TUSD Reaches Labor Agreement with TTA; District Reserves Plummet
As part of a packed agenda, TUSD is set to approve a collective bargaining agreement with the Torrance Teacher’s Association (TTA) at its forthcoming meeting Monday evening. Required financial disclosures designed to notify the public of the impacts of the proposed agreement show a drastic reduction in the amount of reserves held by the District. The current reserve amount approved by the Board in the most recent budget is $24.1 Million. That figure is set to drop to $7.2 Million, which is the minimum amount allowed per state law, by the 2017-18 school year.
School Districts typically use their reserves to: (1) manage cash flow, (2) mitigate volatility in funding, (3) address unexpected costs, (4) save for large purchases, and (5) obtain higher credit ratings. Per state law, School Districts are required to maintain a minimum reserve of 3% of General Fund expenditures.
As a result of the agreement with TTA the reserve will immediately drop to $ 21.2 Million (9.37%). The reserve is sharply reduced in 2016-17 to $13.2 Million (5.37%). It then falls even further to the minimally required $7.2 Million (3.01%) by 2017-18.
The financial disclosures also reveal that the District is planning to run a $13.8 Million operating deficit in 2016-17, and a $7.7 Million operating deficit for 2017-18.
Some of the highlights of the negotiated agreement with TTA include:
- A 4% across the board increase for all employees effective July 01, 2016;
- A $2800 cash bonus to all TTA bargaining unit members to be in paid in July 2016; and
- A $500 increase to the health and welfare contribution bringing that total to $10,500 annually per employee.
At the meeting, TUSD will also approve the allocation of $14.7 Million in one-time funds. The recommended uses of those funds include:
- Capital Projects ($1.7 Million):
- Repave West High parking lot
- Repave THS front student parking lot
- Repave Annex asphalt areas
- Provide heating North High School Building D
- District Wide Telephone System ($1 Million)
- Student Information and District Data Systems ($1.675 Million)
- Furniture/Equipment ($950K)
- Increase Sub Pay ($130K)
- Upgrade Middle/High School Woodshop Equipment ($333K)
- Hydration Stations ($40K)
- Purchase Musical Instruments ($380K)
- Upgrade Libraries ($470K)
- Purchase Lunch Tables ($270K)
District staff is recommending that $7.75 Million of the $14.7 Million not be allocated for use at this time and that those funds instead be held for unidentified future needs.