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Budget Update #18

December 17, 2018

Dear Community Member, 

I want to provide an important update on some critical next steps our school district is taking to address the structural budget deficit and keep budget cuts away from our students.

Last Thursday, the state’s Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) presented the district with a Fiscal Health Risk Analysis which you can view here. FCMAT’s primary mission is to assist school districts in identifying, preventing and resolving financial, human resources and data management challenges. FCMAT concluded that, unless changes are made, the district is at high risk of insolvency and focused on identifying district systems and processes where improvements can be made. As a result of FCMAT’s findings, and in addition to identifying over $19 million in cost savings, the district is now taking steps to implement business process changes in the following areas:

  • Aligning the district’s budget and Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) processes
  • Improving communication between the business services department and other departments
  • Better management of position control (i.e. process of filling vacant positions)

Adopting FCMAT’s recommendations will help fix a number of improper business practices that have become norms in the district for many years. The Board of Education and I are committed to changing the organizational culture that has led to these improper business practices and will implement business process changes immediately, holding all employees accountable to adopting these new practices.

While implementing new practices and accountability measures is important, to avoid running out of cash we must work collaboratively with all labor partners to immediately achieve health cost savings. 

As has been reported in the news, the ongoing cost driver for Sac City Unified is its long history of paying significantly more for employee health benefits than all other surrounding school districts. For example, Sac City Unified pays almost twice as much as neighboring districts to provide similar health benefits to employees. I remain committed to getting all labor partners to work with the district as soon as possible to switch employees over to more affordable health insurance plans with comparable benefits. The longer it takes to switch health plans and save money, the more likely the district will run out of cash and be taken over by the state.

On December 6th, four out of five district labor union partners—SEIU 1021, United Professional Educators, Teamsters Local 150 and Teamsters Classified Supervisors—committed to switching health insurance plans to save the district an estimated $11 million to $16 million per year. On Friday, December 14th, district representatives met with the Sacramento City Teachers Association leadership team and other representatives, to discuss what it would take for SCTA to agree to make a switch in health plans. SCTA leadership indicated that they would switch SCTA members to a more affordable health plan, but only if the cost savings were used to, among other things, hire an additional 220 certificated staff. Clearly, using health savings to pay for new positions is not going to save the district any money.

While an agreement with SCTA leadership was not reached on Friday, I remain optimistic that they will soon understand the value of switching SCTA members to a more affordable health plan and applying the savings achieved toward covering the cost of teacher salaries and benefits. I will continue to keep you updated on the latest developments on our budget situation. Thank you for your patience as we work to resolve this challenge.

Sincerely,

Jorge A. Aguilar
Superintendent

Budget Update #17

December 14, 2018

Dear Community Member,

We want to inform you that this evening we concluded a meeting on health savings with our labor partner, the Sacramento City Teachers Association. The two parties had a focused discussion on how we can work together to switch to a more affordable health plan with comparable benefits. Both the district and SCTA have agreed to continue discussions on new health plan options as early as next week. We look forward to continuing the process and taking steps necessary to reign in the significantly high cost of providing health insurance to district employees so that we can redirect more of those funds toward our students.

Budget Update #16

December 14, 2018

Dear Community Member,

The district looks forward to meeting with Sacramento City Teachers Association leaders at 4pm this afternoon to discuss the specific next steps necessary to achieve health insurance cost savings so we can balance our budget next year, avoid running out of cash and protect and expand programs for our students. We will continue to keep the community updated on the status of these discussions. We know our students and families are depending on us to work together to implement health care cost savings so we can prevent running out of cash next year and avoid state takeover. 

Budget Update #15

December 12, 2018

Dear Community Member,

Today, we regret to inform our community that under the current circumstances we are facing, the Sacramento City Unified School District is projected to run out of cash next November.

This is our reality despite the fact that we have identified over $19 million in cost savings. Without further actions, this means the District would be unable to fulfill its financial obligations and would not have enough cash to cover employee payroll, payments to vendors and others. To prevent the District from running out of cash, we must immediately identify additional cost savings to balance next year’s budget.  

