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Budget Survey Results Classified Staff - Reduction Suggestions

What suggestions do you have for budget reductions in MDUSD?


  • -Review special programs at the sites to determine if they are impacting student education for the better.
    -Assess and reorganize District departments and streamline processes.
    -reduce out of district professional development (conferences).
    -streamline purchases to benefit more than just one person/site, but bigger populations.
  • shorten school year; shorten district office staff contracts; furlough days: eliminate AVID, TOSA
  • Cut from the top! Cut the TOSA's! Cut teacher in-service day trainings.
  • Stop dumb spending on vanity projects at District and Schools
  • Talk with the employees who have been with the District for at least 10-15 years.  They are vested employees
    with that being said...
    1. At certain middle schools, the secretary position could become a 19 hour/week position, therefore eliminating the position as a benefited position.    At several of the middle schools there is not enough work to keep that desk busy.  Sequoia Middle, Pine Hollow, Foothill, Diablo View, PHMS.  
    2. At the middle schools, change the secretary position to 50/50 split with another middle school.  The same concept that was established this year with the Vice Principals at the middle schools.  The work could all still get done.  Sequoia Middle does not register students, Student Services does.
    3, Custodial staff change one of the PM custodian positions to 50/50 split with another school
    I have worked for the school district over 20 years as a classified employee.
  • Paper and Postage
  • 1.  Substitute Costs--many teachers use their sick leave for vacations.  This is an abuse of sick leave. 
    2.  Open Orders with Office Depot--Teachers are buying items that are prohibited, i.e., kleenix, Lysol wipes and other soaps and cleaners, paper towels, etc.
    3.  Travel--Reduce the number of attendees at conferences, ask attendees to share information they gather with their peers.
    4.  Teacher attendance--many teachers use their prep periods to leave school and run personal errands.  If they have a first or last period prep, they arrive late or leave early.  Many do not honor their site time, which is stealing from the taxpayers.   No action is taken for teachers who are chronically late or absent, which affects morale amongst other teachers required to cover for them. 
  • Shorten work hours again, or shorten work year... we can complete work load in less hours, it's been proven and done before.
  • 1.SROs deleted.  We did not have them 5 years ago and the expense should be the city's, like Walnut Creek.  2.  Eliminate Summit HS and Gateway   3. Eliminate Curriculum Specialists and TOSA, as in a budget crises we will not be adopting any new textbooks. 4. Full class sizes across the board.  Our Dashboard doesn't indicate that smaller classes are beneficial.
  • Provide chrome books for each student instead of text books.
  • All classified that are currently 12 month go to 11 month
  • Review insurance premiums, limits, etc. and lower if can.
  • stop needless spending.  Perhaps look at freezing/cutting "top" salaries before cutting student services.  Rotating furlough days for classified/administrative positions, cut number of days classified work (example:  Dent center close between Christmas & New Years, reducing work days by 5, eliminating the "choice" day) I realize all of these must go through Union and Board approval, but it's a suggestion.
  • Realign some of the secretaries work hours with when they are needed.  Not all secretaries need to work non-school days.
  • Look at every department (Certificated & Classifed, along with District Office employees.  See about where jobs once again can be eliminated, where hours/days to be cut, possible look at merging "schools together" (also would eliminate jobs and overage of numbers).
  • Middle School Sports eliminated, BUT do not touch High School Sports.  It's vital for teens to have sports in High School.
  • Look at processes that duplicate efforts to streamline and better utilize staff, reduce Superintendent staff back to one assistant, continue to review vacant positions for necessity, eliminate elementary 4th & 5th grade itinerant PE staff and return to teacher led, work with community on larger share of SRO costs on community rather than district
  • Cut management in half
  • Cut from the top. Cut top salaries and top positions.
  • Put the 6th grade classes back into the Elementary Schools & have just 7th & 8th grade classes in "Junior High School".  Possibility of merging school sites and/or more school closures.  Totally eliminating Librarians --- as we only have them on site for one day a week, possibly eliminate or put some positions to part-time, cut hours, or look at 12 month employees going down to 10 1/2 months (all Clerical on the same schedule).  Do an "Updated Survey", after getting the ones in and completed after 2/7/2020.    Also consider eliminating the "Pre-K' program at all the various sites, would save $$$$??????
