Enrollment is the "engine" that drives our funding from the State. An unanticipated drop in enrollment this year requires that we reduce our budget or increase our revenue to compensate for a $2 million deficit going into next year. Unpopular but substantial cuts will be necessary to balance the budget AND provide pay increases to attract and retain staff. Here is a list of potential items I hope staff and the Board will discuss.
- Our NUSD average elementary school size has dropped to 380 students; the state average is about 600. Consider consolidating elementary schools – $500K - $900K in savings
- Fremont Unified is requiring some parents to drive their students to schools across town. Ask them to consider leasing our closed school(s) until they can build their own -- Revenue TBD
- Eliminate electives that are not filled, and negotiate with NTA to increase secondary core class sizes to 35, the same size as electives -- $800K in savings
- Negotiate one to three furlough days with CSEA and NTA -- $250K - $750K in savings
- Eliminate stipends and release time costs by reverting to our previous educator evaluation program -- $100K in savings
- Eliminate the induction director position and induction services to private and charter school teachers; shift administrative NUSD induction responsibilities to a current Ed Services Administrator -- $150K in savings
- Provide exemplary customer service and customer-friendly registration processes district-wide as a first step in increasing enrollment -- $9,000 in revenue for each new student registered.
Our employees are the most critical element to ensure the success of our students as they embark on their career choices and life paths. We will retain our staff if we maintain competitive wages and provide them the tools they need to be successful:
- Provide ongoing professional development and growth opportunities
- Create a shared vision and shared plans between management and employees before implementing any new program
- Use a collaborative process with our staff and the community to identify budget reductions that eliminate next year’s deficit and ensure funds for pay increases.
I believe that active parental involvement is key to every student’s success, and that we must improve our outreach to our parents. We have done good work in our implementation of social-emotional programs like PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention System) in our schools, but we must ramp up our focus on our academic program.
- Require that all programs be evaluated for effectiveness and fidelity of implementation and eliminate them if they don’t produce results.
- Support teachers with materials and professional development to ensure a successful implementation of “New Ideas in Math.”
- Use our supplemental funds for effective intervention programs that increase CAASPP scores for our most needy students
- Provide parent education programs and encourage the active involvement of parents in their children’s attendance and academic progress.
- Concentrate our STEAM program initiatives on integrating mathematics across all content areas with the goal of improving our Math CAASPP achievement scores.