State Revisions are Painful for TCUSD Budget

School Board members were faced with yet more changes made to the Temple City Unified School District’s pending budget plan Wednesday, May 27.

Superintendent Chelsea Kang-Smith and Chief Business Official David Jaynes presented the dire fiscal straits of the near future. Taken into account were the failures of both Propositions 1A and 1C on the May 19 ballot.

With the 2008-2009 school year having been largely held afloat by the District’s emergency reserve fund, schools statewide have been relying on the proposed Propositions 1A and 1C to pull them through subsequent years of monetary whittling.

According to the California Voters’ Guide, Proposition 1A would have created a $16 billion temporary increase in sales, use, income, and vehicle taxes from 2010-11 through 2012-13 to help balance the state budget and increase the state “rainy day” reserves. Proposition 1C had called for protecting funding levels for schools currently provided by lotter securitization bonds. Neither Proposition passed.

In February, Jaynes’s budget revealed that $591,000 would remain in Reserve Funds after the next three years. The State requires school districts to meet a 3% minimum reserve requirement—this would necessitate a $2,262,000 budget reduction during the 2010-11 school year, and a $500,000 reduction from 2011-12, stripping down further the already bare bones of educational funding.

As of May 19, the State has proposed additional reductions of $225 per ADA (Average Daily Attendance) less in 2008/09 revenues, and $19 per ADA less in 2009/10 revenues. These new revisions reduce the total yearly revenue from about $41 million per year to $39 million.

If such figures hold, the unrestricted reserve balance will be bankrupt by 2010. The original $591,000 left in funds is projected to plunge into a $3.8 million deficit by the end of 2012.

If Federal Stimulus allocations are included in the budget, TCUSD will be able to meet its 3% requirements. Federal Stimulus funds for TCUSD total $1.7 million.

“If we could include all those allocations there,” said Jaynes, “everything would be okay.”

However, the stimulus money to be issued in May has yet to be seen even now. Instead, Board members discussed methods of raising school attendance.

On June 3, the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) required the submission of a preliminary budget plan. Public viewing of the plan will be made available on June 14, and a public hearing will be held on the June 24 to approve the final District budget.


This article was written by Jessica Liu. It was published in the Temple City Voice on June 5, 2009.


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