The financial big picture is once again on the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees agenda, and once again, there is no good news in sight.
The trustees will meet Monday, when two new members – Jim Reardon and Amy Hanacek – will be sworn in, along with recently re-elected Trustees John Alpay and Gary Pritchard. The newcomers' first task: getting up to speed on the district’s financial outlook.
“The district faces a substantial shortfall budget for the two subsequent years,” according to a staff report. The estimated gap for 2013-14 is $31 million.
“Due to the volatility of California’s economic recovery and uncertainty with education funding, it is recognized that, if necessary, the district plans to implement $31 million in ongoing budget reduction in 2013-14,” says a fiscal solvency statement the district is required to make.
Capo Unified cut $31 million out of this year’s budget, about $20 million from employees through their negotiated agreements and another $11 million in other cuts the school board could make independently.
Last year's budget included employee contracts with a one-year expiration.
Beyond the budgeting challenges for next year, the interim report also shows the district struggling to manage cash this year. Revenues come into the district in spurts, and by May, the district will be $23.3 million in the red.
By June, however, it is expected to be back on the positive side by nearly $11.2 million, according to a cashflow worksheet on Monday's agenda.
The district had a similar cashflow issue last year, which it resolved when the trustees approved two short-term loans that crossed fiscal years.
The district will begin the process of planning for next school year’s budget in January. The next interim report about how this year is going financially is expected on the March 11, 2013 agenda.
The board meets 7 p.m. Monday at the district headquarters, 33122 Valle Road in San Juan Capistrano.