An early view of the Fairfield-Suisun School District’s financial picture shows a shortfall in the general fund of tens of millions of dollars and the need to reduce costs in coming years.
The School Board will vote Thursday on the second interim report and certification of the district’s ability to meet its financial obligations for the coming year.
The financial review has several parts: district certification of the interim report; a general fund statement of revenues, expenditures and changes in fund balance that are either unrestricted resources or restricted resources; a combined summary that includes average daily attendance, criteria and standards, a cash flow statement, a multiple-year projection and assumptions along with the combined resources summary for unrestricted resources or restricted resources.
The Fairfield-Suisun school board will take a look Thursday at the impact on the school district of the governor’s proposed budget – with a first pass that shows an additional $4.9 million in available state funding.
Laneia Grindle, assistant superintendent of Business Services, will make a presentation about the changes proposed for the 2022-23 school year.
Current school district funding based on average daily attendance is $10,193 per student or $207.4 million, according to a staff report. The estimated funding per ADA for the 2022-23 school year is $10,763 – or $212.3 million.
The Fairfield-Suisun School District’s governing board voted unanimously Thursday to affirm the appointment of Marina Romero as the district’s facilities project manager.
Romero for the past six years held the position of energy manager in the district. She managed the implementation of the California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39) projects, leading to multiple energy savings measures for the district that include:
• Installation of energy-efficient interior and exterior lighting projects at 19 sites.
• Lighting control upgrades at 13 sites.
• Replacement of Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning units at three sites.
• Installation of photovoltaic structures (solar panels) at five sites
• Deferred maintenance project bids and contracts to improve energy efficiency
The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (FSUSD) Governing Board elected its new president and vice president for 2022 during its Organizational Meeting December 16, 2021.
Trustee Bethany Smith was selected as the new Governing Board President. “I am honored to have the support of my colleagues as we continue to navigate the challenges of the pandemic and address its impacts on students, staff, and our community,” remarked Smith. Board President Smith recognized and thanked outgoing President Jonathan Richardson for his leadership during a year that presented many challenges. Board Member Richardson will continue to serve the FSUSD community as a trustee.
Trustees of the Fairfield-Suisun School District will consider adopting changes to various board policies at theirs meeting Thursday.
The presentation will be given by Trustee Judi Honeywell.
The policies to be updated include Civility; Integrated Waste Management; Drug and Alcohol Testing for School Bus Drivers; Collective Bargaining Agreement; Employee Security; Child Abuse Prevention and Reporting; Suicide Prevention; Safe Routes to School Program; Search and Seizure; Sexual Harassment; Child Care and Development; Environmental Education; and Developer Fees.
The significant increase in pay for Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (FSUSD) substitutes, ratified by the Governing Board at last night’s meeting, makes the District highly competitive in attracting available substitute candidates to its ranks. On average, teacher substitutes will realize a 50% increase in compensation with the new salaries for teacher substitutes. The need for substitutes is a crisis situation as school districts struggle to find workers. Any individual with a Bachelors of Arts of Science degree may be eligible to serve in this important capacity.
Day-to-day substitutes holding a “substitute permit”, a “valid” teaching credential, or those who have completed professional development training will receive an $11.03 per hour increase earning $34.48 per hour. Substitutes working 21 consecutive school days will receive $300 per day. Because of the extensive need for substitutes working in special education classrooms, substitutes serving in this capacity will receive $310 per work day. FSUSD values retired employees. Retired FSUSD employees who return to substitute teach in the district shall receive $42.76 hourly compensation for a total of $310 per work day.
Trustees who govern the public schools in Fairfield and Suisun City got a final update Thursday on safety and other measures related to the pandemic as campuses prepare to reopen.
Superintendent Kris Corey went over new and updated policies for handling the health of students and staff.
The Fairfield-Suisun School District will adhere to the most recent guidance from the California Department of Public Health. That guidance includes requirements related to wearing masks, maintaining physical distancing, ventilation, hygiene practices, cleaning, food services and school visitors.
The school district budget has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for the past year, Laneia Grindle, assistant superintendent of Business Services, said Thursday during a meeting with the Fairfield- Suisun School District governing board.
Her comment came as she presented an updated budget report to the board.
The estimates are more favorable now than earlier projections, she said.
The Fairfield-Suisun School District governing board voted Thursday to adopt updated employee agreements for several employee groups.
Assistant Superintendent Sheila McCabe’s contract agreement will be extended through June 30, 2023. It was done with much praise from the board for all of her contributions to the district.
“She has been professional in her role (all of them), she represents us well,” said board President Jonathan Richardson. “She pushes back at times but eventually people come around because they know what she is doing.”
Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees honored several students, staff and community members Thursday.
The Community Advisory Committee awarded Special Education Local Plan Area awards to several educators, youth and members of the community for outstanding service and for going above and beyond in service of students with disabilities.
Those recognized include student Deena Sharqawi along with community member Sonia Vera and educators Christina Miller, Christine Hunt, Don Mosley, Fern Decena, Samantha Hyles and Travis Nelson. They were honored during a short video presentation.
Members of the Fairfield-Suisun School Board got off to an energetic start Thursday with a proposal from Trustee Craig Wilson to follow strict rules of order for the session.
