MUSD will NOT cut teachers

There will be no layoffs of teacher positions this coming school year. About a hundred people cheered to this news at last nights meeting. T...

There will be no layoffs of teacher positions this coming school year. About a hundred people cheered to this news at last nights meeting. The district will pull from it's $9.2 million in reserves to avoid layoffs according to Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Gil Compton.

Some administrative positions have been eliminated, but all employees will keep their jobs, Superintendent Linda Callaway said. The governing board approved a motion to accept the budget proposal at Tuesday's meeting and is expected to give final approval to the plan at a meeting at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Post a Comment

  1. HOORAY!!!! This is the best news I've heard about budget cuts yet.

    Thank you MUSD for thinking long and hard and doing what's right for kids! I am sure that there will be sacrifices to make this happen, but I am also sure that those sacrifices are worth it to keep class sizes from increasing!


  2. Great news! Thank you.

  3. While this is indeed great news, everyone needs to temper their enthusiasm. The Governor's May Revise may force cuts back on the table if state revenues (meaning tax increases) don't come in as projected.

    Just a cautionary tone... We're not completely out of the woods yet.

  4. Even if the May revise is worse they will not be able to cut CSR or lay off teachers because it will be too late. Though unfortunately they may cut other areas that will affect many people. We will just have to continue with our prayers and be patient.

  5. Whatever! In the moment I glad to hear this as a parent. I was looking into a private school. I have one child who is above average and another that is below average to almost average...with the possible cut backs and class size becoming larger my little one could get lost. The child and I are working together at home with the below average subject. Thank goodness for the reserves. Savings is always a great thing. Great to hear it for the teachers!!! FEW..

  6. During the meeting on Tuesday, there were a number of very disturbing events that occurred. As a member of the BAC I felt the “assumptions” list did not represent the true feelings of the BAC. There was not one person in the BAC meetings that favored eliminating the Assistant Principal position. This “assumption” list was a list of what the DO wanted, not what the BAC suggested. Almost every one of the items on the list was from the DO.

    Another reaction that I still do not understand is that of the cheering and celebrating by the teachers. There were severe cuts that were made to people’s lives that night, but the teachers obviously didn’t care about anyone but themselves. I am beginning to understand now why the public may have a hard time sympathizing with teachers and their pay. The teachers were balking at any cut even if it was 1%, but they are cheering when someone else’s pay is cut many times that.

    The biggest problem I have, is with the Governing Board. What is the purpose of the Board? It appears that they are puppets of the DO. I thought they were elected to serve the will of the people not the wants of the DO. Every item that is placed in front of them by the DO, they approve. If they are not going to think for themselves, why do we need them? They knew that the elimination of the Assistant Principal positions was not supported by the BAC, yet they went ahead and eliminated them anyway. I did not hear one member ask what the saving would be to cut them. How much was saved by eliminating those positions? Another problem with the Board is they Choose not to take questions or make comments about their lack of decision making. They also will not respond to emails. As elected officials they should make themselves available in some way.

    I ask if you are going to respond, that you put your name on your email so I don’t have to refer to you as anonymous February 26, 2009 8:36.

    Jason Roth

  7. Jason,

    The loss of CSR would be a huge blow to students, teachers, and our community as a whole. All parties are thrilled that CSR could stay, at least for now.

    Most of the teachers that were celebrating were NOT going to lose their job regardless. They were celebrating the saving of CSR which is a great asset to our schools and community. Please excuse the teachers' enthusiasm. They meant no disrespect to the difficult cuts that were made.

    The fact that saving CSR also kept65 people from our community in their jobs (for now) is also cause for celebration given the alternative.

    I do understand your frustration as you try to rationalize the decision making process. Your efforts with the BAC are appreciated by our community. I too would have questions if I felt my time, effort, and suggestions were not taken into account.

  8. Jason,

    The answer to your question is in the title of the BAC - The Budget ADVISORY Committee with emphasis on 'advisory'.

