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May 8, 2020 Friday Letter Volume 1, No. 35
Posted 5/8/20

#TogetherWeGrow. . . #JuntosAprendemos…#TogetherWeLead. . .

#JuntosCrecemos…#TogetherWeLearn…#JuntosLideramos!

#LeadWithResilience…#LiderarConResiliencia

State Budget and the Impacts on the Mt. Diablo Unified School District

     The California Department of Finance Office (DOF) has released this current Fiscal Update on May 7, 2020. The document provides a significant review of some of the potential impacts to the State budget due to COVID-19 Pandemic, and discusses some of the projected fallout from the resulting economic downturn due to this unprecedented negative recession.

     MDUSD, like other school districts across the state, relies on the success of our state’s economic health to be able to maintain our revenue to meet our student’s needs. All public school districts receive funding from the state based on Proposition 98 guarantees, and that funding is desperately needed to manage our state’s public education system for the states 6.2 million students across California with their variety of needs and services. The document from the DOF goes on to describe the significant unemployment claims that have occurred in just one week due to COVID-19, and it projects a tremendously high rate of unemployment across the state, higher than in the “Great Recession,” of 2008-09. Simply put, when our state’s economy is struck with such a significant blow, there becomes a stark realization that there is the potential for a massive funding reductions to public education across the state. The DOF document projects that this could result in a potential 18.3 billion dollar downward shift in funding for public education, including K-12 and Community College Education. Quite frankly, the entire education community is petrified of that possibility.

     The District had been working through our own budget shortfall this school year, and working diligently to reduce expenditures for the 2020-2021 school year. The Governing Board has already authorized a certificated reduction of 12.5 million dollars, and an initial classified service reduction of 1 million dollars, and is set to continue conversations regarding additional potential reductions to staff. All this was to support the District in meeting identified needs in employee compensation for the 2018-2019, 2019-2020 school years, with the hopes of providing another increase to salaries in the 2020-2021 school year. Of course, all of these plans, and current actions, were based on pre-COVID-19 budget information.

     The Governing Board will continue to work diligently to more fully understand the next steps in the state budget development process. We are all awaiting the Governor’s May budget revision that should provide some additional clarity on the potential for further reductions for next year and subsequent years. Depending on that information, the processes and budget assumptions that we are using for the budget development process will be modified, and we will be better positioned to determine the need for additional budget reductions for next year. At the time of this writing, things seem to be changing daily, if not hourly; hence, we plan to bring the most up-to-date information to the Governing Board meeting on Monday, May 11, 2020.

Summer School/Credit Recovery and Extended School Year (ESY) Enrollment

     Mount Diablo Unified School District will be hosting two summertime distance-learning educational programs:

  1. Summer School (2020) will take place online from Wednesday, June 10 - Wednesday, July 8, 2020, with no school on Friday, July 3, 2020
    High School Credit Recovery Program Registration:
    • This program will target Seniors and Junior students who are in need of credit recovery. Current Seniors and Juniors who receive a "No Credit" for spring 2020 will be given first priority.
    • Counselors will be contacting and registering students who fall in this priority category.
    • Content will be provided using online curriculum addressing English, Math, History/Social Studies, Science, and Spanish
    • Students and families who have questions should contact your school counselor
    • Registration deadline is May 7, 2020. Confirmation letters will be mailed/emailed home.
  2. Extended School Year (ESY) 2020 will take place online from Wednesday, June 10 - Wednesday, July 8, 2020, with no school on Friday, July 3, 2020. Extended School Year services are special education and related services that are provided to a child with a disability. These services are different from summer school. Summer school is a credit recovery program designed to provide opportunities for students to earn credits towards graduation and is offered on a space available basis to students in our high schools. ESY services are special education and related services that a student must qualify for and are in accordance with the student's IEP.
    • Registration for ESY is due Friday, May 8, 2020. Please see the Special Education Department home page for the online registration form.

Gratitude for Mt. Diablo CARES and to MDUSD Education Foundation

     On May 6, 2020, the MDUSD Education Foundation (MDEDF), in collaboration with the Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) Collaborative for Academic, Recreation and Enrichment for Students (CARES), safely distributed more than 1,600 hands-on science and art kits to students during lunch distribution at five school sites. These kits were rich with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) oriented activities and were received with smiling faces! Read the success story here.

     Recently, MDEDF’s Coronavirus Remote Learning Fund exceeded the 30k mark, thus far receiving $30,337.72 in donations. MDUSD is deeply grateful to its donors, from individual members in our community to a growing list of community organizations, including Mechanics Bank, Pacific Service Credit Union, Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery, Travis Credit Union, and Urban Barber College. The MDUSD Education Foundation continues to be a valuable partner, especially in our students’ time of need as we seek to close the digital divide. Donations are still being accepted, and we are making technology purchases just as quickly as we can to get our students connected.  

Reminder: You May be Eligible for Additional Nutrition Benefits

     The State of California will be providing additional nutrition benefits to families who qualify for free/reduced meals—up to $365 (card) for each eligible child. The total amount you will receive will depend on how many eligible children are living in your home.

Who is eligible for Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) benefits?
Children are eligible for P-EBT benefits if: 1) Their school is closed due to coronavirus (COVID 19); and 2) They are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.

How do I get P-EBT benefits?
Most families with children who receive CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits do not need to apply online. They will get their P-EBT card in the mail between May 7 - 22, 2020.
Families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals and who do NOT get CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits must apply online before June 30, 2020. Applications will be available here, starting on May 22, 2020: www.ca.p-ebt.org

Find out more information here.

Several Activities in My Calendar This Week

Monday, May 4, 2020

  • Met virtually with Contra Costa County Superintendent Lynn Mackey and Contra Costa County School District Superintendents for continued coronavirus response coordination

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

  • Met with my Cabinet
  • Facilitated a virtual Town Hall meeting broadcasted to the public
  • Participated in the virtual Community Advisory Committee

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

  • Conducted a Final Interview with a candidate for the Senior Administrative Executive Assistant to the Superintendent position
  • Met virtually with Board President Brian Lawrence
  • Conducted a virtual Final Interview with a candidate for the Payroll Manager position
  • Participated virtually in the Parent Advisory Committee meeting
  • Participated in the virtual District PTA Council meeting

Thursday, May 7, 2020

  • Met virtually with Board Member Cherise Khaund
  • Met virtually with representatives from the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence
  • Met virtually with representatives of the California School Employees Association (CSEA)
  • Met virtually with the Public Employees Union, Local One/AFSCME Clerical, Secretarial and Technical Unit
  • Participated virtually in the District English Learner Advisory Committee meeting
  • Virtually attended the Mount Diablo Education Association Academy Awards Event

Friday, May 8, 2020

  • Participated in a Special Board Meeting
  • Met with select administrators from my Cabinet
  • Participated virtually in the Equity Advisory Committee Meeting

 

-Superintendent Dr. Rob Martinez-

-Sent by email to all staff and to the MDUSD community through School Messenger, Facebook, and Twitter-