A tentative agreement reached Thursday between the Murrieta Teachers Association and the Murrieta Valley Unified School District will not stop pink slips from going out next week, officials said.
The school board "regrettably" took unanimous action Thursday night to approve the preliminary layoff notices in light of a projected $19 to $20 million budget shortfall for the 2012-2013 school year.
The district has a March 15 deadline to file potential layoffs with the Riverside County Board of Education. This does not allow enough time for the teachers' union to vote on the agreement, officials said.
"We did send out an email letting teachers know we reached a tentative agreement," said Kathy Ericson, president of the Murrieta Teachers Association.
Details of the agreement reached during an eight-hour session Thursday can not be shared publicly until it has gone through MTA and the Riverside County Office of Education, said Karen Parris, spokesperson for the district.
"After it is approved by members of MTA, it will come to the board for approval and it will be made public at that time," Parris said.
Pat Kelley, assistant superintendent of resources, is on the negotiating team for the district. He said while the notices will still go out next week, he is confident those affected will know tentative concessions are in progress.
Also approved Thursday was an up to 9.66 percent reduction in pay for senior management, classified management, school principals and assistant principals, non-classroom certificated positions and school board members. The pay cut will be seen in the way of furlough days for most of the positions.
Board members spoke of the agreement with confidence, however.
"In spite of government indecision (in Sacramento), both groups in our district have come to an agreement," said Board President Paul Diffley. "I received a pink slip once as a teacher and it hits you right in the gut. Even though it got rescinded it was still hard, so I am thrilled tonight with what has happened."
Board member Robin Crist said the decisions made during the meeting were ones she hoped they could rescind.
Board member Margi Wray said what impressed her was the "respect" amongst the negotiating parties.
"The thing that hit me the hardest, that made an impact on me was the level of respect I saw in the document," said Board member Margi Wray. "Both the MTA and the district have worked very hard to show each other respect and that's what makes this district a great place for kids."
Board members also unanimously approved the district's second interim financial report for fiscal year 2011-2012.
This was after Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Stacy Coleman gave a presentation.
The district went into the fiscal year with $21.98 million in reserves, Coleman said. Total revenues are projected at $152.32 million, with $164.45 million in expenditures. This leaves an ending fund balance of $8.86 million—$7.14 million of which Coleman said must by law be set aside for economic uncertainties.
"We are saving for the rainy day and the rainy day starts July 1," Coleman said, with the start of the new fiscal year.
In 2012-2013, $144.59 million is expected in revenue, with $148.06 million in expenditures and an ending balance of $5.39 million. The 2012-2013 budget projections include the board's staff reduction actions taken Thursday.
Coleman said the numbers may change again depending on the governor's May budget revision. The outcome of the November election could also affect the outlook if proposed tax increases are approved by state voters.