    It is not your decision rather, you were asked as a community member for input. It is not the DO's decision rather, the DO is required to present assumptions to the Board for decision.

    The fiduciary responsibility for the Menifee Union School District rests with the Governing Board not the Budget Advisory Committee and not the DO. However, the Superintendent and the Assistant Superintendent of Business are required by California law to 'certify' the annual financial report to the State.

    Relax... you did your job very well and the ADVISORY committee advised the DO staff and you came up with some good recommendations.



  9. To Anonymous February 26, 2009 12:03 PM:

    Thank you for the clarification. I have never felt that the BAC made the decisions. I am fully aware the Board is the one that has the “final” say. The purpose of the BAC, according to the DO, was to present options to the Board so they could then choose the cuts. Where were all of the options? The only options presented were the ones from the DO in their “assumption” list. Were those the only viable options?

    Is the least important position in this District the Elementary Assistant Principal? Obviously the people I have spoken with and those on the BAC do not think so. So maybe it would be helpful for the Board to step up and convey the logic behind the cuts that they made. Explain why they made the decisions they did.

    I am not doing this for me. I want what’s best for my kids. And if you knew me, you wouldn’t have to say Relax….

    Jason Roth

  10. Attending the Feb 17th meeting might have clarified the assumptions. The public is encouraged to ask questions. I don't recall you speaking on this subject at the meeting of the 24th. VP's make somewhat more than teachers, about $100,000/year each. What alternatives would you have suggested? Reserves are cut to the bone. The district is looking at alternatives for temporarily substituting for the VP's.
    On another note: What does any discussion or diatribe about/against illegals have to do with the MUSD budget? It seems to me that too many people are going off on tangents based upon their own prejudices or agendas. I don't want illegals here either but the forum is not this particular blog.

  11. Jason,
    Two board members that were known for listening to the people and "being available" were voted out in the last election by people who simply want "incumbants out" and new people in. It seems the voters are getting what they voted for. Victor and Phoebe are sorely missed.
    Do not forget, teachers in this district are also parents of kids in this district. The cheering is not just that 65 jobs were saved but that our kids will get a better education.
    As for a drastic pay cut over a job loss. There is room to be thankful. Some schools have had less that full time AP's all this year. It is not easy but we make it work. Most teachers work hard to support the school, the principal, and the parents. Many teachers have admin credentials and fill in when necessary. Committee's are a reality and teachers do much more than just lesson plans and homework before and after the bell rings. We are already making up for the cleanliness of our rooms and buying supplies. So be it.
    But, we cannot do without those extra 65. Your comment re: the "public's sympathy" is shortsighted. Our public in Menifee knows how hard we work and how much we care about their kids. A minority make disparaging remarks and bark loudly on blogs but mostly in this community I feel that Menifee has been supportive and understanding of what we do. At the least, most say they would not trade places and shut themselves in a room with 20 kindergartners or 32 5th graders. And, let's not talk about 34 middle schoolers bless their little hearts!
    Yes, we parents/teachers are very happy for the CSR issue. Our kids and the quality of their education were put first here and that is what counts.

  12. Whoa...whoa...whoa! "We are already making up for the cleanliness in our rooms"... Give me a break.

    You and your Teacher's Union are the first to say 'keep cuts as far away from the classroom as possible'. So, when those custodial cuts, playground supervisor cuts, crossing guard cuts, aide cuts, and bus driver cuts are made... you 'elitist teachers' have the gall to say "we are already making up for the cleanliness in our classrooms"...

    WOW...WOW! You people are truly pathetic in your attitudes. What gives you that sense of entitlement? Do they teach that to you in college as part of your credentialling process?

    Why not go work a real job for a change and see if your 'leadership', 'mentoring' and 'coaching' skills can measure up to those in the regular non-unionized work force. Better yet...why don't you go hold a sign up at the Newport off-ramp that says 'I have to clean me classroom...can you please help me?"

    Unbelievable...truly unbelievable!

