Opinion: Let’s Face It…

Times, They Are Changing

Submitted by the CSEA Executive Board

Do you know the name of your child’s food services worker, their custodian, their school secretary, their health assistant? They know your child’s name. They are the classified employees who feed and care for your children on a daily basis. What happens to your children when more cuts are made to classified employees because of the district’s continued fiscal irresponsibility? Less direct services to our children will be the result.

Larger class sizes and closed libraries at the elementary schools are already a reality. Fewer instructional assistants, office staff, and campus security resulting in reduced safety and care for your children is also a reality. Fewer custodians, maintenance and grounds staff resulting in a less sanitary environment for our children is a reality. We have to ask ourselves as community members, how many of these “fewer” realities can we continue to accept?

Classified employees are generally been regarded as invisible people. We don’t generate newspaper headlines, but the dedication of the classified employees to the children we serve is unwavering. Your children rely on classified employees to keep their schools clean and safe, to provide nourishing food, and unconditional support. We continue do this and so much more.

We are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the district. We are the cooks, cleaners, repairmen, and office staff of the district. We pay the bills, pay the staff, generate the reports which allow the district to meet its federal and state requirements, and maintain the technology for the district. We are the workers you don’t see, but we are important to your child’s educational success.

Over the years, classified employees have reached into their pockets to contribute to the fiscal health of this district. The most recent contribution was during the current financial crisis, in which classified employees have given significant concessions including, but not limited to:
  • 24 furlough days (12 days in 2009-2010, and 12 days in 2010-2011),
  • Reduced salaries due to the loss of additional work days and salary with the consolidation the multi-track year-round calendar to a single-track calendar, and
  • The elimination of 98 classified positions.
Now, the district is asking for an additional $11.4M from all employee groups in reductions to be spread over the next 2 school years (2011-12 and 2012-13), of which classified employees are being asked to contribute 10.1% of our salary and benefits. Classified employees have always been the first group to step up and offer our own salaries to support the district in times of financial need, often to our own detriment. Classified employees make up 17% of the salaries, statutory and health benefits of the district’s budget but we historically give up the highest percent per group during budget reductions.

Many times we have offered ideas and suggestions to help reduce our budget deficit only to be ignored. Throwing money at this is not the solution. We as a district must change how we do business. We can no longer buy the new fancy thing if we can’t afford it. We can’t afford the “HOSTS” of the world anymore. If we are going to survive, we must all be fiscally responsible. Our children deserve no less.


  1. The article states, “We can’t afford the “HOSTS” of the world anymore.” What is HOSTS?

  2. HOSTS Learning is a bankrupt company the Board threw millions down the drain for. It was supposed to help recruit mentors to tutor kids using this “canned” software, but it ended up being a waste of time. The company went bankrupt and I heard the District spent millions for stuff they can’t use anymore. Just like that land deal.

Speak Your Mind