While it is painful to share this news with our community, we remain committed to working as hard as possible to address our budget challenges. In recent months the District has taken various steps to achieve as many cost savings as possible in areas where negotiations are not required. However, the greatest cost savings by far would result from all of the District’s labor union partners agreeing to switch over to more affordable health plans. Reports provided by school districts to the County Office of Education show that Sac City Unified spends significantly more to provide health benefits than all other Sacramento area school districts. Therefore, the largest savings would be achieved if labor partners agree to switch over to more affordable health plans. This action requires agreement from the District’s five labor partners.  An independent analysis provided to the District by the non-profit California Education Coalition for Health Care Reform (CECHCR), a nonprofit group that works with school districts to reduce health care costs, showed the District could save between $11 million and $16 million annually if labor partners agree to make the switch in health plans. 

Last week, four of the District’s five labor union partners took an important step to help actualize these health cost savings. In a joint announcement with District leaders, SEIU 1021, United Professional Educators, Teamsters Local 150, and Teamsters Classified Supervisors, all signed an agreement to switch to more affordable health plans with comparable benefits. If you have not already seen it, please watch and read news coverage of this announcement or watch a video replay. The District has made the same proposal to SCTA and hopes to reach agreement soon. The District recently offered SCTA three dates this month to meet again on this important issue. The District remains optimistic that we will soon have agreement with all labor partners to switch over to more affordable health plans by selecting benefit plans similar to those currently offered, but that cost significantly less. To be clear, paying less for health plans would not mean losing benefits.

Meanwhile, the District is implementing other cost savings strategies that do not require negotiations to save what it can. For example, the District continues its trend of reducing how much of its general fund is spent on administrators. The District now spends 4.39 percent of its general fund dollars on general administration, the lowest in the Sacramento region. By comparison, surrounding school districts spend an average of 5.71 percent of their general fund dollars on general administration. Click here to see California Department of Education data showing how much less of its general fund Sac City Unified spends on administration than surrounding school districts. 

While operating a lean administration helps the District achieve some short-term savings, under-staffing has long-term financial consequences. Under-staffing results in employees being unable to utilize vacation time—a benefit the District is required by law to allow employees to accumulate and use, or cash out if unused. Since Sac City Unified has traditionally been understaffed with many employees unable to utilize their vacation time, the District has had to take action in recent months to reduce this financial liability and prevent it from growing. Implementing a “use it or cash it out” policy this year for vacation time has saved the District approximately $4 million in future liabilities. To view cashed out vacation time for unrepresented staff, click here.  

While these actions have resulted in some savings, they will not yield the ongoing large savings needed to keep the District financially solvent in the long-term. The key to long-term cost savings is to work collaboratively with our labor partners to switch over to more affordable health plans and lower the cost of providing employee health benefits, which four out of five labor union partners are committed to doing.

The District will continue to keep you updated on the status of our budget situation and important developments as they occur. Thank you for your patience as we continue to work through this challenge.

Budget Update #14

December 8, 2018

Dear Community Member,

This week four of the district’s five labor partners—SEIU 1021, UPE, Teamsters Local 150 and Teamsters Classified Supervisors, signed an agreement to implement health cost savings with the help of the California Education Coalition for Health Care Reform (CECHCR), a nonprofit group that works with school districts to reduce health care costs.

We are optimistic that all of our labor partners will agree to implement these cost savings, which requires selecting a specific health plan that will replace an existing plan, and then notifying CECHCR of that selection and a start date.

To better understand the importance of achieving health cost savings to help solve our budget challenges, please watch the recent news coverage on this issue or watch the replay of the announcement which is posted on our website. Thank you.

Budget Update #13

December 5, 2018

The Sacramento City Unified School District announced in a video statement on Wednesday that it has managed to find millions in cost savings, with most cuts being made away from the classroom. However, Superintendent Aguilar and Board President Jessie Ryan warned that these cuts will not be enough to entirely address the district’s structural deficit. Both leaders called on district employees to rise to the occasion and make shared sacrifices to eliminate the structural budget deficit. Click here to watch the video statement.

Board of Education President Jessie Ryan indicated that ”While the Superintendent has gone as far as he can in reducing costs, we are now forced to look for other areas to save money. As Board President and mother of two children in our schools, I want to be very clear that the Board of Education will not approve a budget that hurts students. Our students did not cause this budget deficit and we will not balance the budget on their backs.”

