Slow contract talks irk Travis teachers – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Tonight’s Travis Unified governing board meeting will not be routine, in part because dozens of unionized teachers will protest the lack of progress in 2017-18 contract talks that have dragged on since spring.

Members of the Fairfield district’s teachers association plan to gather in the parking lot outside the Travis Education Center at 5 p.m., one hour before trustees meet in open session. They also will speak during the public comment segment of the meeting.

With virtually no progress after several bargaining sessions going back more than six months, the union and district remain far apart on issues that will help attract and retain excellent teachers, Michael Souza, president of the 290-member Travis Unified Teachers Association, said Monday.

Source: Slow contract talks irk Travis teachers

Long-awaited Facilities Master Plan on TUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Travis Unified leaders, when they meet tonight, face a relatively light agenda except for item 13.1, a review and potential approval of a long-awaited Facilities Master Plan.

Begun two years ago, the plan sought to re-evaluate facility needs at each of 10 campuses in the 5,500-student Fairfield district, which also includes two Vacaville elementaries, Foxboro and Cambridge. According to agenda documents, district leaders want to create a document that is updated regularly, as needs, priorities and funding options evolve and change.

While district enrollment has largely remained stable for the past 15 years, projections indicate considerable growth at several schools in the coming years, decreases at several others.

Source: Long-awaited Facilities Master Plan on TUSD agenda

TUSD workshop today: Budget 101 – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Travis Unified leaders, when they meet this afternoon in a special meeting, will hear a brief presentation about how the district’s budget is cobbled together.

Chief Business Officer Sonia Lasyone will make the presentation in the Travis Education Center in Fairfield.

The five-member governing board will have a chance to ask questions and mull over the information.

“It’s a budget 101 workshop,” Superintendent Pamela Conklin said Monday. “It’s just explaining the components of the budget and how to read certain reports.”

It will include the obligatory pie charts, showing how the district’s $56.7 million 2017-18 budget is broken down into its various parts, revenues and expenses, chief among them salaries and benefits, at 82 percent, she noted.

Source: TUSD workshop today

Travis school trustees to discuss goals, budget – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

A special meeting to discuss board goals and the district budget will take place Tuesday by the Travis School District trustees.

Superintendent Pam Conklin and Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Sue Brothers will lead the presentation of the existing goals. The board will then discuss any potential changes.

Source: Travis school trustees to discuss goals, budget

On TUSD agenda: Impact Aid, Scandia roofing project – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A resolution urging Congress not to reduce and also increase Federal Impact Aid and a nearly $300,000 change order for the Scandia Elementary roof project are on the agenda tonight when Travis Unified leaders meet in Fairfield.

Superintendent Pamela Conklin recommends that the five-member governing board approve a resolution that urges Congress to prevent spending cuts and to increase funding for Federal Impact Aid, millions of taxpayer dollars annually upon which the district, with schools on or closely adjacent to Travis Air Force Base, depends to pay its bills. The district also operates two elementaries in Vacaville, Cambridge and Foxboro.

Federal Impact Aid, a law which President Harry Truman signed in 1950, is money given by the federal government to school districts that are affected by a large number of students living on federal property — such as military bases, national parks and Indian reservations — to compensate for the loss of local property tax revenues. About one in three Travis Unified 5,500 students is a military dependent.

The resolution comes amid the ongoing Scandia Elementary Modernization Project on Travis Air Force Base.

Source: On TUSD agenda: Impact Aid, Scandia roofing project

Travis school board ok’s 45-day budget revision – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Travis Unified leaders approved the 45-day revision to the district’s 2017-18 budget of $56.7 million, with $1.2 million in deficit spending and a $4.8 million ending fund balance.

In accord with the Budget Act, California school districts are required to make public any revisions to their annual budgets with 45 days after the initial adoption on or before July 1 every year.

During a meeting Tuesday night in the Travis Education Center, Sonia Lasyone, the district’s new chief business officer, told the five-member governing board that revenues, because of “one-time” mandated state dollars, will increase nearly $800,000 this coming year, welcome news.

But, she noted, there was some bad news, too: Local Control Funding Formula sources will drop by $19,000 this fiscal year, and by $131,000 and $199,000, respectively, in the next two.

Via: Travis school board ok’s 45-day budget revision

TUSD agenda: 45-day budget revision, hike in meal costs – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The 45-day budget revision, a 5-cent increase for school breakfasts and lunches and the adoption of school district goals are on the agenda when Travis Unified leaders meet tonight.

Sonia Lasyone, the chief business officer, will present the 45-day revision to the district’s 2017-18 budget of $56.7 million, with $1.2 million in deficit spending and a $4.8 million ending fund balance.

In accord with the Budget Act, California school districts are required to make public any revisions to their annual budgets after the initial adoption on or before July 1 every year.

In the case of Travis, Lasyone will tell the five-member governing board that revenues, because of one-time mandated dollars, will increase nearly $800,000 this coming year. Additionally, Local Control Funding Formula sources will drop by $19,000 this fiscal year, and by $131,000 and $199,000, respectively, in the next two fiscal years.

