Reynolds School Board Releases Statement Regarding Declaration Of Impasse By Teachers Union

Posted on April 13, 2012 by

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[5440 note: as if on cue, the last domino has fallen in East Multnomah County. Purely a coincidence, no doubt.]

REYNOLDS BUDGET CHOICES ARE ABOUT VALUES

The Reynolds School Board, representing families and taxpayers in our community, looks forward to resolution of our labor contract negotiations. The quality of education and student performance is directly affected by number of school days, staffing levels, and program offerings we sustain. The Board’s primary values are to seek solutions that protect and maintain the current level of teachers and classroom resources. This is worth defending.

There has been a lot of speculation about $20M in our end fund balance sheet. Of that amount $4.6M is mandated by state and federal agencies as reserves which leaves a remaining balance of $15.8M. The breakdown below provides a simple explanation of how we intend to meet our responsibilities and offset projected increases in order to sustain district financial health for the next 3 years.

REYNOLDS FUND BALANCE BREAKDOWN

$5.4M – End Fund (required cashflow per policy)
$2.1M – Unassigned (emergency reserves per policy)
$1.1M – Assigned (pending contractual obligations)
$6.0M – Committed (state estimated PERS increases next 3 years)
$1.2M – Committed (3 year projected early retirement fund, unemployment reserves)

After bargaining for almost a year, we are disappointed that the proposals from the Teachers Union (Reynolds Education Association) remain locked at over $10M for increased salary and benefits. This is not only in excess of our financial capacity, but does not match our ability to preserve the quality and level of educational opportunities we currently have for our students.

These economic realities have nothing to do with whether we value and respect our teachers. We do. We know they are the heart and soul of our district. As a community we cannot afford to lose sight of our responsibilities or values. Cut jobs, cut days, increased class size, elimination of programs will increase burden on staff and will not advance our students. The real obstacles we face are rooted in the brutal economic reality of this era, and the multitude of competing priorities for limited dollars and rising costs for
everyone. Our budget choices are about preserving our most important  values and protecting opportunities for students as long as possible.

We look forward to a fair and realistic outcome of negotiations for the sake of all.

The Reynolds School Board

Check out coverage of the teacher strikes in East County:

Oregon Save Our Schools – Affiliated With Socialists And Occupy?

Card Check Alive And Well In Gresham Barlow School District

Gresham-Barlow Teachers to Take a Strike Vote April 11

“That’s How We Do It In Government”

Oregon Teachers, Students Exploited As Pawns In Budget Games

Guest Post: Schools Exist To Educate Children, Not To Employ Teachers

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