All of the savings the district has found up to this point have been attained without any collective bargaining. However, to eliminate the district’s structural budget deficit, it must now reduce total costs to provide health benefits. The district will not be able to balance its budget in future years unless all employees are willing to make some concessions in the next round of contract negotiations. These negotiations are expected to begin immediately after the Board of Education voted on November 15, 2018 to give Superintendent Aguilar authority to begin bargaining with labor partners. 

The district believes the largest potential costs savings would be achieved by shopping for more affordable health insurance plans for employees. Sac City Unified is currently, and has historically, spent significantly more on its employee health insurance costs than other school districts in the region. A cost savings estimate provided to the district by The CECHCR Project, shows Sac City Unified could achieve an estimated $11 million to $16 million per year in savings if all labor unions agree to join a health insurance pool that will provide employee benefits at a lower cost. CECHCR is an initiative of the non-profit Center for Collaborative Solutions that helps school districts and their unions work effectively together to save money and implement best practices in how they handle the complexity of health benefits issues. 

“Our budget staff has worked very hard over the past few months with the assistance of an appointed fiscal advisor to achieve the maximum amount of cost savings that could be achieved without touching our existing labor agreements,” said Superintendent Aguilar. “We have reached the point where we cannot eliminate the structural deficit without bargaining. Protecting core academic programs and services for students will now require all of our labor partners to come to the bargaining table ready to make shared sacrifices. This is the only way we can balance the budget and avoid state takeover.”

Budget Update #12

November 16, 2018

As we continue preparing a plan to address the district’s structural budget deficit to advance our vision of Equity, Access, and Social Justice, we want to share an important action we have taken to resolve claims that the district is responsible for expending more resources in salaries than that which we understood had been agreed upon last year with our labor partner, the Sacramento City Teachers Association (SCTA).

When the agreement with SCTA was reached, we understood that the terms included a mutually agreeable adjustment to the salary schedule in 2018-19 that should “not exceed a total district expenditure of 3.5%”, which the district has been and remains committed to honoring.

The SCTA, however, has claimed that the district agreed to an expenditure that has been estimated at 7.1% for 2018-19 and thereafter. This amount is significantly higher than the amount we understood was agreed to by the parties, and which was actually approved by our Board, reported to and approved by the Sacramento County Office of Education, and planned for in our budget.  

The district seeks to resolve this matter in court so we can continue to plan a budget that is focused on protecting core academic programs and enrichment opportunities for students and maintains the fiscal solvency of the district. 

To that end, this morning we filed a complaint in Sacramento County Superior Court requesting a declaration from the court that there is not an agreement between the district and SCTA regarding the 2018-19 salary structure, let alone an agreement to pay significantly more than the terms of our contract which were ratified by our Board of Education on December 7, 2017.

We will continue to provide updates on proactive measures we are taking to reduce costs, achieve savings and protect resources for our students and families. Thank you.

Budget Update #11

November 3, 2018

Dear Community Member,

As our district continues working on a solution to our structural budget deficit, we want to inform you of an important reform that is now being implemented to reduce future spending.

You may have read news articles in recent years such as this one in the San Jose Mercury News or the 2015 Center for Investigative Journalism piece revealing that some state employees were cashing out their accrued vacation for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Failing to control the cost of accrued vacation siphons away resources from our students and schools.

That is why under the leadership of Superintendent Jorge Aguilar, the Sacramento City Unified School District is now implementing a “use it or cash it out” policy that will rein in and reduce the financial burden on the district of paying out unused vacation time. This is an important step in reducing the financial burden that high leave balances have on the district. Since implementing this policy, the district has reduced its financial liability by approximately $4 million.

Here’s how it works: Vacation time is an employment benefit. When accrued vacation time is not used by an employee, the employer has an obligation to pay out the value of that benefit when the employee leaves or retires from the agency. By putting a policy in place that requires employees to use their vacation or cash it out, the district prevents situations where employees are hoarding vacation time and then receiving large lump sum payouts when they leave.