  • Look for excessive and wasteful spending in M&O, Transportation
  • Start at the top and re-evaluate the number of DMA positions that we currently have in the district and consider elimination of those which are not absolutely necessary for every day operations throughout the district. I would suspect that there are many that could potentially be eliminated and those job duties could be reassigned to other DMA members.
  • Reduce staff who do not work in direct service with students
  • 1) Eliminate the purchasing department.  Let school sites order direct with vendors.  Then have accounts payable employee assigned to four schools and have them travel to their assigned sites to approve, pay, account, and balance all budget items. On the 5th day they are back in the fiscal department at district office.  2) Lessen paper use and copies by the teachers for the students by using Google.  3) Eliminate teachers on special assignments.   
  • cut clerical staff by 2 weeks at end of year
  • Reduce salaries of Administration/District figure heads.
  • Reduce Education Programs that do not have a positive impact for students
  • College and Career Advisers.   Counselors can do that job because they are in constant contact with their students. 
  • Staffing reductions have been outlined in your plan publicly. I suggest the cuts start with consultants and those in coaching positions. From there I suggest the upper admin staff at the district office be reviewed. In addition to upper admin I suggest the DMA support be reviewed and thinned if possible.
  • Find ways to cut all unnecessary spending and not reduce personnel. Departments are already short-handed and services, especially in M&O are constantly delayed because of this shortage of manpower. A reduction of more personnel will not only increase these delay times in service but "sink" the moral of the personnel remaining.
  • eliminate consultants, vacant management positions, conferences
  • Have part-time less hours, maybe to 15 work weeks  3 days  or  4 days
  • Get rid of nonessential programs. Get rid of consultants that don't do anything other than consult.  You need people who work with kids and bring in money for the district.  You don't need people who promote programs that are costly with staff and overhead.  The TRAIL program is a fine example.  There are a group of kids getting bused in from all over the district to learn how to use communication devices.  These kids should stay at their home schools and have an expert, assistive technology communication specialist/speech therapist, come to teach the student and staff about how to use the technology.  You cut down on busing for 7 or more kids and you collapse a nonessential program.  This program is only staying afloat because one person is basically searching throughout the district for students to bring into the program.  Essential programs such as autism classrooms and LH and SH SDC classrooms fill up without anyone doing any recruiting because they are essential and kids need placements.  If the TRAIL classrooms were essential, you wouldn't need to recruit kids for them.  The demand would just be there.
  • Our district has always felt very top heavy with lots of managers.  I know it's a big district but it seems like we have a lot of people with big titles making big money. 
  • TK classes:  Why do we have TK programs that serve some and not others?  If it's not available to everyone, then maybe we shouldn't have it.  This is another nonessential program where we provide staffing and it's only available to some kids and not others.  It has never seemed right to me that some kids get to attend TK and others do not.  These kids get a head start while others are excluded even though both groups will attend kindergarten the next school year.  Just seems like it should be for everyone or no one. 
  • Counselors- The district is not getting what they had hoped for with the hiring of counselors.  There time is not used wisely and the same job can and is being done by our VP's. A College and Career Counselor on staff at every sight, if for only one day a week.  We hired one for this year for a few days a month and she has done so much more than our school counselor has done who is here three days a week!  She is much more knowledgeable and supportive to our students.
  • Move Gateway to Mt. Diablo High School.  You would save by using their support staff.  Students would be able to take classes on campus and have the support of an Independent Study Teacher.  One of the reasons for Gateway is to support the Bay Point Community.  You could run a bus from Bay Point to MDHS to help students with transportation difficulties.  Transportation issues seems to be an excuse not to go to school no matter how close the school is.
  • Increase Prospect to 81 students and hire a total of 3 teachers.  Prospect seems to be a central location for CPHS and NHS.  It is usually full with a wait list.  Having three teachers would enable Prospect to offer more class opportunities by qualified teachers.  This could also help unload some of the students from Summit.
  • Summit could be run by CHS.  This would save with the cost of the support staff and would benefit Summit by having consistent support staff instead of part time.  It would also offer Summit students more opportunities and resources.
  • Horizons Home Study is a great program for "true Home Study families".   Parents are opting for Home Study programs that offer more community learning and hands on activities ran by parents. Looking into why parents are choosing other Home Study programs and bringing those ideas to enhance our program could bring these families back and encourage others to stay.
