An important step in the process is for the District to build accountable and transparent systems that include its bargaining unit partners to ensure that every dollar received is used in the best interest of students. These actions are necessary in order to build trust with stakeholders as we work to improve together to build the relationships that will be needed to assure future success. The District is implementing transparent systems of fiscal accountability that allow us to trust the numbers that guide decisions. Some of the new systems include a more transparent and up to date way of tracking district expenditures. Another is creating a better system for staffing our schools and system overall. We are collaboratively working to make sure all of this is in place by the end of February.
We may not always agree on the best path forward, but we commit to working positively, collaboratively, and honestly to solve this budget deficit while minimizing the impact of layoffs. Another area of cooperation, and one in which we need your help, is to continue advocating for appropriate funding to schools. Ultimately, the State of California does not fund schools at a level commensurate to its role in the global economy. Districts that look like us all throughout CA are going through similar situations. It’s critical that we pass Schools and Communities First this November and that we demand from legislators, the state of California, and the federal government to fund public schools to the levels our students deserve and need.
The District is actively negotiating with all four bargaining unit employee groups to identify solutions that generate real reductions in expenditures and limit the impact to our classrooms and employees. This is hard and time consuming work, but we are committed to the process and are confident that together we will be able to work with the Board of Education to make the necessary reductions. Our goal is to avoid layoffs and to avoid direct cuts to the classroom, we hope that through this collaboration we’ll be able to get there. We encourage you to stay informed about the process and welcome your feedback.
West Contra Costa Unified School District
United Teachers of Richmond CTA/NEA