School districts were mostly spared from the midyear budget cuts announced by Gov. Brown on Tuesday.
Because the state fell $2.2 billion short of the rosy projections made when the budget passed in June, Brown said he would have to pull the trigger on some – but not all – of the cuts called for if revenue forecasts didn't materialize.
Hardest hit will be higher education, services for the disabled and child care, according to several published reports. K-12 schools will see a small hit – about $248 million – to school-bus transportation, a far cry from $1.5-billion cut schools could have faced.
"It turns out the cuts are far less than they would have been," Brown said.
Besides school-bus transportation, the state will reduce its funding to schools by $11 per student.
For the , the two cuts combine for a total of $1.7 million that must be sliced from this year's budget, said Marcus Walton, district spokesman. If Brown had enacted all the cuts built into the state budget, CUSD would have had to trim $14.1 million this year.
"While the district can cover the shortfall during this fiscal year, negotiated reductions in compensation will continue to be an important part of the district’s ability to deal with continued budget challenges," Walton said.
Said Gary Pritchard, president of the district's Board of Trustees: "I am not happy with additional cuts but relieved that Gov. Brown avoided the deeper cuts that would have dramatically affected students."
Even without the cuts, Capistrano Unified is . Just Tuesday night, the school board acknowledged the district may not finish the year fiscally solvent and could face similarly dire straits for the next two years.
The district estimates it will be $21.3 million short by year’s end, although much of that is expected to be refunded by the state after the fiscal year closes.
In addition, staff estimates a $25-million shortfall for the next school year and $3.5 million in cuts needed in 2013-14.