  • We are loosing students to online schools.  Having a parent who is able and willing to teach their student at home is usually not an option. We need to work on making our Horizons Home Study more competitive with the online school opportunities.  Being able to offer an online version of Home Study would be helpful.  Horizons Home Study is the only option for intervention for K-8th grade. 
  • Eighth and ninth grade are tough time for some students.  When a student doesn't get a good start in eighth and ninth grade it appears to continue and escalate throughout the remainder of their high school career.  These students are not attending regularly. They are costing the district a lot of revenue from their lack of attendance. 
  • Schools are set up for students who can work in a square box.  There are a lot of students who don't fit in that box and fail in various ways.  A transition school for these students would be helpful.  A school that is more hands on, project oriented.  Students enjoy learning by doing.  If school was more interactive, students may find it more enjoyable and want to attend.
  • Diablo Day is a great set up for students who can not follow the rules.  The Extended Suspension Program should be included in their school.  This would increase their numbers and be more cost effective.  Students who are in a comprehensive high school, with behavior problems but not to the extent of suspension, could be offered Diablo Day as a school that is more supportive for their needs.
  • Work Experience is necessary for our high schools, allowing our students to work and earn credit fulfilling their CTE requirement.  It is especially helpful for our lower income students who need the CTE credit or elective credit and really need the income to help support their families.
  • Please stop doing Saturday schools or Saturday detention or even summer school. Then if you must have summer school just apply usage of cyber high only. This illiminates  bountiful resources and additional jobs and strictly utilizes 1 site as needed for cyber high.
  • Fill classrooms to full capacity per contract and reduce certified staff.
  • Reduce hours. Allow staff to voluntarily reduce work hours.  (There are people who prefer fewer hours/work days even when they have a full time position.)
  • There are too many jobs that could be eliminated like school employees that drive from one school to another to talk to only one student. No one knows what they are doing while driving around in their personal vehicles. Work experience is one.
  • Scale down upper management (and their salaries)
  • Do NOT touch classrooms and schools. Budget reductions should be made at the administrative and facility management levels. Our students have been adversely affected by fiscal deficits far too often, while directors, admins and even the superintendent have benefited immensely.  It is abhorrent how much we pay the Superintendent while s/he sends letters such as this saying we need to make cuts that affect students and teachers and not the very ones that whom feel it the least. Willow Creek and Dent need to make the sacrifices, NOT students and teachers. If you want to persuade the public to fund budget deficits, then have the integrity to admit that cuts will be made to upper management.
  • Reduce Administrative positions at the District level that are not needed
  • Increase Class sizes to 30 and eliminate the need for extra teachers to keep class sizes at 20. Eliminate bussing for Preschool students- the busses could then be used for transporting NPS students and eliminate the need to pay private vendors to transport.
  • I believe spending for AVID conferences, IB conferences and outside Professional Development should be cut.  You have a lot of employees in this district who never receive any type of professional development yet some schools send teams every year to conferences and professional development which are very expensive.  While I agree it is important to encourage students from the very beginning to strive for education beyond grade 12, I don't think it is necessary to spend the money at the elementary level on AVID conferences, products, etc.  Sites could still promote this concept without spending so much money.
  • Music, Library and Counseling are necessary and essential!  Many of us here have been through the years of cuts made to the Arts and Electives.  How do we think we will entice people to register their students in our district if we have nothing besides the basic academics to offer?  Students need a well-rounded education and it seems the Arts and Electives are always the first items on the chopping block.  This will only encourage more and more parents to seek charter and private schools.
  • I am also the parent of 4 children who attended and graduated from this district. The experiences they had with music, electives and sports immensely enriched their education and played a major role in their education.
  • Students who are struggling and/or have mental health issues need our support now more than ever.  They need the extra support of counselors and we need counselors with expertise in the mental health field, not just academics.
  • Please do not cut workers who provide support to the sites and keep the facilities up and running.  We clearly are already severely short with our M & O workers when we are told there is only one plumber, a couple of painters and one electrician and we have to wait weeks to get a toilet fixed or other repairs made.  When facilities fall into disrepair, look unkept and unappealing, why would parents want to send their students to our schools?  All schools deserve the same upkeep - not just the high profile, high achieving schools.  With that being said, I believe there needs to be an overhaul in how work orders are processed and how time is managed to take care of these work orders. 