  13. To the blogger on February 26, 2009 11:12 PM

    You know as well as I do that if Teachers didn't have their unions and were paid only on there performance then there would be very few teachers in the state of California. Out in the real world if you don't perform or basically do a good job (kids passing, test scores ect.) then you get fired or replaced with some one that will. But we can't have that now can we?

  14. So we have people with anti-teacher agendas spreading their ignorance through blogs. Spew, spew, spew. Boy, some peopke sure have anger issues about teachers. Eliminate the venom and the substance of the "arguments" is certainly lacking. BTW: WHat does this have to do with the MUSD budget anyway?

  15. Why is it when someone has an opinion there is always some pinhead that starts throwing out the word agenda? Look its not an agenda it’s fact if you go to any other profession and you do not do the job you were hired to do you get replaced.

    No one hates teachers. I, in fact have great respect for them. I could not go to a room with 20-30 kids and remain sane. However I do feel that people are tired of teachers always screaming, more money, more money, more money, and then threatening every one with, “the kids are going to suffer” speech. How about we ask the teaches to forgo any raises, bonuses, and salaries increases for the next 5 years. And tell the districts to put that money into the schools and for supplies. How many do you think are going to stand up and vote for that?

  16. OK, I'm glad no teachers wu=il lose their jobs ~ Their education is expensive and they invest a lot of time, effort and money into our students AND our schools. I agree with Jason that cutting the 4 current AP positions is a questionable action. WHY did NO ONE seem to feel there is any FLUFF OR EXCESS at the DISTRICT OFFICE ~ For a district our size, do we REALLY need a superintendent AND 4 ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENTS who have numerous Directors working under them? I didn't see any suggestions for cuts coming from this area ~ the big question is WHY? IF APs are expendable, and they deal directly with the students and support the Principals, it seems to me that at least a couple of Asst Superintendents might also be expendable (and save a lot more per head count)!

  17. Does any one know exactly how many directors are under each Assistant Superintendent? Also why does the Superintendent need 4 assistants can he/she not do their job on their own? Why? Is there any one that can tell me if cutting the fat is so necessary to help better educate our kids then why not put the infuses on the kids and not the district office jobs. I would bet we could very easily cut over a half a million dollars a year if we cut out those positions. If it’s not a good idea please explain to me why.

  18. Just a thought folks, but most of the school districts throughout the county are having to shut down schools, lay off teachers, and eliminate CSR. Menifee didn't have to do that. Maybe that's a credit to the administrative staff that we have.

  19. unreal... really.... even after all the hard work the district staff did to keep CSR and all the teachers jobs there are some that will continue to complain. The postions at the district are needed, the Ditretors positons are the one the run the departments. Which in some cases can be over 70 employees. Most bloggers don't understand what others do when it comes to the Jobs of others. It is easy being outside looking in. To all the unhappy people out there..... If your not happy with your job, it may be time to move on...

  20. Wow calm down lady, I do beleve that all every one is saying is before there is anything taken from the kids other peaple need to go. that's all take a chill pill have a glass of wine and relax. you sound like my x-wife.

  21. Its interesting how some people attack teachers who only want to be appreciated and paid for all of the years of their education and continuing education they put into their teaching careers. Children do suffer whe you pack their classrooms with undisciplined children. And until the schools can hold parents accountable for being good parents at home then how can u hold schools accountable. Learinig doesnt begin or stop in the classroom, you morons!!!

  22. MUSD has 3 Assistant Superintendents - 1 for business services, 1 for personnel, and 1 for curriculum. This is the bare minimum and are completely different in the responsibilities. Combining any of them would be akin to assigning a lawyer to take on a doctor's responsibilities. Some school districts are "administratively top-heavy." MUSD is not one of those districts. These administrators are responsible for a budget of 10's of millions of dollars and several hundred employees.

    BTW: It is unfortunate that people must inject name-calling into their arguments. It weakens any valid points that they may actually have.

  23. If people are concerned about the way that teachers get to keep their jobs even when they don't do their jobs well, maybe we should introduce some competition in the mix. Privatize the school system and let the schools be run like businesses. Then you'll be able to see if it makes a difference in how teacher's teach.