Our labor partner, the United Professional Educators, has also agreed to help the district further reduce our future costs by decreasing its members’ number of vacation days from 22 to 5 per year. In fact, new UPE members hired after July 1, 2017 will not accrue any vacation time. This reduction in vacation days will help the district save money. In addition, non-represented management employees are now required to either use or cash out any vacation carry over above 15 days to further reduce the district’s financial liability and lessen the cost of vacation benefits so more resources are available for our students.

Click here to learn more about state laws pertaining to employee vacation time and the district’s obligations to comply with these laws. We will continue to keep you updated on steps we are taking to save money. 

Budget Update #10

October 18, 2018

Dear Community Member,

Last night our Board of Education voted to continue working with our local Sacramento County Superintendent, fiscal advisor and labor partners to address the district’s budget deficit. Voting to continue working locally and waive the formation of a Budget Review Committee that would be handled at the state level, allows the district and stakeholders to continue working together at the local level to address the budget deficit and chart a course toward financial sustainability.

Click here to view the budget update presentation at yesterday’s Board meeting.

The district will now continue working collaboratively with all partners and the County Superintendent to meet a December 14, 2018 first interim report and balanced budget deadline. The district has also started working with the state’s Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) on a fiscal health analysis of the district that FCMAT is anticipated to complete this December.

We will continue to keep you updated on the latest news and information related to our budget situation. For more information including responses to frequently asked questions, please visit our Budget Review Process web page. Thank you for your patience as we work through this process.

Budget Update #9

October 12, 2018

Dear Community Member,

We are writing to inform you that, as anticipated, the Sacramento County Superintendent has sent a letter disapproving the school district’s revised budget that was adopted on October 4, 2018. 

Prior to submitting our revised budget, we notified the County Superintendent that while our revised budget included approximately $10 million in cuts, many to our central office and administration, we knew it did not contain sufficient reductions to completely eliminate the district’s structural deficit. In order to minimize the impact to students, we notified the County Superintendent that we needed more time to work alongside the Sacramento County Office of Education, the County Superintendent’s appointed fiscal advisor, labor partners and our community to chart a sustainable course that is thoughtful and student-centered.

The fiscal challenges facing Sac City Unified are the result of the district’s decades-long history of operating with an ongoing structural deficit that has not sufficiently prioritized meeting the needs of students. Making real, solid, and permanent reductions in expenditures to address our longstanding fiscal problems will require courage and commitment and working in collaboration with all partners and stakeholders. Quick fixes made within the 30-day period we were given, would not have served students well. That is why we decided to adopt initial cuts on October 4th that will not harm our students, while seeking more time to work on solutions that will solve our long-term structural deficit. 

Our fiscal challenges can and will be resolved; however, not with a quick fix. The way forward is working in partnership with shared ownership of the solution. There is no other way to solve this. We have to create a functional collaborative coalition between the district’s bargaining partners, the SCUSD Board of Education, and the community. 

Successful models are out there, and we need to look no further than our own backyard where Elk Grove Unified School District has a working coalition of the district’s union leaders. Together, they take responsibility for the health of the district’s budget and work together to keep the organization fiscally sound. In Sac City Unified, over the past few months we have been working diligently to bring together our labor partners and we are very close to achieving this model. In fact, four of our five labor partners have formed an unprecedented labor-management consortium dedicated to coming up with sustainable solutions by coming to the table and reworking budget priorities that focus on supporting students. 

The solutions we reach in the weeks ahead must come from meaningful input from all stakeholders and reflect the values of fiscal prudence as well as our unwavering commitment to student success. Our current and future generations of students are counting on us to come together to solve this problem. We are determined not to let them down.

Sincerely,

Jorge A. Aguilar          Jessie Ryan
Superintendent           President, Board of Education

Budget Update #8

October 5, 2018

Dear Community Member,

Sacramento City Unified Board of Education and Superintendent Jorge Aguilar have released the following statement regarding action taken at yesterday’s Board meeting:

“Last night we took immediate action to cut approximately $10 million from our central office and reduce other administrative expenditures. Now we must shift our focus to having a serious conversation with all employees about how we can work collaboratively to achieve savings in areas where costs continue to increase beyond our ability to sustain. One area is in employee healthcare costs. Sacramento City Unified School District spends more on employee healthcare costs than any other surrounding school district in the region. The potential to continue to provide high quality coverage while achieving millions of dollars in health cost savings is a win-win that will solve our most prevalent budget challenges and redirect millions of dollars back into programs for students. All that is required now is the willingness of every bargaining partner to put the past behind us and come to the table ready to make this happen.”