  • I think that everybody should be taking the taxes payer's money serious and don't spend it in relevant expenses.
    I see people taking advantage of fast approvers and submitting time sheets that could have been avoided. 
    There is no need to send a big number of teachers, administrators to conferences.  I have not seen any changes or benefits from what they "learned".  On the other hand conferences  are very expensive.
    District spends too much money trying to build mistaken relationships with some of the students.  Some staff members have the impression that becoming friends with the kids is going to help them.  I have seen that what the students really need is structure, discipline and real life skills to become successful adults.  The outside world doesn't  need graduates that will not be able to handle any situations in life only because when they attended high school they were pampered and treated like little kids and nobody taught them the real path. (Wellness Centers).
    I am glad to see that the food expenses have gone down.
    People at District level need to put more attention at items that are being purchased district wide.
    I have also seen a waste in technology.  Items are purchased: Computers, projectors, chromebooks, etc...  and they disappeared. Nobody seems to care.
    These is just to name a few...
  • Cease professional development and travel. School sites are already understaffed and removing some positions will create safety issues.
  • Get rid of unnecessary software, such as "Swing" or other unnecessary programs that do not actually benefit the schools or children.
  • Eliminate unnecessary positions. Cut the fat from the top down not bottom up!! Eliminate some administrative positions. No need to double up!!
  • Collect money owed from Clayton Valley Charter, consolidate schools that have multi-classroom vacancies,  reduce the number of non-classroom teachers i.e. teachers on assignment, provide a financial incentive for older teachers to retire to help offset planned teacher reductions, reduce salaries of district staff making more than $100,000, have district staff work 11 months a year: 1) close all sites and don't pay people during Winter Break (2-weeks), Thanksgiving Break (1-week), and Spring Break (1-week) or 2) Close the entire district the month of July, or work on a bare bones staff to keep summer/break projects going. Crack down on workers comp fraud and sick leave misuse.  Have sites justify tech purchases, especially for K-2 grade.  Offer some online curriculum to replace specific teachers where possible to meet state requirements, then allow classroom size of online courses to be larger. 
  • There is a lot of waste, and no accountability.  Need to start holding people accountable.  More decision making left to the schools themselves in terms of reductions.
  • Continue with cost saving measures such as a temporary moratorium on travel for professional development, especially at the highest levels.  If positions must be cut, start at the highest district level, so as to not negatively impact school sites, which directly serve our students and public.
  • shorten clerical staff year at the district level.  No reason for them to work 12 mos.
  • Review positions at Dent to see if the district is top heavy.
  • Give each principal a percentage that each school needs to cut and let the principals decide how to meet those numbers.
  • Figure out a number per student that needs to be cut. That way all the schools would have the same impact.
  • No PD out of the area, requiring overnight stays
  • Less teacher in-service days before school starts
  • Early Retirement incentives
  • Spend less on things that are not necessary.  Be smarter on what to spend on. 
  • Close Necessary Small High Schools.  Student population is low.  Send those students to Olympic HS.  This would eliminate a few administrative/teacher/clerical positions.  Cuts in the district office seeing that they work 12 months and eight hours a day.  Seems like every time there is budget reductions clerical is always reduced by weeks or hours.  Clerical is the least paid by hour and the first to get reduced. 
  • I think the district can scale back the budget allocated for new technology and technology infrastructure. 
  • Shorten work year for classified clerical.  Last year 3 weeks past last day of school in June was a waste.  One full week past the last day is sufficient for getting records ready for the new school year.
  • 1/2 hour reduction during the day
  • Evaluate schools for need, some schools need more office and administrative positions, do not treat all schools the same.  Trim some of the non essential positions.  Look into inter disctrict transfers especially those in Special Ed.
  • We need to reduce the number of district-level positions.  There are positions, such as on-call electricians and plumbers that could be diverted to vendors, as opposed to having them on our payroll.  Each school would simply be responsible for calling an approved electrician or plumber, when needed.  This would limit the expense to individual calls, rather than paying a full salary to someone, even if no work is currently scheduled.
  • I have also noticed that the exterior lights are coming on at 2 PM, well before it is dark.  This is a waste of electricity and is costing the district money in both bulb life and electricity costs.
  • Other jobs at both the school level and district level need to be re-evaluated to see if the job functions can be combined with other jobs.  For example, the position of "gardener", "horticulturalist", "arborist", etc. could be re-assigned to custodians at each individual site.
