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Mill Valley Schools Closed Today for First of Two Furloughs

The unpaid day off for teachers and staff is part of a "shared sacrifice" approach to reducing a budget deficit. Voters will also be asked to pass a new $196 parcel tax on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Teachers and staff are taking one for the team on Monday, as all schools in the Mill Valley School District close down for the first of two furlough days this year.

The unpaid day off for all staff, which includes teachers, support staff and administrators, is expected to save a projected $200,000 as the district combats a $1.4 million budget deficit.

“In light of the financial crisis facing the district after millions of dollars in cutbacks by the state, this is part of the staff's contribution in the district's shared sacrifices/solutions approach,” Superintendent Paul Johnson said in a letter to the school community.  “I did want to stress that for our staff this is a significant personal sacrifice and their efforts are much appreciated.”

Teachers agreed to the salary reductions, as well as paying a higher percentage of medical coverage costs, in exchange for a one-time payment of between $248 and $497 to help cover rising premiums. That’s in addition to concessions teachers made last year to make annual contributions into a retiree medical benefit trust and to increase the number of years of service required to received retirement benefits from 10 to 20 years.

It’s also just one piece of the strategy to maintain the quality teachers and academic programs in the Mill Valley School District, Johnson said.

Kiddo! and the PTA’s have stepped up to help pay for supplies and PE this year, and the district is campaigning hard for voters to pass a new $196 parcel tax on top of the existing $731 parcel tax on the Nov. 6 ballot.

“I recognize that Monday's furlough day may pose a hardship for many families,” Johnson said, “and I thank you for your efforts to support the district.”

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Citizen October 08, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Please take the time to read the entire mill valley schools collective bargaining agreement. Sometimes the public is swayed by the op/ed section of the newspaper. Salaries, work hours and benefits for school district employees are clearly spelled out. Review the material and decide the tax measures that effect our schools. Citizen
Marilyn B October 09, 2012 at 03:51 AM
I am confused by this comment: "The unpaid day off for teachers and staff is part of a "shared sacrifice" approach..." Who is "sharing the sacrifice" with the teachers who have lost a day of pay, and the students who lost a day of school?
Magoo October 09, 2012 at 04:25 AM
How could they have saved 200,000 for Oct. 8? There was to have been 180 in the school year. 180 x 200,000 = a 36 miillion dollar budget. The real budget is half of that. You should read the fine print as to what the current teachers are giving up versus what they are making future teachers pay.
Geoff Flint October 09, 2012 at 04:27 AM
The parents who got stuck taking care of their kids for the day! :-)
MVParent October 09, 2012 at 01:13 PM
I suppose they could have just fired a couple of teachers instead. That would only have affected maybe 50-60 kids. You'd be happy as long as your kid's class wasn't overloaded with students....
Bernard Meisler October 09, 2012 at 02:41 PM
The MVMS built a locker room this summer. And they have an iPad station too. Couldn't they have spent that on paying for the two extra days of school? What really peeves me off - how hard would it have been to coordinate this day off with the development day at Tam High, which was Monday last week?

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