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CTOM Candidate-Reina Bejerano 

FM 02-03 Final Artifact  


Interview with Sid Albaugh, CBO 

I was able to sit down with Sid Albaugh who is our Assistant Superintendent, Business 
Services (CBO) for the Oxnard Union High School District (OUHSD). Sid is in his first 
year at OUHSD and came to us from a Northern CA district so he is an experienced 
CBO. Unfortunately, Sid will be leaving us on June 30 to move back to Auburn, CA.  
 
Sid feels that this is an interesting year in OUHSD. We are trying to create an LCAP 
that has fidelity to the process and actions established by the local educational 
community. Doing this is more complicated due to the Supplemental and 
Concentration funds being included in the unit share back in 2014-15. The decision to 
include Supplemental and Concentration in the unit share is difficult to reverse, but 
we’ve had cooperation from our union, Oxnard Federation of Teachers and School 
Employees (OFTSE), and believe we will submit a balanced budget to the Board in June.  
 
During the course of our conversation, Sid was able to help me understand many of the 
topics discussed during class that I had taken notes on. Sid was also able to point out 
some interesting facts that had to do with the Prerequisites. In talking with Sid, he 
shared that he does believe that OUHSD is fiscally healthy. However, he did have 
caveats. Sid shared that without the State of California being in a far better fiscal 
position today than they were three years ago, we would be in fiscal distress. Because 
of Sacramento’s good fortune, we are in decent fiscal health. He explained the “Big 
Four” to me and shared that we are setting ourselves up to get in trouble at some point. 
This period of health will not last forever based on the fact that we have these four 
characteristics in our district. These four characteristics are small class size, high 
salaries, great benefits, and lifetime benefits.  
 
I shared with Sid that of all the districts in our cohort, we were the highest in salaries 
and benefits. He told me that he wasn’t surprised and shared with me that we use 8% of 
our Supplemental and Concentration dollars for salaries. We also have lifetime benefits 
with no cap for retirees which is roughly 5% of our annual budget. He shared that in his 
experience, OUHSD is a very labor friendly district and this is why we don’t put a cap on 
benefits. I asked him about how much we spend annually on benefits and he referred 
me to the CSEBO website, but ventured to guess it was somewhere around $15k. Sid 
also shared with me, but not to be shared with others, that OUHSD has a trust of $60M 
put aside to help pay for retiree benefits if we ever needed it. This fund was started in 
2002 and was a joint effort between OFTSE and OUHSD. The account started with $26M 
back then and has grown to $60M and we have never tapped into it to date.   
 
Since Sid started with the district last year, he feels that he has worked really hard to 
take steps to ensure all our “Is” are dotted and “Ts” crossed. Districts that are usually in 
deficit go into this deficit oftentimes due declining enrollment and our district is not in 
declining enrollment. OUHSD maintains adequate reserves (good), has a growing 
student population including unduplicated students (real good), but has several 
structural budgetary issues that tip the scales the other direction. For example, retiree 
benefits are budgeted in excess of $10 million this year or more than 5% of the budget 
as mentioned above. Certificated and Classified salaries are some of the highest in the 
region and state. We have small class sizes for a high school district. We offer excellent 
benefits at a minimal cost to the employee. STRS, PERS, and medical costs are 
ballooning. All these contribute to the stress on the budget. I asked Sid to share the 
worst case scenario and without hesitation he said it would be for OUHSD to go into 
declining enrollment. In his opinion, class size would increase as well as possible 
layoffs. Usually districts can see this coming so they can take steps a year ahead to 
prepare by staffing differently for the following year. Other options would be to offer an 
early retirement incentive, lay off temporary teachers, probationary 1 teachers or 
probationary 2 teachers. He said it’s all about making the puzzle pieces fit and a good 
CBO figures out how to make those pieces fit.  
 
Technology plays a large role in fiscal solvency in that the more our department can 
budget ahead 3-5 years, the better off the business side of the house will be. He stated 
that long term planning is the key and because technology “touches everything”, it is 
really important that we work together to anticipate as many necessary projects, while 
at the same time, spacing those projects out so that they don’t all happen at the same 
time. Sid feels that timing is important and because we are such a personnel heavy 
district, that we have to be careful. Legislation is always first and foremost and making 
sure we are in compliance. So, with that being said, he is a big proponent of 
professional development because, if we have an employee doing CALPADS who has 
not had sufficient training in CALPADS and the numbers are off due to lack of training, 
it’s a problem. He believes that it is necessary to provide as much training as that 
individual needs in order to do their job correctly because that training will have long 
term effects on the district. Sid is not a strong proponent of one time funds as it gives a 
false sense of security. He feels more importantly that if a CTO budgets 3-5 years out, 
then when one time funds come along, it is a bonus. He does not feel they should be 
depended on as they are obviously gone after the “one time”. 
 
CTOs can help become involved in the LCAP budgeting by getting involved, attending 
community meetings and actively participate. A good CTO knows what the needs are. 
By being involved at the ground level, this helps the CTO to plan and be proactive.   
 
As stated above our challenge with LCFF funding for 18-19 is balancing what students 
need versus what the unit share needs. We plan to purchase a lot of technology with 
LCFF funds and we need to ensure that we have a clear picture of what the refresh will 
look like 3-4 years down the line. Whatever technology we purchase will need to be 
maintained, remembering that total cost of ownership (TCO) as well as replaced 3-4 
years later. His concern is that the plan will not be thought completely through and at 
the end of the cycle we will be stuck with old technology that we do not have the 
funding to replace due to poor planning. I assured Sid that I would work very hard to 
factor in those components as we think about future purchases. The goal is for students 
to have more available to them than ever before. We will have a higher rate of 
engagement, which will lead to higher graduation rates and more students heading off 
to 2 or 4 year colleges. Students may also choose to go the CTE pathway route that is 
developed due to these funds being available to students who may not be college 
bound. They will have a wonderful opportunity that they may not have had without 
that funding.  
 
When asked about what an outstanding example of a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) 
looks like Sid expressed the following: They need to be proactive, communicative and 
organized. They need to ensure that they are communicating with the business and 
purchasing departments regularly. Being proactive goes back to what I stated earlier 
about budgeting early. That was a big plus for Sid and really important to him. In 
almost every conversation I have had with him, he talks about this and I understand 
why. It makes sense that the more proactive one can be, the better off we will all be. A 
CTO should also be organized. Being able to share pertinent information with the 
business department in a timely manner is important. Having the ability to stay on top 
of all district contracts is important and knowing which contracts expire when and 
what the terms are is imperative as it can cost a district unnecessary amounts of 
money.  
 
I found my time with Sid to be extremely beneficial and I learned a lot. The fiscal side 
of 
the house is a stretch for me as I am not a “numbers person.” However, having this 
conversation with Sid made sense to me and gave me context as to what we did before 
and during class. It also helped me to understand his job a bit better, which will 
hopefully help me to do my job better.