Extra class taking a toll on teachers, representative says says
Taft Union Union High School District's budget is shrinking about $1.2 million as it takes a series of drastic steps to curb spending in the face of a sudden budget shortfall and a continued decline in funding in the coming years.
Joost DeMoes, assistant superintendent for business services, compared the 2017-18 and 2018-18 budget for the TUHSD Board of Trustees Monday night and said income could sink even further if the enrollment doest pick up.
DeMoes said enrollment projects estimated the District would have 1039 students, but as of September 10, the District had 1009 students.
Enrollment as measured through average Daily attendance (ADA) plays a big part in determining District funding and, if TUHSD enrollment doesn't meet projects, the District could see a drop of $360,000 from funding projects made earlier in the year.
After finding out the severity of the District's fiscal problems, the Board made sharp cuts in spending last year, offering classified, teaching and mangement staff early retirment and laying issuing layoff notices to eight teachers.
Many other teachers left on their own.
The District and the TUHS Teachers Association agreed to changes the contract that have the teachers teaching more classes.
Starting this fall, teachers gave up a conference period and now teach six of severn class periods.
That extra work is already taking a toll less than a month into the school year, teacher representative Wes Morris said.
"Teachers are just tired," Morris told the Board. "Six of seven periods is a lot. You can see it in their faces."