  • all employees shouldn't have cuts.  employees who have been with the District 20 years or more should not be touched!  They have invested too many years and commitment.  If you are going to make cuts, cut employees who have less than 5 years or less work years
  • As a classified staff member, we already have a reduction of personnel in the offices. Schools with more than 800 students only have one manager, one secretary, & one attendance secretary. Parents, students, guests, program facilitators, therapist. Every school should be evaluated. For example Title I schools have more responsibilities than others.
  • Eliminate positions that are vacant for a long time and remain open.
    Make an evaluation if several administrators are really needed in one field.
    Do not provide food when there are meetings either for employees or parents, or even offer childcare .Do not buy bottled water seems to be a waste of money and bad for the environment.
  • Revamp departments, cut unnecessary programs, cut unnecessary trainings
  • Buy stamps through USPS, not Office Depot that charges a fee; if items are less elsewhere, don't purchase them thru Office Depot. If the contract with them is bad, get rid if it. Freeze or cut salaries from the top down. Your lowest paid employees cannot afford a cut. The payroll dept makes a lot of mistakes which cost us money. Do what you can to minimize lawsuits. That doesn't mean pressuring staff to do whatever parents want. Customer service is fine up to a point.
  • The district pays nurses from an outside company to sit in elementary schools waiting for students who need a insulin or who might have seizures. Some refuse to help with general ed students who are sick or injured, forcing your office staff to drop everything to assist sick and injured students. What a huge waste of money! Since we need those nurses they should at least assist all students. Or, have district nurses in elementary schools everyday. It us also a huge waste of money to have Tech employees sitting around waiting for something to do.
  • Look at changing school calendar so MDUSD is on a modified year round schedule so utility costs can be lowered for 2 to 3 weeks at a time.
  • Four day Office Managers.
  • Freeze all non-essential open positions, evaluate effectiveness and number of teachers on special assignment, Across the board wage reduction for all staff rather than cut positions of one unit. (Superintendent down. Everyone!) Cut non-essential departments. Re-institute block on conferences other than those that provide updated training on existing programs. i.e. AERIES, Frontline vs. "feel good" staff development. Get rid of SWING!
  • site tech could be off campus as well as the nurses, management salaries, overtime for custodians
  • Cut out testing that is expensive such as i-Ready.
  • Stop creating new positions.  And look at what sites are spending their budget $$ on.  There has always been unnecessary purchases, especially at end of school year because they don't want to leave money in the budget.
  • Go 100% paperless. stop paying for printers, toner/ink, and paper.
  • Eliminate some high paying, unncecessary positions.
  • Do NOT move forward with the previously MDEA ratified contract i.e. raises, which will in turn give all unions raises due to our Me Too clauses; INSTEAD, and ONLY INSTEAD, keep all current jobs as they are - totally full time; NO hourly cuts; NO day or weekly or monthly cuts; NO CUTS to ANY STAFF, PERIOD.
  • Cut After School Program and TK classes, cut Head Start - just keep cuts away from the K-12 classrooms
  • Start cutting the unnecessary positions at the top at District Admin level.
  • When looking at reductions, that multiple measures are taken into account regarding the sites. That reductions aren't solely based on enrollment. Many factors make a school a success story and we have to be thoughtful in how we choose to eliminate. This is a top heavy district. To keep the reductions furthest from students, which should be tantamount, we should be looking at the district office - the amount of TOSAs is unnecessary going into lean  months ahead. Please understand that cutting critical classified, support staff or admin won't result in anything other than costing the district more money - in tasks not being completed, in the safety of students being compromised, in the SpEd students not having their needs met, and parents and community up in arms over understaffed sites.
  • I think we need to look at the District level administrators and new positions created and rethink some of them.  The salaries are hefty and our district functioned successfully without them for years. With our previous Superintendent, many district level positions were created that, in my opinion, are not necessary. Instead of cutting from the bottom, where many positions directly affect our students (who we are here to serve and educate) up, we should we starting at the top.
  • Just keep the salaries the same. If the district cannot approve or settle a wage increase for classified staff members, keep the salaries the same,  with no cuts cuts, - hourly, weekly or monthly, no cuts at all  Staff may  be relieved  tokeep salary the same than suffer any time of cut. .