I’ve had a lot of feedback from my previous post about saving money. Many of you have reached out with some wonderful ideas and clarifications about some things. I’ve been compiling them and will do a follow-up.
I can’t go to tonight’s Board meeting and am not sure that speaking would help, anyway. Besides, I contacted most of the Directors and sent them what I have. Hopefully they’ll listen.
But I left off one idea, and it’s probably the best one.
The first year of the 89 furloughs only saves about $1 million. That didn’t make sense to me, at first, but, of course, the district still has to pay unemployment. That means those 89 jobs are guaranteed to be gone for at least 2 years in order to realize any meaningful savings.
Riverside, where I work, has had budget issues (who doesn’t?) and came up with a novel and very successful method of saving money and jobs: voluntary furloughs.
How do they work? Simple. Anybody who wants a year off can take it. They get one of two things: a cash incentive of $3,000 or a year of health care.
Imagine offering that to district teachers. The district wouldn’t have to worry about paying into the pension, into unemployment, into Social Security, Medicare, etc. The savings would be immediate and a job wouldn’t be lost. Instead of having to have at least two years of furloughs to realize savings, the savings is immediate, and substantial. The voluntary furloughs would be one year, with a guarantee of a return to the position.
We’ve actually done it for a few years now at Riverside. Some mothers have been able to take multiple years and stay home to raise their kids, while not worrying about health care (or taking the stipend, instead).
It’s a great offer and it is GUARANTEED to save more money, far more quickly, than involuntary furloughs.
This isn’t pie in the sky. It’s a really, really great idea that’s proven to work.
Tell your Directors about it.