|Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: 241 Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
|Beverly Hills Education Association
Educational Employees Working Together
|News & Announcements
|BHEA Statement to the BHUSD Board of Education at the January 10th, 2017 Board Meeting:
Dear Members of the Board of Education, District Administrators, and Members of the Community,
My name is Telly Tse and I am president of the Beverly Hills Education Association which represents the 400 plus certificated and
classified staff that work in our school district.
I am speaking in response to the statements that certain members of the Board of Education and the administration have made in
regards to the financial well-being of the district. Some of the words that have been used are "financial insolvency", "closing
schools", "layoffs", and "staff cuts".
On behalf of the teachers and staff of our district, I strongly disagree with the negative assessment of our district's financial situation
and the need to take action that will unnecessarily disrupt and hurt our staff and children.
Let's look at the facts - statements that cannot be denied by all parties:
- The district has hired 50 new teachers and staff in the last three years. The district continues to hire new staff to this day.
- The district has a healthy reserve millions of dollars higher than what is required by law. The law requires a 3% reserve - a
number that gives districts some flexibility but not a mandate to hoard their cash. Now, having money saved up is not a bad thing.
But choosing to have a 25% reserve and then claiming to have no money and saying we need to cut teachers and salaries and close
schools is an entirely different thing.
- Based on the salary formula, staff salaries only go up when there is revenue on hand from increases in secured property tax
revenues. In other words, our salaries only go up when the community is doing well financially. Most importantly, historically, our
community's property tax revenue is on an upward trend. The district receives most of its property tax revenue based on
valuations across LA County, not just Beverly Hills. There is always high demand for housing in LA County. Because of this, in the
last 33 years, property tax revenue has only declined four separate years for a total of 5.0% uncompounded. On the other hand,
property tax revenue has increased 29 times in the last 33 years for a cumulative and uncompounded 202% increase.
The salary formula is not an equation for financial insolvency. In fact, it is an indicator of financial health and the fact that we have
seen salary increases in the last three years with more projected to come and a 202% increase in the last 33 years is a sign that our
district and community is in very good shape.
- According to the CA Department of Education database on teacher salaries released last month, a document known as Form J-90,
our district ranks 28th out of 74 districts in the county in terms of highest salary. BHUSD ranks 72nd out of 74 districts in terms of
average salary. The only two areas we are in the top ten in the county is the beginning teacher salary and the alphabet. Combine
this with the fact that our health benefits rank near the bottom of all LA County schools despite recent increases approved by the
Board and you begin to see more clearly our staff compensation is not the problem here.
Finally, the claims made by certain board members and district officials have not been independently verified by our CTA
representatives and as has often been the case, we expect the numbers to present a more accurate and positive assessment of the
district's financial situation.
Instead of words like "insolvency" and "layoffs" and "closures", we want to focus on actions like collaboration, communication, and
partnership. The information and the facts provided by LA County and the Department of Education clearly indicate the solution to
the problems we face do not have to hurt our schools, our staff or our children. We continue to be committed to work with the
Board and the district to find these solutions. We are committed to this and we hope you are too. The first steps have been taken as
the district has promised to provide us this week with the line item budgets for the past two years. We hope to return to next
week's Study Session to be able to say that the district has done so and that we are continuing the process of working together on
these issues and to be on the same page. Let's stop spreading fear and focus on the facts and on working together. Thank you.)
|BHEA Rejects Negative Rhetoric
Contrary to what some might have us believe, BHUSD is in good
financial shape and cuts to salary and jobs are not necessary