Below are PowerPoint slides presented at last night’s meeting which summarize $11.48 million in budget adjustments and cost reductions approved by the Board. 

Budget Update #7

October 3, 2018

Dear Community Member,

We would like to inform you that we have updated our frequently asked questions page with a response to a question related to the district’s administrative positions and costs. Copied below is the question we have received and our response. Please visit the district’s FAQ page for all responses to the most common questions we have received. Thank you.

Has the district’s number of full-time administrators grown from 190 employees in 2014-15 to 271 employees in 2017-18?

No. This statement is factually incorrect and the District has requested that the Sacramento City Teachers Association refrain from using the incorrect figures in their communications. Below are the accurate numbers related to the district’s reported administration costs reflected in the District’s end-of-year actual reports submitted to the Sacramento County Office of Education and the California Department of Education:

  • In 2014-15, the district actually reported employing 232.2 administrative full-time employees. 
  • In 2017-18 the district actually reported employing 267 administrative full-time employees. 
  • Four (4) of these positions were vacated and left unfilled at the end of the fiscal year in compliance with the hiring freeze adopted by the Board of Education, leaving the district with a total of 263 administrative full-time employees to start this fiscal year.

Sac City Unified administrators, both at the site level and district office, constitute 4.66% of budget expenditures and are focused on student achievement and providing critical support services to all of our school sites. To help the community understand the roles of our 263 administrators, here is a breakdown of who these employees are and what roles they perform for our students:

  • Almost half, 49% (129) of the 263 administrative positions, are held by Principals, Assistant Principals, Site Instructional Coordinators, Student Support Services Coordinators, and other positions directly serving students on school sites. Click here to view a listing of all job titles and salaries for these 129 FTEs. 
  • Roughly 10% (26) of the administrative positions are not paid for with unrestricted general fund dollars because they are covered through grant funding, bonds, reimbursements or other funding sources. Eliminating these positions would not result in any cost savings since they are not paid for with general fund dollars. Examples of these positions include, among others: 
    • Our Director and Supervisor of Special Education Services, responsible for overseeing the delivery of services to students with special needs;
    • Our Coordinator for Induction Programs serving first-year teachers;
    • Our Director of Student Support and Health Services overseeing school nurses and the delivery of health-related services at school sites;
    • Our Director and Coordinators of Multilingual Literacy Services and;
    • Our Attendance Campaign Coordinators which are focused on increasing student attendance and generating more revenue for the district. 

Click here to view a listing of all job titles and salaries of these 26 FTEs not paid for using unrestricted general fund dollars.

  • Roughly 7% (18) of the administrative positions are responsible for ensuring the district complies with various state and federal laws and other requirements including:
    • Education Code;
    • Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) and Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF);
    • School Safety compliance;
    • Student data and online privacy and safety;
    • Employee Payroll;
    • Translation Services;
    • Bullying Prevention;
    • Student Enrollment and;
    • Disciplinary Hearings 

Click here to view a listing of job titles and salaries for these 18 positions.

  • Roughly 12% (33) of the administrative positions are supporting school sites in instructional supervisorial roles, maintenance and operations, and pupil transportation. For example, these positions include our Director of Guidance and Counseling, Chief Operations Officer, Student Transportation Supervisors, and Manager for Facilities Maintenance. The district also employs a grant writer through this funding source and this individual has garnered nearly $75 million in funding for Sac City Unified since the 2014-2015 academic year. Click here to view a listing of job titles and salaries for these 33 FTEs.
  • Only 21% (57) of the administrative positions in the district are administrative employees that are paid out of the general fund for a total combined salary amount of $6.7 million. Many of these employees lead the district, or parts of the district, and perform highly critical leadership functions in human resources, business services, accounting, technology, communications, operations and accountability to support school sites with the delivery of essential services that sites depend on but are unable to perform on their own. These positions include the district’s leadership team including the Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, Instructional Area Superintendents and their administrative management and support staff. Click here to view a listing of all job titles and salaries for these 57 FTEs.