Source: TUSD agenda: 45-day budget revision, hike in meal costs

Several public hearings, manager contracts, developer fees on TUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Several public hearings, senior manager employment contracts, and a proposed hike in developer fees are on the agenda when Travis Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

The first public hearing concerns the district’s school facilities needs analysis and a resolution, set for a vote later in the meeting, on Level 2 developer fees.

Likely to pass muster among the five-member governing board, the resolution calls for a hike in developer fees from $5.42 to $5.49 per square foot for new housing, with the exception of any residential development subject to mitigation agreement or a Mello-Roos Community Facilities District (CFD) special tax.

Trustees also will hear any public comments about the district’s Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP, the document that guides virtually all of a school district’s spending under Gov. Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula.

 

Source: Several public hearings, manager contracts, developer fees on TUSD agenda

New Travis Unified supe Conklin inks three-year, $200K contract – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Travis Unified trustees Tuesday voted to approve a three-year, $200,000 contract for newly named Superintendent Pamela Conklin, who oversees a 5,500-student district, one-third of them military dependents on nearby Travis Air Force Base.

Governing board president Angela Weinzinger signed the contract after a closed-session meeting and before the regularly scheduled trustee meeting in the Travis Education Center in Fairfield.

A longtime educator, Conklin, who as interim superintendent replaced the retiring Kate Wren Gavlak on Feb. 1, was named superintendent last month.

Her contract calls for her to work 221 days annually and submit to a yearly review by the five-member governing board.

Source: New Travis Unified supe Conklin inks three-year, $200K contract

Travis Unified on solid financial footing – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Travis Unified’s 2016-17 second interim budget report Tuesday was good news for a district that, in relatively recent years past, filed a series of negative or qualified budgets — generally regarded as troubling designations — with the county and state.

During a governing board meeting, Anna Pimentel, director of fiscal services, told trustees that she anticipates a “positive” budget certification, meaning the district will be able to pay its bills for the current fiscal year and the next two, for which she showed, in a slide presentations, budget projections for the 2017-18 and 18-19 years.

In a 20-minute presentation, Pimentel, as expected, noted minor changes to revenues, expenses and the beginning and ending fund balances.

 

Source: Travis Unified on solid financial footing

Second interim budget, safe school plans on TUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The 2016-17 second interim budget report and safe school plans are on the agenda when Travis Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

Anna Pimentel, director of fiscal services, and Sara Smith, assistant director of fiscal services, will present the latest budget interim report, and, based on agenda documents provided, it appears some of the information will echo the report presented at the Feb. 14 governing board meeting.

Still, as other area school districts have reported recently, they will note any likely minor changes to revenues, expenses and the beginning and ending fund balances. Perhaps most important, Pimentel will tell the five-member governing board that she anticipates a “positive” budget certification, meaning the district will be able to pay its bills for the current fiscal year and the next two. She also will offer budget projections for the 2017-18 and 18-19 years.

Source: Second interim budget, safe school plans on TUSD agenda

TUSD: State funding may not keep pace with inflation, mandated expenses – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus’ famous saying attributed to him still rings true 2,500 years later: “The only thing constant is change,” and it echoes down to the near and foreseeable future for the Travis Unified 2017-18 budget process.

In their first slide during a budget presentation Tuesday night in Fairfield, the director of fiscal services, Anna Pimentel, and the assistant director of fiscal services, Sara Smith, reminded the five-member governing board that the state’s and district’s budget process is ongoing “and one thing we know for sure is that most of the numbers” will change.

Speaking in the Travis Education Center, Pimentel, toward the end of an informative and highly detailed 20-minute update, said, “Depending on what happens with the May revision, we’ll have some work to do.” It was a reference to Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2017-18 proposed $123 billion budget, released in January and set for revision in May.

 

Source: Travis Unified officials: State funding may not keep pace with inflation, mandated expenses

Kindness video contest, ‘sunshining’ a new wage pact, 2017-18 budget on TUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A Kindness Video Contest presentation, the sunshining of a new teacher contract proposal, and a 2017-18 state budget update are on the agenda when Travis Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

Staff from the offices of Supervisor John Vasquez and District Attorney Krishna Abrams will present information about a contest the two have devised: The Power of Kindness.

In a recent presentation to the Vacaville Unified governing board, Vasquez and Tonya Covington, representing Abrams, told trustees that their families had been affected by bullying.

The contest asks students, through video, to illustrate positive behavior and show others the power that kindness can have on their school and community.

The genesis of the contest was a casual conversation between the supervisor and the district attorney. They hope it will lead to a greater discussion and awareness about the power of simple acts of kindness.

 

Source: Kindness video contest, ‘sunshining’ a new wage pact, 2017-18 budget on TUSD agenda

Travis Unified leaders OK interim supe’s pay and talks to consider teacher signing bonuses – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Travis Unified trustees approved the interim superintendent’s contract, a proposal to negotiate a signing bonus for certain newly hired teachers, and an energy conservation contract with a Phoenix-based firm.

The five-member governing board made their no-surprise decisions during Tuesday’s regular once-monthly meeting in the Travis Education Center in Fairfield.