Before the approval of the agenda was considered, he proposed to the board a motion to remove all opportunity for board members to ask questions or make commits except to speak in favor or against the motion. It carried on a 6-0 vote with Trustee Ana Petero dissenting.
Wilson said he was unhappy with the past few meetings because of what he perceived as intentional disruptions or at least grandstanding, which he defined as gratuitously speaking to the public but not to the board.
Trustees of Fairfield and Suisun City schools gave the go-ahead last week for a 2021-2022 budget priorities plan that was put on hold earlier this year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The projected budget for 2021-2022 includes nearly $203.183 million in attendance-based state revenue. That’s compared to just more than $195.561 million for the current academic year that ends June 30.
The district has identified $4.355 million in cuts that can be quickly implemented if needed at the start of the coming school year July 1. About $500,000 would come from what’s paid in retiree benefits. The district also reported some costs that were greater than anticipated and student-based funding that will fall short of projections.
Children and teens who attend school in Fairfield and Suisun City will have an opportunity to catch up this summer – at least somewhat – if they have fallen behind this year due to distance-learning strategies that have kept schools closed throughout the Covid-19 pandemic – or for any other reason.
Trustees with the Fairfield-Suisun School district gave the green light Thursday to plans for a number of summer school opportunities that begin in June and end in July.
Sheila McCabe, assistant superintendent of Educational Services, presented an overview of the plans for summer learning.
A review last week of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget by the Fairfield-School School District shows both cause for optimism and concern.
Staff shared highlights of the governor’s 2020-21 budget plan for the coming year at the school board meeting Thursday. The discussion was cut short due to time limits for virtual meetings.
Michelle Henson, assistant superintendent of Business Services, gave the presentation, which showed that the past year’s $5.6 billion state surplus is gone and the budget reflects a $54.4 billion deficit.
Fairfield-Suisun Unified installed four members to its governing board earlier this month, including two newcomers, one a community college instructor, the other a private attorney and former trustee, it has been announced.
During a board meeting on Thursday, Superintendent Kris Corey administered the oath of office to veteran members Judi Honeychurch, who represents Area 3, and Bethany Smith, who represents Area 1, and to newcomer Helen Tilley, who represents Area 2. Solano County Supervisor Monica Brown swore-in Ana Petero, who represents Area 6, before a governing board meeting began. Each will serve a four-year term that ends in 2024.
A former governing board member, Tilley is a private attorney-mediator providing alternative dispute resolution services by appointment through her Benicia and San Ramon offices. Additionally, she is an adjunct law professor and subject matter expert with National University in Pleasant Hill.
School and college boards governed over the end of one school year and the beginning of another in a very, very different world.
The Covid-19 pandemic added the term distance learning to the common educational lexicon.
And some of those boards got a new makeup of members in November.
Judi Honeychurch, for the second election cycle, faced no opposition and therefore did not appear on the ballot for her Trustee Area 3 seat on the Fairfield-Suisun School District. Bethany Smith similarly returns as the Trustee Area 1 representative.
Two trustees who lost bids for re-election will be honored Thursday for their service to Fairfield-Suisun School District students and staff.
The recognition of Trustees Joan K. Gaut and John P. Silva comes during a special meeting of the school board that starts at 5 p.m.Helen Tilley defeated Gaut and one other challenger for the Area 2 seat in the Nov. 3 election. Gaut finished second. Ana Petero defeated Silva in a head-to-head contest for the Area 6 seat.
The Fairfield-Suisun School District visited the topic of returning to school in person at the Thursday board meeting – but no decisions were made.
A recap of the past few months noted that Gov. Gavin Newsom implemented a warning/monitoring system July 17 that resulted in all schools being placed in distance learning as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The next week, July 20, the board took action to approve its 5-Phase Continuum Plan, affirm that the district would open in distance learning per the governor’s orders and set Oct. 8 as the board meeting date to re-evaluate the re-opening of school facilities for in-person instruction.
Judi Honeychurch did not face a challenger in her last election and will have no need to campaign this fall, either.
Judi Honeychurch“I look forward to the challenges of the future and working with the superintendent and the teachers and staff,” said Honeychurch, who will enter her third term on the Fairfield-Suisun School District board of trustees.
She is the only incumbent who does not have a challenger.
Clifford Gordon, owner of Gordon’s Music & Sound in downtown Fairfield, pulled and filed candidacy papers Thursday for the Trustee Area 1 seat held by Bethany Smith. Trustee Area 2 incumbent Joan Gaut will run against Leslie Unverferth, and Area 6 incumbent John Silva faces Ana Petero.
The four incumbents and two challengers for seats on the Fairfield-Suisun School District board of trustees have filed candidacy papers, the county Elections Office reported Monday evening.
This is the last week to file for anyone interested in running for a position on 10 school or two college district boards.
Fairfield-Suisun school incumbents Joan Gaut, in Trustee Area 2, and John Silva, in Trustee Area 6, each faces a challenger. Leslie Unverferth, a real estate agent, looks to unseat Gaut, while Ana Petero, a teacher, wants to replace Silva.
Incumbents Bethany Smith, in Trustee Area 1, and Judi Honeychurch, in Trustee Area 3, are thus far unchallenged.