CONCORD -- The Mt. Diablo school board and its employees have agreed to "shared sacrifice" contracts that call for bonuses now, with future increases or furlough days based on how the state budget turns out.
According to union agreements ratified by the board Monday, employees will receive 3-percent one-time payments by June 30, which compensate them for furlough days taken last year. But if the governor's proposed tax increases fail at the ballot box in November, employees could face up to 11 or more furlough days between January and June 2013. That could shorten the school year by nine days and include two teacher in-service days.
If the state boosts school funding next year, employees could see incremental increases in pay. The district, however, estimates that its revenues would remain flat under the governor's budget plan, which includes the tax increases.
Mike Langley, a district resident and former teachers' union president, urged the board to consider cutting down on non-mandated testing, which he said could result in money savings that would allow reinstating the hours of instructional assistants and school secretaries.
"When it is time to rebuild and re-budget, consider the human resources that actually have the greatest impact on our students," he said. "Return classroom time to the educational assistants so they can help individualize student support. Return hours to the site clerical staff, so that they can function. Return administrative support to the sites that struggle with a single administrator. Release the teachers from the straitjacket of top-down directives and embrace the art of good teaching."
Langley said the district could attract and retain quality employees more easily if it focused on human resources.
Also Monday, trustees promoted former Cambridge Elementary Principal Marie Schirmer to a district administrator for school support position. The board also appointed Charla Hernandez, Jon Pierce and David Ramirez as elementary principals, without naming the schools where they will work.
The district is still recruiting principals for elementary openings and matching people to schools, said Julie Braun-Martin, assistant superintendent for personnel. Hernandez is from Brentwood, Pierce is from Oakland and Ramirez was the vice principal of El Dorado Middle School in Concord.
In addition, trustees approved the creation of a new vice principal position at Oak Grove Middle School in Concord, to be funded through a federal School Improvement Grant.
More information about the Mt. Diablo school board meeting is available by calling 925-682-8000 ext. 4000 or by visiting http://esbpublic.mdusd.k12.ca.us. Click on June 18.
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