The employment contract for Pamela Conklin, who was tapped for the job last month, calls for her to be paid $14,472 monthly for five months, beginning Feb. 1, the day after longtime superintendent Kate Wren Gavlak retires following a long career as an educator.

Additionally, Conklin, currently the district’s chief human resources officer, will receive the standard health and benefits packages accorded to senior district managers, as permitted by law.

 

Source: Travis Unified leaders OK interim supe’s pay and talks to consider teacher signing bonuses

Interim supe contract, teacher signing bonuses, energy conservation contract on TUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Possible approval of the interim superintendent’s contract, a proposal to negotiate a signing bonus for certain newly hired teachers, and the possible approval, after a public hearing, of an energy conservation contract with a Phoenix-based firm are on the agenda when Travis Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

The five-member governing board is expected to approve an employment contract with newly named interim superintendent Pamela Conklin, who replaces longtime superintendent Kate Wren Gavlak, who retires Jan. 31 after a long career in education.

In the meantime, under the contract’s terms, Conklin, currently the district’s chief human resources officer, will receive $14,472 monthly, or $173,664 annually, plus the standard health and benefits packages accorded to senior district managers, as provided by law.

 

Source: Interim supe contract, teacher signing bonuses, energy conservation contract on TUSD agenda

Travis Unified school board taps human resources officer as interim superintendent – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A longtime educator and the interim human resources officer for Travis Unified has been named interim superintendent for the 5.500-student school district.

Pamela Conklin will replace Kate Wren Gavlak, who will retire Feb. 1.

The five-member governing board made the announcement at 6 p.m. Tuesday, shortly after emerging from closed session during the trustees’ once-monthly meeting in the Travis Education Center in Fairfield.

The district hired Conklin, a graduate of University of California, Davis who earned a master’s degree in educational administration from San Francisco State University, on Sept. 6. Before coming to Travis, which includes two elementary schools in Vacaville, she served as superintendent of Oakley Union School District, an east Contra Costa County K-8 district with 5,000 students. Before that, she worked for 20 years in Novato Unified, a north Marin County district with 8,000 students.

Source: Travis Unified school board taps human resources officer as interim superintendent

At TUSD tonight: Oaths of office, new officers, 2016-17 budget report – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Like governing boards in other California school districts in December, Travis Unified’s tonight will swear in trustees, elected or unopposed, elect new officers of the board, and hear a report about the first interim budget for 2016-17.

At 5 p.m., before the open session begins, Superintendent Kate Wren Gavlak will administer oaths of office to trustees Ivery Hood and Angela Weinzinger, who were unopposed during the fall general election campaign and, thus, automatically re-elected. The five-member governing board will convene in closed session immediately afterward.

At the outset of the open session, at 6, trustees, observing their annual custom and practice, will elect new officers of the board: president, vice president and clerk.

Later in the meeting, Chief Business Officer Jamie Metcalf will update the five-member governing board on the 2016-17 first interim budget numbers.

Source: At TUSD tonight: Oaths of office, new officers, 2016-17 budget report – The Reporter

 

Travis trustees return; hunt for superintendent continues – Daily Republic

By Daily Republic Staff

Ivery Hood and Angela Weinzinger are scheduled to be sworn back onto the Travis School District board of trustees on Tuesday, and will get right back to work on finding a new superintendent.

Kate Wren Gavlak is retiring in February after more than 11 years as the top administrator at the district. She started in August 2005.

After the oaths of office for Hood, who was first elected in 2003, and Weinzinger, first elected in 2011, the board will adjourn to closed session to discuss the appointment of an interim superintendent and to do an evaluation of Wren Gavlak, the meeting agenda states.

Source: Travis trustees return; hunt for superintendent continues

Smith, Gaut, Silva lead Fairfield-Suisun School District races – Daily Republic

By Susan Hiland

Bethany Smith was leading in the Fairfield-Suisun School District Trustee Area 1 race as of 12:30 a.m. Wednesday with 1,676 votes compared to 1,279 for Spencer Marks and 1,075 votes for Mike Wright.

Smith was optimistic about the results but remained guarded until the final count comes in later.

“I am feeling very good about where things are at,” Smith said, “but don’t want to count it done yet.”

Joan K. Gaut was clearly the winner for the Area 2 seat with 3,356 votes. Melvin L. Cockhren II had 1,037 votes.

Source: Smith, Gaut, Silva lead Fairfield-Suisun School District races

A one-time payment to teachers, $1.4M portable classroom contract on TUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A one-time, off-schedule payment to teachers and confidential employees and a $1.4 million contract to build and install portable classrooms at an aging Travis Air Force Base elementary school are on the agenda when Travis Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

The 282 members of the Travis Unified Teachers Association and a small group of confidential district employees, that is, those who have access to confidential personnel, contract and labor relations documents, will receive a 1.7 percent one-time payment.

Union negotiators and district officials agreed on the employee compensation, plus money that will upgrade district safety systems, such as fire alarms, said Shari Herout, president of TUTA.

Source: A one-time payment to teachers, $1.4M portable classroom contract on TUSD agenda