Every school district depends on administrative employees to keep school sites open and running to serve the needs of students. While the district’s total number of full-time administrators is currently 31 FTE greater than in 2014, this growth and the percentage of overall budget that is allocated for administration is on the lower end of administrative costs compared to surrounding districts in the Sacramento region (see chart below).

Budget Update #6

October 3, 2018

Dear Community Member,

Superintendent Jorge Aguilar and Sacramento City Unified Board of Education President Jessie Ryan released the following statement this afternoon after the district, working with a fiscal advisor appointed by the County Superintendent, has determined the amount of cost savings the district must achieve to eliminate its structural deficit is $28.5 million in 2019-2020 and $19.5 million for 2020-2021:
 

“The Sacramento City Unified School District’s fiscal problems are structural, complex and not new. 

The fiscal challenges are the result of the district’s decades-long history of operating with an ongoing structural deficit that has not sufficiently prioritized meeting the needs of students. Making real, solid, and permanent reductions in expenditures to address our longstanding fiscal problems requires courage and commitment and working in collaboration with all partners and stakeholders. Quick fixes made within a 30-day period will not serve students well.  

Therefore, we have notified the Sacramento County Superintendent that the revised budget we plan to submit by the state required October 8th deadline, while making approximately $10 million in cuts, does not contain sufficient reductions to completely eliminate the structural deficit. We simply need more time to work alongside the Sacramento County Office of Education, the County Superintendent’s appointed fiscal advisor, labor partners and our community to chart a sustainable course that is student-centered.

Our fiscal challenges can and will be resolved; however, not with a quick fix. The way forward is working in partnership with shared ownership of the solution. There is no other way to solve this. We have to create a functional collaborative coalition between the district’s bargaining partners, the SCUSD Board of Education, and the community.  

Successful models are out there, and we need to look no further than our own backyard where Elk Grove Unified School District has a working coalition of the district’s union leaders. Together, they take responsibility for the health of the district’s budget and work together to keep the organization fiscally sound. In Sac City Unified, over the past few months we have been working diligently to bring together our labor partners and we are very close to achieving this model. In fact, four of our five labor partners have formed an unprecedented labor-management consortium dedicated to coming up with sustainable solutions by coming to the table and reworking budget priorities that focus on supporting students. 

The solutions we reach in the weeks ahead must come from meaningful input from all stakeholders and reflect the values of fiscal prudence as well as our unwavering commitment to student success. Our current and future generations of students are counting on us to come together to solve this problem. We are determined not to let them down.”

Budget Update #5

October 2, 2018

Dear Community Member,

We want to share that since September 10, 2018 the district has been working closely with the fiscal advisor appointed by the Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools to review the district’s budget numbers for accuracy. 

The amount of cost savings the district needs to achieve to eliminate its structural deficit has been revised after our review. The current structural deficit amount after the review is now $28.5 million in 2019-2020 and $19.5 million for 2020-2021. The updated amount reflects changes made after checking for accuracy and reviewing cost information. See chart below for more details.
 

We will continue to update you on our progress as staff continues to work on a revised budget proposal for the Board of Education meeting this Thursday. We plan to send out another update tomorrow but want to keep you apprised of this information for now.

Budget Update #4

September 18, 2018

Dear Community Member,

Thank you again for signing up to receive budget alerts from the Sacramento City Unified School District. The district would like to inform you that our website has been updated with responses to two new frequently asked questions and their responses. Please check the bottom of this email for the two new FAQ’s and responses that have been added to our web page. You can access all of the FAQ’s here.

We are still working to schedule a public meeting date for presenting a revised budget. Once that date has been scheduled, you will be notified. Thank you for your continued patience during this process.

Newly Added FAQ’s 

Was the budget disapproved because the district mismanaged its finances?

No. It was disapproved because the County Superintendent is required by law to provide fiscal oversight of the district’s finances and the district’s budget has projected deficit spending that will leave the district without any reserves before the end of the 2019/20 school year. The district’s adopted budget although having sufficient resources to pay expenses for this year, did not include sufficient reserves for outgoing years.

Does the district have a top-heavy central office and high amount of administrative overhead?

