Monday, March 28, 2011

Finance Committee Meeting 3/28/11

Dear Employees, True to my word I promised to look for more reductions before the next board meeting, so we would not have to reduce as many staff as had been projected. We will still have to reduced staff, but I hope to reduce the total number as little as I can while still responding to the budget crisis. Please understand me clearly, the number of reductions will still be as large. No one will like all of my ideas. I have tried to think as far outside the box without totally eroding public education and all that is good about what we do. Some of you said "Please don't tell anyone I sent this to you," and I won't tell. Finding more budget cuts is not pulling a "rabbit out of the hat". I have spent almost every waking hour on this. I have dug and dug and dug to find cuts and I have learned so much about this district. It has been an important process. My reductions are not meant to harm anyone or make people angry. I have touched almost everyone's "sacred cow". It is now for the Board to determine how they would like to proceed. As always, I appreciate your input and would love to hear from you. Here are some important dates to remember: Monday, March 28, 2011 5:30 p.m. Finance Committee Meeting Thursday, March 31, 2011 6:30 p.m. Board Meeting (The budget will be discussed) Tuesday, April 5, 2011 VOTE! If you want to discuss Board Candidates, give me a call. One other bit of information that several of you have asked me about. "Would the Board be willing to give JEA members close to retirement a benefit to allow them to retire a year early?" I personally think the idea has merit; however, since a Memorandum of Understanding would need to be written, it would be viewed as opening the contract. The risk is the same as opening the contract to decide on the WRS payment. As along as the JEA believes there is a risk, we can not move on any of these ideas. Please refer to the Journey to Excellence newsletter for a detailed list of budget reductions that I will be presenting to the Board.

3 comments:

  1. This whole situation is understandably difficult. As a teacher I understand the importance of our contract, yet as a compassionate person, I believe in giving of my time, talent, and money as all of our educators already do. I appreciate the hard work you are doing and the position you are in. There is only so much one can do when politics dictates circumstance. The only way that can change is continuing to be creative and going out to vote on April 5 to elect people who want to represent and advocate for education!

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  2. Since I have yet to receive an answer to my previous question posted almost two months ago regarding administrators as substitute teachers, I'll ask another: Has the decision been made regarding leadership pay for instructional managers, team leaders, TAG advocates, etc..? I'd want to know that before deciding to pledge money to save Janesville schools.

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  3. Sean Gremminger has left a new comment on your post "Finance Committee Meeting 3/28/11":

    Since I have yet to receive an answer to my previous question posted almost two months ago regarding administrators as substitute teachers, I'll ask another: Has the decision been made regarding leadership pay for instructional managers, team leaders, TAG advocates, etc..? I'd want to know that before deciding to pledge money to save Janesville schools.




    Dear Sean,

    I am sorry I didn't answer your last question, I am always afraid I miss some because of the volume of questions I receive. I always ask if an employee doesn't hear back from me in a day or two to please resubmit. I always try to answer immediately. Regarding your question about administrators subbing, I will need to ask HR. I know I haven't subbed at all this year: I have kept focused on the budget and have hardly moved away from my calculator and desk. That is not how I like to do my job, but I feel that the most important contribution I can make right now is to come up with budget solutions.

    If you look at my budget reduction sheet in the Board packet for 4/26 you will see I moved the leadership pay off my immediate cut list. I tried to find solutions that would not effect direct pay to teachers. The athletic directors really helped alot as well by making cuts and suggesting revenue streams. We still have a $600,000 shortfall and a deficit of $5 million in 12-13 that I must address. I am unwilling to go through layoffs again of this magnitude in 12-13 which would mean another 100 employees. I need to find solutions now, which means I may need to return to the stipends. I plan to address this on 5/10th.

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