Pleasanton's school board will discuss ongoing layoffs Tuesday night as the board struggles to cobble together funding from other parts of the budget for the remaining positions.
The board meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the school district's headquarters at 4665 Bernal Ave.
A few classified positions in jeopardy of being cut if the district doesn't find funding in the coming weeks. Layoff notices have already gone out to several site technology specialists and library assistants, among others, and district staff hopes to be able to rescind some of those notices after Tuesday.
Several dozen jobs were being considered for layoffs because Pleasanton Unified paid for those jobs over the past several years with one-time grants and fundraising dollars. Layoffs were considered when those one-time funds weren't renewed in full, but district staff re-budgeting and independent fundraising reduced that count to 12.
However, some certificated staff who were set to be laid off resigned or retired instead, said schools spokesman Patrick Gannon.
Twelve jobs were in jeopardy of being laid off as of May 24. As of yesterday, the unfunded positions were: 1 FTE lead trainer, 2.25 FTE site technology specialists at elementary schools, .75 FTE site technology specialists at middle schools, 2 FTE library assistant II at comprehensive high schools and 1 FTE coordinator of maintenance services.
The district negotiated with the classified employees'union on June 2 and came to an agreement that library assistants will be funded for five hours a day, rather than six, which brings the district up to 7.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions.
Some of those library assistant positions will be funded through budget cuts agreed upon at the last board meeting.
The board voted on May 24 to eliminate a $50,000 budget for food at district meetings, to reduce the district's furniture replacement budget to save $60,000, to save $10,000 by not hosting a district Education Summit next spring and to cut $15,000 from the district's legal expenses budget.
Half of the resulting $135,000 will be used to increase other one-time funded positions from 11-month paid positions to 12-month paid positions, per labor negotiations.
District staff stated it cannot recommend funding any more positions with the remaining money until the state budget is finalized on or before June 30.
"The current budget projections as noted in the 2016-17 Proposed Budget (Agenda Item 14.7), combined with the uncertainty of ongoing revenue to replace Proposition 30 funds, limits the administration to recommend funding any additional positions beyond those noted above until after the state budget is adopted," district staff said.
"Accordingly, the administration has developed a technology support concept/model to continue to support our sites with the reduction of four FTE Technology Specialists," staff continued.
As a result, it is expected Pleasanton's public schools will have rotating technology specialists, who resolve computer problems and maintain the district's wireless network.
Foothill and Amador Valley high schools will share one site technology specialist, who will work eight hours a day for 12 months. The district's three middle schools will share two technology specialists, who will work six hours a day for 10.5 months a year.
Lydiksen, Donlon and Walnut Grove elementary schools will share two technology specialists, as will Alisal, Mohr and Fairlands and Hearst, Valley View and Vintage Hills. Those specialists will work six hours a day for 10.5 months.
One technology specialist will work at the district office and at Village High and will provide assistance to the other specialists.
Two additional specialists will also provide back-up assistance to other specialists. These staff members will work eight hours for 12 months a year.
The debate over how to fund the remaining positions brought up the question of why the district has been funding jobs with temporary funding.
The district began funding positions with one-time dollars about three years ago, Gannon said. Since that time, certain jobs have been funded with state attendance dollars and others have been funded by community fundraising organizations such as Pleasanton Partnerships in Education (PPIE) Foundation.
But since nearly the entire district's management team has changed over the past year, it's unclear as to why the decision was made during former superintendent Parvin Ahmadi's administration in the first place to fund ongoing jobs with inconsistent funds.
"This practice began under the former administration, and we cannot speak to the reasons why," Gannon said. "Moving forward, however, the administration and board believe it is essential to provide more stability district-wide."
The current funding model spreads out one-time dollars across three years, which Gannon said the district hopes will provide some cushion while staff works out a way to stop funding those jobs with one-time funding.
Staff also noted that the district's $230,000 budget for athletics is currently unfunded, which requires parents to raise the funds to keep sports teams going.
The district also needs $550,000 to fully fund its deferred maintenance budget, which means regular maintenance fixes won't get made until they've become an "immediate problem." The district is making a contribution to this fund, staff stated.
In other school news:
-The board will discuss the 2016-17 budget and the Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) and the associated funding.
-The board will discuss the age of each district school. The district is considering putting a bond measure on the November ballot to fund renovations and infrastructure needs.