The CCSD reorganization was clear; push all essential education and school functions to the school level along with 80% of the money. Allow parents, administrators and students to decide the management operations and educational strategy for their individual schools. So why are the CCSD Board of Trustees and Central Administrative staff making the $80 million budget cut decisions?
One parent and School Organizational Team (SOT) member is opposed to this process and is launching a community petition and effort to urge cutting Central Administration budgets first. The petition can be found at
“We have repeatedly heard from the CCSD Board of Trustees the need for parental engagement,” said Lisa Mayo-DeRiso, parent, and SOT member. “To facilitate this parental engagement, the district sent out a survey on the budget that proposed the exact same line items to be cut from the budget as they did in 2012. This is embarrassing. The categories are selected not because they should be cut, but because they create an emotional reaction from parents”.
Mayo added, “Each year, in the last minute, usually about two weeks before the final school budgets are due, the CCSD administration surprises our schools and parents with a budget shortfall; like clockwork. They give the public little or no time to ask the important questions, engage in any transparency. Simply put, they shove it down our throats”. This has to stop-- once and for all.”
The CCSD Reorganization was passed into law in with the goal of improving student achievement, first and foremost. In addition, the plan is designed to decentralizing decision making, and trim the top-heavy staff and budgets from central administration. And finally, allocate 80 percent of the money to the schools.
After trying to decipher the 235-page CCSD 2017/2018 budget, Ms. Mayo has some suggested budget categories that she believes should be looked and considered first for budget cuts:
Purchased Services includes legal fees and services. These costs are bloated.
• Purchased Services total $595,828,568
• Reduce by 10%
• Savings $59,500,000
Superintendent Office: Reorganization moved many of these functions to the school level.
• Support staff total positions 324.20 and $39,206,104 budget.
• Cut by 30% to 97 positions
• Save $11,761.183.
Cut ELL. All instruction and control can be done at the school level.
• Cut 105.00 positions
• Save $9,644,478.
Opportunity Units. Once again the school is the best place to implement and monitor school graduation and achievement.
• Total employees 68.09
• Budget $16,956,547.
• Keep three people to assist schools and reduction of 65 people.
• Savings of $15 million.
Educational Services; All of this mission and task will be done at the school level.
• Eliminate this department.
• Staff reduction 169.60
• Savings $16,896,570.
Student Services Division: Special education, parent engagement, and GATE can best be served at the individual school level.
• The staff of 3,908.21 can be reduced.
Current budget $313,644,286
• Assuming we apply the 80/20 rule of the reorganization, the savings is $228 million.
• We can eliminate this department. Teachers and Administrators have bound my State law for curriculum. They don’t need these 55 people to tell them how to run their school instructional units.
• Savings $14,238,646
Mayo added, “Look, I am a parent and concerned citizen, not a forensic accountant. The kind of dialogue I am advocating and the associated analysis is imperative to this new process. We must take a hard look at and understand not just if the budget numbers are placed in the proper accounting categories, but rather the level of appropriateness, necessity, efficiency, and transparency of this $2.4 billion budget.”