Phasing out planned deficit spending

Phasing out planned deficit spending
picture of financial charts

Three years ago, with the start of the Strategic Plan, the District began an intentional, planned spend-down of its healthy financial reserves in order to improve student outcomes and retain quality staff. This investment in students and staff members has resulted in the implementation of effective student academic programs and competitive staff compensation.

While preserving what’s best for students, the District is phasing out this planned deficit spending of approximately $4.8 million each year. Just as with your family’s budget, dipping into savings for special occasions is ok, but it’s not sustainable long term. That’s why now it’s important that the District reduce its expenditures in order to maintain a Board-directed reserve of 17-20% in the next three years.

Why there was planned deficit spending
Since 2015, we have intentionally planned to spend down some of the District's healthy reserves to jumpstart student achievement and retain quality staff. These programs, such as RTI and SIOP, have correlated with increased test scores and increased literacy.

Since 2015:
• Added Response to Instruction teachers to support students who needed intervention, as well as students who need more challenge.
• Implemented Sheltered Immersion Observation Protocol (S.I.O.P.) district wide to improve outcomes for English language learners
• Revised the middle school schedule to be more inclusive of all students
• Restored health benefits to impacted employees
• Implemented a 23% increase in 4 years for staff salaries to make compensation competitive and boost retention
• Added instructional coaches at each site
• Added school community engagement facilitators to support families
• Provided turnaround funding to two school sites to improve student outcomes
• Expanded summer school
• Provided summer and winter meals to students

In addition to ending the District’s period of planned deficit spending, we also have less revenue. Here’s why.
1. Over the past three years, MVWSD has enjoyed increased revenues from growth in the city. As a community funded / basic aid district, revenues are tied to Assessed Value (AV) growth in Mountain View. Mountain View is growing and property values are high; however this rate of growth has slowed to single digits, resulting in a loss of $785,000 in projected revenues.

2. Bullis Mountain View’s new charter school could mean a reduction of $1.8 million dollars in revenue in its first year, which will compound over the next three years.

What reductions have already been made
MVWSD implemented a hiring freeze for non-school based positions and began to eliminate positions, saving $1 million.

Process for making reductions
This budget process has been ongoing. We have spent considerable time talking with our principals, administrative team, community members, and the Board in three public sessions about our budget priorities. The Board of Trustees in partnership with the Superintendent worked to develop the list of programs that should remain intact in order to carry out the SP2021. Each department then made a proportional reduction that is reflective of its impact on the overall budget (i.e., Department A = 15% of all MVWSD expenditures).

Through additional and intense review of District revenue and expenditures, staff has developed creative solutions to reduce ongoing expenditures. You can review the presentation with the list of reductions here. (See slide 30). While reductions are uncomfortable, we are confident in the process and know that we are proceeding in good fiscal management with student learning at the core. Throughout this process, the focus has always been how to deliver the highest-quality instruction in the most cost-effective manner.


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