SUGGESTIONS FOR BUDGET CUTS AND REDUCING WORKLOAD
OCCTA COST SAVING & OTHER BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS
- Bring on an independent third-party auditor to conduct personnel audit at all levels, examine over-budgeting and fund balance practices, conduct budget audit, and make recommendations.
- Investigate surveys/outside accreditations to assess or determine student learning outcomes (e.g., Advanced Ed).
- Use more digital open resources rather than textbooks: Go Open Program, PBS Learning Media, Khan Academy, MIT Open Courseware.
- Make use of service-learning programs and free mentoring programs like COMPACT to tutor and mentor other students before and after school and Saturdays (rather than paying for services).
- Identify any technology fund expenditures that can be reduced.
- Consider eliminating i-Ready – let teachers teach and assess on their own.
- Determine potential cost savings from transitioning to Google Classroom.
- Consider ways to make better use of time for dual enrollment at OTC campuses.
- Move towards school based professional and curricular development (instead of centralized model), by reducing curriculum development staff and paid resources.
- Examine evaluation system to reduce personnel costs and other related expenses. For example, reducing the number of evaluations for veteran teachers.
- Determining potential cost savings of creating and administering evaluations within the District and in cooperation/bargaining with OCCTA (instead of using outside vendors).
- Fill all teaching vacancies before implementing co-teaching in a single classroom.
- Look at duplication of responsibility between managers and supervisors in RBELC, and consider consolidating positions. Consider returning “specialists” and others to the classroom to address teacher shortage.
- Consider eliminating the position of High School Area Superintendent by putting high schools back under purview of the Learning Community Areas Superintendents.
- Reassess designation of positions for inclusion in the FRS Senior Management Service Class (in the statutorily prescribed timeframe), limiting the number of positions eligible for the 29.01% retirement perk to save millions of dollars.
- Conduct an analysis of the OCPS police force to identify possible reductions, if any, (e.g., personnel, vehicle expenses, other related expenses) while still prioritizing safety.
- Look at what operating expenses were paid out of ESSER funds and transfer savings; many of the ESSER fund expenditures may result in long term savings (HVAC systems, filters, janitorial expenses, lap tops/devices and others).
- Consider potential sources of energy savings, such as solar energy options, green roofs, LED lights, thermostats, repairs or replacement of HVAC systems, regular filter replacement.
- Investigate possibility of moving non-school based positions to remote work; investigate shared office spaces and hot desking where applicable.
- Consolidate operations buildings - Magic Way and RBELC. Consider whether some spaces or buildings could be rented out.
- Work with local elected leaders to seek referendum strictly for raises as is done in other Florida school districts.
- If some budget lines are over-budgeted, instead of moving the excess to the reserves leave any excess in instructional lines for raises; and any over-budgeted excess in individual school budgets move to the instructional and staffing lines for raises.
- Collaborate with Union and educators as partners, considering suggestions with open mind to promote recruitment and retention of teachers. It cost money to constantly hire and train new teachers.
TIME TO TEACH
OCCTA WORKLOAD RECOMMENDATIONS
- Alleviate burdensome 504 and IEP requirements, including observing 504 students and filling out a specific chart (with various categories and usually for multiple students) while teaching a full class of students.
- Eliminate superfluous and unnecessary data collection that could be accomplished within programs or by clerical.
- Evaluate which meetings provide little information and could be easily emailed to teachers; eliminate unnecessary meetings.
- Eliminate unnecessary department and PLC meetings that do not advance student learning.
- Minimize focus on making every teacher be on same stringent page, using same methods, same curriculum, and same programs; increase teacher autonomy to infuse joy of learning into lessons.
- Reduce observations and evaluation requirements; work with Union to improve evaluation system in order to retain quality teachers.
- Follow contractual 7.5-hour workday. Conduct analysis of requirements and tasks teachers are given to see how many extra hours teachers are improperly being required to work without additional pay.
- Stop practice of mandating extra lesson plan requirements that violate the contract and agreements.
- Hire attendance clerk at each school to track student absences and contact parents/teachers, freeing up teacher time to teach.
- Get rid of i-Ready and programs that reduce creativity and suck the fun out of learning. Allow teachers to teach and use their professional expertise.
- Hire permanent substitutes at all schools. Follow contractual requirements regarding substitutes.
- Follow contract regarding early Wednesdays and early release days and stop scheduling meetings in violation of the contract.
- Prohibit administrators and others from calling and emailing instructional personnel past the contract hours and on weekends.
- Prohibit administrators and others from assigning homework for PLC meetings.
- Reduce walkthroughs and administrator directives to follow specific lesson plans for district walkthroughs, which delay real learning and unnecessarily put extra work on teachers.
- Reduce class size to reduce workload and increase student achievement.
- Save educator time by continuing use of virtual meetings, especially for itinerant employees.
- Discuss all initiatives and district-wide plans with the Union before implementing them so we have the opportunity to explain workload concerns.
At the school board meeting on April 26, 2022 Dr. Vazquez presented the following PowerPoint to review what "could come off of teachers' plates".
Download File (4-26-22-school-board-presentation.pdf)
On April 27, 2022 Deputy Superintendent Vazquez sent the following to all principals: