The is facing another multimillion-dollar shortfall in the coming academic year, even in the best of scenarios.
That was the word from Ron Lebs, deputy superintendent for business and support services, to the board of trustees at its meeting Tuesday. It was the school board’s first step in a process that will end in June to approve a budget for the 2011-12 school year.
Depending on how the state budget shakes out, the school district may have to cut anywhere between $8.4 million and $24.8 million, Lebs said.
“It seems we are faced again with another challenging year ahead of us,” Lebs told the board. District officials say they have already cut $90 million from the budget since the 2007-08 year.
The state is facing a $25-billion shortfall in the coming year. The newly elected governor wants to make budget cuts to resolve half of the problem and is depending on the passage of a to extend temporary taxes hikes on sale, motor vehicle and income to plug the rest of the hole.
Because Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal depends on the will of the electorate, Lebs offered two versions of “budget assumptions,” one if the measure passes and one if it doesn’t.
“We have to be very cautious right now,” Trustee Anna Bryson said, fearing worsening financial news on the horizon.
Beyond what happens with the state budget, Capo Unified is facing a few other budget “challenges,” Lebs said. Enrollment has been declining. Because school districts receive their money for each student based on who shows up to school each day, the shrinking student population will cost the school district $2 million.
Next year’s projected enrollment is expected to be 50,523 with an average daily attendance of 49,621, according to a staff report.
The district currently receives about $5,208 per student. If the governor’s proposed ballot measure passes, the district would lose $19 per student, Lebs said. If it fails to make it on the ballot or fails, the district would lose $348 per student.
In addition, the state has stopped paying for the that school districts are required to provide, Lebs said. This could cost the district an additional $5.6 million it’s never had to pay before. School districts are suing the state.
The addition of a proposed charter school will cost the district another $700,000 it had not anticipated, Lebs added. is looking for board approval soon.
“We’ve identified cuts that can be made in order to put together a budget,” Lebs told the board. “We will have to be looking at negotiated reductions [with various unions in the district], either salary or [the length of] the work year.”
Teachers already agreed to a 10.1 percent cut after they went on strike in April. Just recently, however, the district , so now their pay cut is 6.49 percent.
For this reason, Trustee Ellen Addonizio voted against approving the item before the board, which was to establish a timeline for the budget.
“It seems very inconsistent to me,” she said.
Other news out of the meeting:
- The school board approved a policy that requires teachers, parents and students to seek permission before posting to , such as Facebook and YouTube, where the schools maintain an official presence. The postings need to conform to the district’s education purposes and maintain a “consistent identity, profession appearance and ease of use,” according to the new policy.
- In closed session, the district settled a lawsuit brought by San Juan Capistrano property owner Gary Campbell, who previously leased office space on Calle Perfecto. The board did not announce a dollar figure. The original claim was for unpaid rent. The site, at 32861 Calle Perfecto, was used to house the school district’s child development preschool office. The lease covered three years between September 2006 and October 2009.