GO Board Watch: October 23rd, 2018

Three big things on the agenda for this week’s Oakland School Board are:

1. Budget “Relief” BillUpdate from Alameda County and FCMAT staff
2.  Staff Retention Report Why do staff stay? Why do staff leave? 
3.  Fiscal VitalityRevised budget, Long Term Plan policy and Fiscal Committee update

For more than just three big things, Click here for the full agenda

1st BIG THING:  Budget “Relief” Bill Update  (item # 18-2067)

In September Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 1840, which presents Oakland with the opportunity to receive millions of dollars in budget relief if the district can meet benchmarks indicating ongoing fiscal improvement.  At the meeting, members from Alameda County and the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team will discuss the the benchmarks and criteriafor OUSD to receive relief funding from the state.

2nd BIG THING:  Staff Retention Report   (item # 18-2029)

The Human Resources department will be sharing the results of an employee survey focused on staff retention.  The presentation highlights reasons staff stay in the district, reasons staff leave and overall themes.

3rd BIG THING:  Fiscal Vitality

This is a combination of three different agenda items, all  related to the district’s fiscal vitality.

  • Budget Revision (item# 18-2277) – This budget presentation provides an update and revisions to the board’s adopted budget.  The presentation does not include any fiscal impact from the district being under-enrolled by 278 students.
  • Long Term Planning Policy (item# 18-1838) – The board will discuss a Budget Long Term planning policy that directs staff to budget for the more than single year cycles in order to maintain long term stability.
    • GO’s Perspective on Long Term Planning: Last year our network advocated that the board adopt a resolution aligning budgeting practices to the best practices named by the Government Finance Officer’s Association.  This policy is a step in the right direction towards implementing the best practices from the planning out five to ten years in advance
  • Fiscal Vitality Update (item# 18-1957) – Board member Shanthi Gonzales will share an update on the work of the Fiscal Vitality Special Committee, aimed to provide guidance for budget reductions.  On the committee’s website, there is a list of key themes and recommendations last updated October 18th.  

    • GO’s Perspective on Fiscal Vitality Committee: We believe that smarter spending in OUSD can lead to better schools for Oakland’s students.  The challenge ahead is making difficult decisions that result in cuts to programs and positions. District staff and the board need to develop a clear framework for assessing how we are maximizing dollars, to guide the budget reduction process.  

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