Teachers, district settle on proposed compensation package – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

After more than eight months of talks, Travis Unified teachers and district officials on Friday hammered out a tentative contract agreement that would boost the educators’ wages and benefits by nearly 4 percent, it has been announced.

Michael Souza, president of the 285-member Travis Unified Teachers Association, said the proposed settlement would be presented to union members at a 3:30 p.m. meeting Thursday in the Vanden High Little Theater, 2951 Markeley Lane, in Fairfield. He said a vote likely would come next week.

If approved, the contract, effective Jan. 1, calls for a 3.25 percent wage hike and $100 per month in health benefits, or about 3.75 percent overall, noted Souza, a Vacaville resident and longtime Vanden High English teacher on temporary leave because of his union position.

Source: Teachers, district settle on proposed compensation package

Travis USD school-support employees to “sunshine” contract proposals – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Contract proposals between the district and school-support employees, the teacher work calendar for the 2018-19 school year, and approval, using a variable term waiver, to hire a teacher to teach medical science at Vanden High are on the agenda when Travis Unified leaders meet tonight.

A public hearing will be held to air the contract proposal, part of a so-called “sunshine” process, between the district and members of Chapter 454 of the California Service Employees Association, which represents the district’s classified employees, which includes bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians, some clerical staff, groundskeepers, and the like.

No specific pay raise percentages were mentioned in agenda documents, but the agreement to sunshine is the public notification of what will be discussed during pending negotiations for the 2017-18 school year contract.

Union officials could not be reached for comment at press time, but it is likely they will petition for what Travis teachers are seeking after many months of wage-and-benefit talks: a 5 percent across-the-board salary boost and possibly benefits that may boost their total package by a couple more points.

Vacaville Unified School District employee churn turns busy in December – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Vacaville Unified’s employee churn, normally busiest at academic year’s end in June, is active in December, with several principals moving on, The Reporter has learned.

Deanna Brownlee, the principal of Fairmont Charter in Vacaville Unified, has been named as Travis Unified’s new director of special education. Brownlee’s last day of work at the Marshall Road campus is Dec. 21.

“I’m very excited,” Brownlee, who has led Fairmont, a Title 1 school under federal guidelines, for eight years, said Wednesday afternoon.

The longtime educator, who earned a master’s degree in special education, added, “I have desired a position in special education for a very long time. Finally, all the pieces came together. I enjoy working with at-risk and special education students.”

Source: Vacaville Unified School District employee churn turns busy in December

Travis board reshuffles, approves 2017-18 budget report – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Travis Unified trustee Angela Weinzinger handed her gavel to Riitta De Anda, whom the five-member governing board on Tuesday elected president, the vote coming during the board’s annual organization meeting in Fairfield.

Trustee Jamilah Whiteside was named vice president, and John Dickerson clerk of the board after additional votes taken in the Travis Education Center, where trustees convene once monthly.

Later in the meeting, Chief Business Officer Sonia Lasyone updated the five-member governing board on the district’s financial picture for the current year, one of two annual interim reports required by state law.

Source: Travis board reshuffles, approves 2017-18 budget report

Interim budget report, officer elections on TUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The first interim 2017-18 budget report, nomination and election of new governing board officers, and new or modified course proposals are on the agenda when Travis Unified leaders meet tonight in Fairfield.

Chief Business Officer Sonia Lasyone will update the five-member governing board on the district’s financial picture for the current year, one of two annual interim reports required by state law.

She will present her numbers as the state’s financial outlook remains generally healthy, with revenue collections exceeding expectations but with Gov. Jerry Brown warning public entities not to commit to ongoing, multiyear agreements.

Source: Interim budget report, officer elections on Travis Unified School District agenda

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