The will take more steps toward trimming its budget Wednesday when the Board of Trustees hear several items that may change class size in September and reduce the number of nonteaching employees as well.
Class sizes are already at the maximum level the state allows. So the district, upon board approval, will ask for a waiver that would increase class sizes in kindergarten-third grades. Some classes could have as many as 35 students.
Under the waiver, CUSD proposes to increase kindergarten classes on average from the current 31 students to 33, according to the application the district will send included in the board agenda packet.
Class sizes in grades 1-3 would increase on average from 30 to 33.
Last year, the to an average of 33 students per class. Flat funding from Sacramento .
The waiver, however, is good for two years, so it can still apply to the 2012-13 year.
Without a waiver, which must be approved by the state Board of Education, the district would face financial penalties for increasing class sizes above state maximums. The fine could be as much as $1.53 million, the district’s waiver application says.
“The district is expecting a budget shortfall of 30-50 million dollars due to the elimination of federal stimulus funding and declining enrollment,” states the district’s waiver application.
“To address the shortfall, the district has responded with certificated and classified reductions, and in negotiations for potential increased class sizes, additional furlough days and possible salary rollbacks,” it reads
In addition, the board will receive from the teachers’ union, the Capistrano Unified Education Association, the items it wants to discuss in negotiations that will take place between now and when the budget is adopted in late June.
- Furlough days
- Shorter work days
- Larger classroom sizes in all grades
- Adjustments in release time (because of larger-size classes, teachers are able to take time away from the classroom a month, which vary by grade; see the contract, Page 19)
The teachers, in a letter sent to the district March 30, said they want to discuss putting limits on meeting hours, the school calendar, decreasing the number of duties elementary teachers perform and changing spring parent conferences.
In addition, they want a committee to create guidelines for creating grade-level combination classes, more personal days off and more days of release time.
The board will also consider sending layoff notices to 123 nonteaching employees who altogether fill 91.5 full-time positions (). The jobs affected include high school and middle school campus supervisors, bilingual instructional aides, bus drivers and preschool teachers.
The layoffs are “due to a bona fide reduction, elimination of a service being performed, or lack of funds,” states the resolution that will authorize the downsizing.
The board will also consider laying off seven non-teaching managers, including some in transportation, facilities planning and information systems ().
Finally, because the district often faces cash-flow problems with the influx of property tax proceeds coming in spurts, the district wants to take out a short-term loan, called a Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes (or TRANs), in the amount of $75 million next year.
In the current year, the district has taken out several loans, including a $75 million loan approved in July, a and a . The latter two loans cross two fiscal years, the first time the district has ever needed borrowed money to close out a year.
The $75 million loan on Wednesday’s budget would be repaid during the same fiscal year.
“Without this short-term borrowing, the district will be unable to meet its financial obligations for 2012-13,” a staff report for Wednesday’s meeting states.
It is expected to cost the district $115,000 to borrow the money, according to the report.
The board meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the district's headquarters, 33122 Valle Road in San Juan Capistrano.