HAYWARD — It's official: Unless something changes, the Hayward Unified School District is going to fall more than a little short of a balanced budget this year.
School trustees on Wednesday agreed to let Alameda County know that the district's operating costs are about $8.2 million in the red for the 2010-11 school year, an anticipated imbalance that will have district officials working with labor groups through the summer to come up with a revised version before a Sept. 8 deadline.
Failing that, the district would have to accept a loan — and district control — from the state.
The beleaguered district has made more than $12 million in cuts to its $120 million budget this year. Those cuts included increasing class sizes, trimming support staff such as counselors and nurses, and drastically chopping adult school funding in favor of K-12 uses. It also cut the equivalent of 12 full-time administrative positions and added furlough days for administrators.
The teachers' contract proposed by the district would add five furlough days for teachers, increase class sizes by two students, and either eliminate elementary school prep positions or incorporate a 4.18 percent across-the-board pay cut.
The district declared that they were at an impasse in negotiations earlier this month, but the Public Employee Relations Board sent them back to the table.
A timeline has not been set. Mary Walsh, vice president of the
Walsh said they were to meet Thursday with district officials to set dates, and Superintendent Janis Duran said they are "ready to bargain at any time."
Board member Luis Reynoso — who cast the lone dissenting vote against adopting the budget at Wednesday night's meeting — said they haven't done enough to make cuts that won't affect teachers, and that more money could be trimmed from administration.
"We're asking the teachers to take it on their backs," he said. "But unless we look at restructuring the entire district, it's unfair to ask that of teachers."
Trustee Jesus Armas said Reynoso was being less than sincere.
"It's disingenuous to serve on the board for two years, yet not bring forward any proposals for the other board members," he said. "It's easy to vote 'No.' It's easy to say, 'I won't balance the budget on the backs of teachers.' It just shifts the responsibility to other (trustees)."
Reynoso countered that he's "only one vote" and that it takes a board decision to prompt the actions he seeks.
He then put forth a motion to pass the budget with the addendum that it direct the superintendent to look into reorganizing the district, but it died for lack of support.
"See?" he said, gesturing to the audience. "That's how that works."