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Capo Schools Facing $15 Mil Shortfall for Next Year

The amount is actually an improvement over previous years of financial struggle.

The Capistrano Unified School District is facing a possible $15 million shortfall for next year.
The Capistrano Unified School District is facing a possible $15 million shortfall for next year.

Originally posted at 9:34 p.m. Oct. 23, 2013.

Capistrano Unified trustees got a preview Wednesday night of their financial future under the state’s new funding model – and it means a possible $15 million budget shortfall for next school year.

That’s about half the size district administrators were calculating a year ago for this year’s budget. Of course, that was before Gov. Brown and the Legislature changed the way schools receive money.

The state’s new method, called the “local control funding formula,” provides the same amount for every student across the state, said Clark Hampton, deputy superintendent of business services. But additional money is available for students who are either:

  • Are eligible for reduced lunches
  • English learners
  • Foster children

On top of that money, districts that have student populations with more than 55 percent of these same demographics get even more money in so-called concentration grants. At Capo, nearly 26 percent of students fall within those categories, not enough to get the concentration grants.

The numbers add up, Hampton said. The difference between districts with few eligible students and districts which serve the neediest of populations could be thousands of dollars per student, according to a slide in a presentation Hampton made.

But, like previous years, the district won’t know how much money it will have to budget for next year until much closer to the June 30, 2014 deadline, Hampton said.

“This is kind of flying the plane and rebuilding it at the same time,” he said.

The state’s Department of Finance offers a much rosier picture of the future, Hampton said, and if it were to be believed, CUSD would only have a $2 million shortfall next year, and a $5 million surplus in 2015-16.

However, a consulting firm that advises school districts has encouraged districts to assume much more conservative numbers, Hampton said. That means the $15 million hole next year and a $16.5 million shortfall in 2015-16.

In the end, the amount the district receives is “whatever the state decides it can afford to provide schools,” Hampton said.

Because the new funding formula allows district much greater flexibility in how it spends the money, the state is requiring each school district to come up with a three-year plan as part of the budgeting process. District administrators will come up with a plan that will include ways to involve the community and present it to the school board in November.