Not in comparison to other school districts. This can be determined by how much of the district’s overall budget is spent on administrative expenses allocated to the central office. The district’s records show administrative expenses allocated to central office have actually decreased from 4.5 percent of unrestricted general fund budget in 2014-15 to 4.2 percent of unrestricted general fund expenditures in 2017-18. These figures show an overall decrease in central office and administrative spending during this time period. It is worth noting that the district’s budget significantly increased during this time period. From the 2014-15 fiscal year to the 2017-18 fiscal year, the district’s budget grew from $333,320,568 million to $395,468,056 in state and local unrestricted general fund revenue sources. The larger revenues led to hiring more staff at all levels of the organization to implement programs and services dedicated to low-income, foster, and English Learners paid for with these revenues. By comparison, the number of teachers employed by the district also grew during this time period. For example, in 2014-15 there were 2,298 certificated (i.e. teaching) FTE employees in the district. In 2017-18 that number grew to 2,521 certificated FTE employees in the district—an increase of 223 teaching positions*. That increase in hiring of teachers would be equivalent to fully staffing classrooms at McClatchy High School three times. See chart below for how Sac City Unified’s administrative expenses as a percentage of its budget compare to surrounding districts. 

*Source for number of FTE certificated (teaching) positions: Sacramento City Unified School District Financial Database

Budget Update #3

September 13, 2018

Dear Community Member.

Answers to frequently asked questions that the district has received since the announcement of our budget disapproval, are now posted online on our budget review process page. Click here to view the FAQ’s.

The FAQ’s will be updated frequently in the coming days leading up to the October 8, 2018 deadline to submit a revised budget to the Sacramento County Office of Education. Remember that if you have a question, our public information office will work to respond with an answer. Please submit your questions here.

Thank you and have a good evening.

Budget Update #2

September 10, 2018

Dear Community Member,

Thank you for subscribing to receive updates from the Sacramento City Unified School District regarding the recent disapproval of the 2018-19 adopted budget. In the coming days, you will be receiving more updates from the district about this topic, including answers to frequently asked questions and when a public meeting will be held. You can also visit our website for updates and information. 

We want to clarify the reason why the district’s 2018-19 adopted budget was disapproved by the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE). It was disapproved because sufficient funding was not set aside in savings (our reserve) to meet the state’s mandated requirement to maintain a minimum 2 percent reserve in fiscal years 2019-20 and 2020-21. A minimum reserve is necessary so that we are structurally addressing our long-term fiscal challenges and able to meet the needs of our students in future years. Per Education Code 42127d, an independent fiscal advisor has now been assigned by the SCOE to work with the district to help remedy our financial sustainability challenges. The independent fiscal advisor arrived to the district today and has now begun the process of assessing our budget to help identify options to address our reserve deficiencies in 2019-20 and 2020-2021. No decisions regarding cuts will be made until the fiscal advisor has completed her assessment work.

To help raise awareness about the steps the district is now taking in response to the budget disapproval, Superintendent Jorge Aguilar and Board President Jessie Ryan were guests on Capitol Public Radio’s Insight with Beth Ruyak this morning. Click here to listen to the interview or tune in to 90.9FM Capitol Public Radio this evening at 7:15 p.m.  

Finally, we want to make sure you are receiving accurate information from us about what is going on. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to submit them here. We will do our best to respond to your questions as quickly as possible. Thank you.

Budget Update #1

September 7, 2018

Dear Community Member,

At last night’s Board of Education meeting, our Chief Business Officer, Dr. John Quinto, publicly announced that the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) has disapproved the district’s adopted budget for this fiscal year. The school district must now submit a revised budget by October 8, 2018 that addresses our $24 million budget deficit.
 

Understanding that this is a critical issue to our students and families, Superintendent Jorge Aguilar and Board President Jessie Ryan want to share this video message with our community in response to this situation—the first time SCOE has disapproved our adopted budget.
 

We want to assure our community that our commitment over these next few weeks is to work tirelessly to continue making good on the promise of advancing equity, access, and social justice for all students and collectively figure out how to address our budget challenges with the least disruption to our students.
 

The district has created a webpage to update our community with the latest news on this situation, frequently asked questions and other resources. Please sign up to receive alerts and details on how you can participate in meetings on this issue by visiting: www.scusd.edu/budget-review-process.