Sacramento City Teachers make students first in proposal to fix budget crisis
At the December 13, 2018, School Board meeting Sacramento City Teachers Association President David Fisher and Vice President Nikki Milevsky invited SCUSD to review the union’s proposal and to accept their offer of help to avoid bankruptcy.
For the first time, the Sacramento County Office of Education rejected the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) budget and the district must now work toward trimming $66.5 million from its three-year budget projections. SCUSD must adopt a balanced budget before Dec. 31 with the assistance of either a budget review committee or the county office and the California Department of Education.
“We believe it is our responsibility to try to offer real solutions, that’s why we proposed to the school board a plan that would save the district $60 million, balance the budget, curb bureaucratic bloat by redirecting resources back to the classroom to lower class sizes, expand arts and music opportunities, provide summer learning opportunities and to put Sac City on a path to becoming the destination district in California,” Fisher said.
“We sincerely hope the superintendent will accept our offer to meet and join with us to find real solutions to this budget crisis,” he added. “Our children deserve no less.”
Teachers say they’ve done their homework in preparing the proposal. “Despite an increase in income of over $100 million in recent years, bureaucratic bloat and financial mismanagement jeopardize our children’s educational opportunities,” Fisher said.
Savings Thus Far
As part of the contract settlement in November 2017, the two sides reached a written agreement to work together to explore potential savings to health plans so that those dollars could be redirected from insurance companies and back into the classroom while maintaining the same level of benefits for educators.
As a result, SCTA has helped the SCUSD save approximately $5 million for 2018-19, with the potential for even greater savings in 2019-20 and years beyond, Fisher said.
“We have been pressing the SCUSD to initiate more focused, health plan directed conversations for months, and are pleased that administrators may finally be prepared to do so in accordance with the contract we signed over one year ago.”