Dawn Urbanek October 24, 2013 at 07:16 PM
53% of the Ca general fund budget goes towards education
shelly October 24, 2013 at 07:16 PM
Prop. 30 never promised to fully fund education. It was meant to prevent deeper cuts. Read up on it, Dawn. But I believe you know that. Here is a quote from you before the election. "Though Urbanek has a daughter in Las Palmas Elementary and knows that school will be subjected to trigger cuts if Prop. 30 fails. Still, she plans to vote against it. "If you want to help schools, then you'll allow the trigger cuts to happen," Urbanek said. "...I want the system to break enough that we can go and restructure everything. We need to restructure how schools are done. And kicking the can, year after year, and hoping we’re going to have a big revenue increase is not working." Does that mean she's willing to have her daughter experience that breakdown? "Yes, I am," Urbanek said. "Well you know what, my daughter won’t, because I can afford to put her in private school." Prop. 30: OC schools struggle amid anti-tax fervor Tami Abdollah | November 4th, 2012, 9:00am, http://www.scpr.org/blogs/education/2012/11/04/10877/orange-county-prop-30-anti-tax-cuts-schools-distri/ Not all of us have the private school choice, Dawn, nor do we want it. Many of us support the communities we live in and the children of these communities.
Dawn Urbanek October 24, 2013 at 07:19 PM
You are not supporting the children in CUSD by enabling public employee unions to gut our school district.
Dawn Urbanek October 24, 2013 at 07:21 PM
Unfortunately Shelly - you will see those people that can afford private school run from public school - not just because of continual budget cuts but because of the adoption of common core.
Dawn Urbanek October 24, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Our kids have to compete with their peers from around the world- the common core is designed to prepare students for a two year college. They now want to convert community colleges into 4-year institutions.
Dawn Urbanek October 24, 2013 at 07:29 PM
See Shelly- it is all about creating more jobs and has nothing to do with preparing students to be self- sufficient productive jobs- it's about having 26 year olds still live at home going to school
Dawn Urbanek October 24, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Look at the black line on the chart Clark Hampton presented at the Board meeting. maybe Penny can post that chart
shelly October 24, 2013 at 10:16 PM
Dawn, The past curriculum also prepared kids for a two year college. Students chose to do the A-G requirements and go beyond the curriculum. And this will still occur with nothing changed. My children have done great in CUSD schools because of the quality of teachers not despite them. Teachers, administrators, district employees deserve their compensation, Dawn.
shelly October 24, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Dawn, You keep bringing up percentages but the dollar amount that schools have received has been less and you know it and admitted to this fact in a discussion with Shripathi Kamath.
shelly October 24, 2013 at 10:28 PM
Dawn, I am old school. I feel that when the chips are down we should do what we can to help. I was brought up this way. I am from a small town where this occurred all the time. You seem to feel differently. I feel that if we want things we should be willing to work hard for them. I feel that my family is part of a community. I feel connected and invested so I contribute and volunteer. I do what I can. We all make choices. It is a choice.
shelly October 24, 2013 at 10:35 PM
Dawn, http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/10/why-do-teachers-quit/280699/ The disrespect in your posts about teachers, administrators and staff is constant. What compensation do you believe is fair?
Dawn Urbanek October 24, 2013 at 10:50 PM
Shelly Stated: "Teachers, administrators, district employees deserve their compensation, Dawn." ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Students deserve 180 days of school!
Dawn Urbanek October 24, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Shelly Stated: "The disrespect in your posts about teachers, administrators and staff is constant. What compensation do you believe is fair?" Compensation should be about 85% of the budget - whatever that is- and if you need more money then you have the legislature change the funding
Dawn Urbanek October 24, 2013 at 11:01 PM
You want to use 100% of the Districts budget for compensation and then hope parents and the public will fundraise to pay for everything that is not compensation. Now even fundraising money is being used for compensation.
shelly October 24, 2013 at 11:08 PM
Dawn, Then fund 180 days.
fact checker October 25, 2013 at 02:57 AM
Dawn, is class size smaller at Arroyo Vista? Do you have proof of that?
shelly October 25, 2013 at 09:40 AM
Dawn, You keep saying I am advocating for more money. I am advocating for enough money. Our district had enough money to fund smaller class sizes, 180 days, and many more programs than we have now, etc. The economy took a tumble and everything was cut because the dollar amount of money coming to schools was less. It was not the fault of the children, the teachers, the administrators, the school staffs, librarians, teachers aids, music teachers, etc. that our economy tanked. Many of these jobs were cut. Many CUSD employees lost their jobs because we could not fund smaller class sizes, librarians, teachers aids, counselors, etc. Because of this tumble many parents and community members stepped up. Some did not. You volunteered when the money at our schools was adequate to fund all the programs you wanted but when the economy tumbled and things were cut you stepped out by your own admission.
shelly October 25, 2013 at 09:45 AM
School loop was always been funded by the parents at the middle school since my children have been in middle school and since school loop was brought to our schools.
Dawn Urbanek October 25, 2013 at 11:09 AM
fact checker stated: "Dawn, is class size smaller at Arroyo Vista? Do you have proof of that?" --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Is it acceptable for fundraising to be used to pay for Certificated teachers salaries?
shelly October 25, 2013 at 11:13 AM
Dawn, Until we all value education and what is worth to our society beyond the "what is in it for me and mine" mentality then our children will be short changed.
Mission Viejo Mom October 25, 2013 at 11:32 AM
And I will comment again that cuts were happening before the economy tanked five years ago. My daughter was in the last kindergarten class that was funded for music. It was in the 2001-02 school year. After that, if schools wanted music in k-3, PTA had to fund it. Then there was the parent fundraising to save class size reduction. And the groundskeeping and janitorial services for schools were cut along with other maintenance. These are just a few examples. I'm sure there are more. My point is that this district has been on the road to financial disaster for quite some time. It goes back over ten years.
shelly October 25, 2013 at 02:29 PM
The admin. building was a huge mistake and people did not step up against it until it was being built because that is when the boundaries for the new high school were announced. People should have protested that thing and wrote letters before it was built and when it was in the planning stages but people did not.
shelly October 25, 2013 at 02:30 PM
And as I said before if we valued education at really what it is worth to society then there would be no funding issue.
Capo Parent November 11, 2013 at 11:29 PM
Shelly Speak for yourself. You and others like you, who generally turn cover their eyes when CUSD does something wrong, did nothing to stop the admin. bldg. Others, like me, tried to find out the truth. We were stonewalled until the Fleming regime rammed the admin. bldg. through. Even after that sordid event we pressed on. Eventually, Doomey (one the biggest a**es in history of CUSD) finally admitted CUSD lied about the admin. bldg. As Mission Viejo Mom aptly notes, CUSD has been in a financial decline for over ten years. Programs, maintenance and repairs have been drastically cut. Over that time salaries and benefits have dramatically increased. I'm sure there is no correlation.
fact checker November 12, 2013 at 12:12 PM
Capo Parent, Your logic is sadly flawed. The funding for schools in California has been lagging behind the rest of the nation for decades. It has been going on for decades, long before the political upheaval in CUSD over the last few years.
shelly November 18, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Capo Parent, I did not cover my eyes. I actually started writing letters to the district and newspaper in 2003 against the plans for the admin. building. And I was lied to by Doomey but I did not sue anyone or accuse teachers, CUSD employees and administrators of awful things. Because I knew that most people working for the district were and are good, hardworking people.
Dawn Urbanek November 18, 2013 at 06:57 PM
Shelly- I know most of the Administrators at the District and many teachers and Principals and the SUperintendent. Individually they are all very nice people and they are trying to do the best that they can with very stretched resources. That being said- the one hugh problem that CUSD has which has nothing to do with money is that they do not include the Public in the process of making decisions for the District. There are many very bringht, well informed parents and taxpayers that might help with solutions or find opportunities if they were to be included BEFORE decisions were made. Right now you have the same group of 20 or 30 people sitting in the Admin Building who only talk to educators- so they are talking to themselves. There is no new ideas in that building - they need to open the doors and shine some new light in there.
fact checker November 18, 2013 at 10:28 PM
Dawn, you have the opportunity to attend the forum on Nov. 20th and decline to do so. What specifically do you suggest in the way of increased opportunities to "shine some new light?"
shelly November 19, 2013 at 01:11 AM
Dawn, Many parents besides you are involved, informed, speak up and suggest things all the time and administrators sometimes take their suggestions.
Dawn Urbanek November 19, 2013 at 08:59 AM
Fact Checker- I would like to see workshops and community forums with Trustees so that parents and the public have an opportunity to have a "conversation" with their elective representatives. A place where all Trustees are present and all Trustees can hear the same conversation with their constituents.

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