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The Cloverdale Unified School District Board of Trustees’ regular meeting is this Wednesday, March 3. During the meeting, the board will receive the district’s second interim report, take possible action on reducing certain district positions for budgetary reasons and consider accepting the opening of contract negotiations for both the California School Employees Association and with the Teachers Association of Cloverdale for the 2021-22 school year. Additionally, the board will receive reports on Measure H progress, school reopening and the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).

The meeting’s open session begins at 6 p.m. and the meeting is being held over Zoom. To view the full agenda packet, click here.

Budget outlook and second interim

District Chief Business Official Patricia Mills will be presenting the district’s second interim report to the board. The second interim report updates the 2020-21 budget and revises the projections made about the district’s three-year financial outlook.

According to the board agenda packet, the second interim report indicates that the district will have a positive certification for the current and two subsequent fiscal years, meaning it believes it will meet its financial obligations.

Once submitted, the Sonoma County Office of Education will review the report.

Staff reductions and eliminations

As a result of continued declining enrollment, deficit spending and a recommendation from SCOE that the district cut costs, the board is being presented with a resolution for the “reduction or discontinuance in certain particular kinds of services for the 2021-22 school year.”

A decline in enrollment over the last four school years has led to a $1.05 million decrease in revenue, along with an average of 135 student transfer agreements per year taking an additional $1.75 million that could have gone to the district, according to the board’s agenda packet.

Additionally, while the district is meeting its reserve requirements and is projecting a positive certification, SCOE is recommending that the district review and monitor revenues, expenditures and fund balances because of the district’s ongoing deficit spending.

The agenda item summary quotes SCOE as saying, “The state minimum reserve for economic uncertainty of 3% is met in all three years. Deficit spending of this magnitude is of great concern to the county and the elimination of structural deficit spending is critical in order to maintain required reserve levels. The district is currently projecting that the unrestricted ending fund balance will decline by 51% by 2022-23.”

As such, the board is being presented with a resolution recommending the following reductions in staff:

●    Elimination of 1.0 FTE (full-time employee) SDC Preschool Teacher

●    Elimination of 1.0 SAI/Education Specialist

●    Elimination of 1.0 FTE Elementary Reading Specialist

●    Elimination of 1.0 FTE Middle School Reading Specialist

●    Elimination of 1.0 FTE Multiple Subject Teacher

●    Elimination of 0.4 Construction Teacher

●    Elimination of a temporary 0.2 PE section

●    1.0 FTE Middle School Vice Principal (per the agenda item, a certificated dean position will be created and most of the responsibilities will be assigned to the new position)

According to the agenda report, the elimination of the 5.4 certificated employee positions is equivalent to $428,153, the reduction of the 1.0 FTE management position is $153,455 and the elimination of the PE section is $14,147. In all, if approved, the staffing reductions would be a cost savings of $595,757 to the district.

The agenda item states that the district is anticipating making additional reductions in staffing over the next two years as well.

To make a public comment

Rules surrounding public comment during the school board meeting have changed, as of the January meeting.

The board agenda lists the following guidelines:

“Attendees who wish to make a public comment must submit a request prior to the start of the board meeting. Public comments will only be taken during the designated time, if you wish to address the board regarding closed or open session agenda items or items not on the agenda, please email Kathleen Bunting at buntingk@cusd.org by 4 p.m. the day of the meeting. The subject line should read, “Public Comment for the March 3, 2021 Board Meeting” and within the body of the email please list your full first and last name, and what you would like to comment on: closed session items, items not on the agenda or the title of the open session agenda item. During public comment on the requested item, attendees will be called upon, their microphone unmuted and allowed to make their statement for up to three minutes. At the end of the three minutes, the attendee’s microphone will be muted and the next participant will be called upon.”

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