    BTW, I don't think that teachers are the problem. I think that teachers are held accountable for the lack of parenting that goes on (which is unfair) and I don't think that they get just credit for what they DO accomplish in the classroom.

    Generalizing about teachers is no better than generalizing about anyone else. Sure there are some who aren't good at it, but that is true of every profession. Many of us accepted the challenges of teaching when we chose the profession. Many of us would take pay cuts to have smaller classes. Many of us forego the luxuries of the regular workforce so that we can work longer hours than we get paid for, spend thousands of our own money for classroom supplies, and put up with the blame-game that many people play because we are dedicated to what we do.

    Careful not to judge us all. And careful when you think that teachers are at the heart of the trouble with today's education. In my opinion, teachers are the only thing that's keeping it afloat.

  24. Teacher Quality Said To Be More Effective Than Class Size In Student Achievement.
    In an opinion piece for the Washington Post (3/2, B2), Jay Mathews writes, "Here and in the rest of the country, school superintendents who have been forced to raise class size hope they can reduce the number of students per class when budget troubles ease." But Mathews questions "whether that would be the best use of our tax dollars." For example, if Fairfax County schools were to receive "a surprise $44 million from the federal stimulus package this summer," school officials "could make each class, on average, two students smaller, or it could do what some high-achieving schools do: Keep class sizes large and focus instead on more energetic recruiting and training of teachers." Mathews adds that he has "have seen some high school teachers keep as many as 50 students moving forward, with enthusiasm, in challenging classes." They accomplish this by making lessons lively and encouraging students to "adopt a team spirit to support each other as they learn."

  25. From the Press Enterprise:

    “Lesson in Solidarity.”

    “Some Inland schools administrators use furloughs, cash donations to cut own pay”

    “Olsen-Binks, who earns $195,000 a year, offered to give up five days in her contract. She will work those days but not get paid.”
    “Corona-Norco Superintendent Kent L. Bechler plans to donate $50,000 of his $250,000 salary to his district, giving back $25,000 each year for the next two years.”

    Leading by example can be a positive tool.

  26. Pay me $195,000 and I'll rebate 5 days. Give me $250,000 and I'll rebate $50,000.

  27. It's great that the decision caused so little upset in the classroom and community. I'm glad the school had a healthy reserve to draw from, this year and that no one lost a "job". I hope it's realistic and sustainable, given the economic trends.

    This has been a great educational exercise for me personally as I researched some of the suggestions and comments on this blog since the 'crisis' was announced. It seems to me that there needs to be some major reform in school funding and local administration.

    Making good local decisions based on the existing state and federal funding streams is really hard if not impossible, and seems to hamper the flexibility of local controls that the public doesn't really see. I don't think we'd like Temecula or the city of Riverside telling us how we should run our schools, but yet we're complacent with Sacramento and Washington DC calling the shots? Why have local districts at all if the critical funding decisions are dictated at that level. Isn't local better?

    I don't know the answer, but surely there's enough brain power to form a think tank of people who really want whats best for the children and community of Menifee.

    I also can't believe that teachers in Menifee feel the need to be represented by a union. Someone really needs to explain to me what added value there is, besides political action. What's the ROI on that? Why aren't more teachers free agents. Are there a lot of issues that require union representation?

    Also, I have to respond to Mark who posted that teachers "only want to be appreciated and paid for all of the years of their education and continuing education they put into their teaching careers." I'm guessing that Mark might be a teacher. Public school teachers are employed by the public. If any teacher for one minute thinks that taxpayers should be paying them back for their investment into their own career choices as well as their additional investments to enhance their careers, then that would highlight the second major reform that's needed in our school system.

  28. To anonymous March 02, 2009 8:57 AM:

    Look at it as a percentage not the dollar amount. Would anyone employed by MUSD be wiling to give up 10% of their pay?

    If so, please step up and be the first. Maybe others will follow.