? Can the teachers initiate a ballot measure for salaries—er, quality programming and teacher retention— since AUSD wouldn’t be able to be the instigator for that? The increasing number of young families means school related ballot measures have a great shot even if it seems like we’re going to that well quite often.

    Comment by BMac — January 31, 2018 @ 8:07 am

  3. When the retrofitting and updating of Alameda High is finally done, perhaps district HQ can move back in to their old offices there and sell/lease the Marina Village space? That could save money or even produce a modest income stream if they lease it out. I realize the upper admin level may have grown so much that they cannot fit back into their old spot, though.

    Comment by Kristen — January 31, 2018 @ 8:56 am

  4. Because pouring more money into public schools makes so much sense:

    Comment by vigi — January 31, 2018 @ 9:21 am

    • Yes, Vigi. We all get it. You got yours and don’t want to contribute to a society that you directly benefited from anymore and will use any pseudo-intellectual sounding garbage to try to justify it. Nobody here is going to take some Koch brothers funded think tank hit piece on public education seriously except for maybe some of your fellow deplorables.

      Comment by Rod — January 31, 2018 @ 3:27 pm

      • Deplorables won, eat Trump shit for another 7 years Rod boy.

        Comment by Jack — January 31, 2018 @ 5:21 pm

        • Oh my, aren’t you a charmer? You make out with your cousins with that mouth, son?

          Comment by Rod — January 31, 2018 @ 7:26 pm

        • That’s the best you can do Rod boy?

          Comment by Jack — January 31, 2018 @ 8:20 pm

      • No you don’t get it, Rod. Administrative costs are overcapitalized in every sector, not just public education. The astronomical cost of health care is mostly due to the ballooning administrative costs of coding, insurance, and other bean-counting intermediaries. Teachers will only get paid more fairly when administrative costs are controlled, regardless of how much more is raised via parcel taxes.

        Comment by vigi — January 31, 2018 @ 6:16 pm

        • You’re using a source from a think tank that will spin data any way they can for an end goal of privatizing education, so I’m not buying any of it.

          Comment by Rod — January 31, 2018 @ 7:32 pm

  5. playgrounds to parking lots

    Comment by Gerard L. — January 31, 2018 @ 9:59 am

  6. The fine folks who have been fighting against the previous parcel taxes to fund our public education have always claimed that it was about the unfairness of putting the burden on homeowners while letting businesses slide, and oh, definitely not about them just not wanting to contribute to their society. So perhaps it’s time to get the businesses on board now too.

    Comment by Rod — January 31, 2018 @ 3:21 pm

    • Actually, the few individuals who have brought legal challenges to the parcel taxes are large commercial property owners. They’ve been using the “we’re letting big businesses slide” argument in the hopes of getting the entire tax declared illegal and thrown out by the courts – not to make themselves pay more.

      Comment by Ron Parodi — February 7, 2018 @ 6:19 am

  7. Two competing initiatives circulating to get on the November ballot. Neither will make it.

    1817. (17-0021A2)
    Sets Minimum Compensation for Some Public-School Teachers Equal to That of State Legislators. Sales Tax Increase. Initiative Statute.
    Summary Date: 10/26/17 | Circulation Deadline: 04/24/18 | Signatures Required: 365,880
    Proponents: Marc Litchman (213) 973-2877

    Requires that full-time, public-school teachers with a credential that would allow them to teach beyond five years (also known as a “clear credential”) be paid no less than regular members of the state Legislature. Funds the minimum compensation with an additional two percent sales tax over the current rate. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Increased state sales tax revenues of approximately $14 billion annually, with proceeds spent on higher teacher salaries. Additional costs to schools of about $3 billion per year to cover higher teacher pensions and certain other benefits costs resulting from—but not funded by—the measure. Schools and the state could take a variety of actions to bring required spending in line with available resources. Increased state costs of about $1 billion per year to cover higher teacher pensions. Potential state actions—such as lowering spending on other programs—to keep state spending from exceeding the state’s constitutional limit. (17-0021.)

    1825. (17-0028)
    Exempts Residents Who Have No Dependent Enrolled in Public Education from Taxes, Fees, and Other Charges for Public Education. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
    Summary Date: 11/09/17 | Circulation Deadline: 05/08/18 | Signatures Required: 585,407
    Proponents: Lee Olson

    Exempts California residents who have no dependent enrolled in California’s public kindergarten schools, public elementary schools, public secondary schools, community colleges, or state universities from paying taxes, fees, and other charges to fund such public institutions or specified public education expenses. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Potential reduction of state and local taxes and fees totaling in the low tens of billions of dollars per year. The state and local governments potentially could have to take actions to bring their budgets into balance—by reducing spending and/or raising other taxes or fees. (17-0028.)

    Comment by Mike McMahon — January 31, 2018 @ 7:53 pm

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