By Bill Hicks
The Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday night to approve potential budget augmentations to the district’s 2019-20 budget, which are based on the projections within Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget.
The projected augmentations would result in as much as $2.8 million in cuts, which were chosen as to have the most minimal affect on the classroom learning experience, according to Assistant Superintendent with Business Services Michelle Henson.
Source: School Board OKs potential district budget augmentations
By John Glidden
There was a noticeable pause and silence from the Vallejo school board Wednesday night after board President Bob Lawson asked if any of the trustees had a motion.
After a few tense seconds, Trustee Tony Gross eventually offered up a motion to approve recommendations from Vallejo City Unified School District administrative staff to cut $7.25 million from next year’s fiscal year budget.
The board’s unanimous vote ended a terse and emotional discussion Wednesday night as the district attempts to erase a $22 million deficit and stave off insolvency.
Source: Vallejo school board makes $7.25 million in cuts – Times-Herald
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
The first order of business during the public portion of the Vallejo City Unified School District’s meeting Wednesday will be the swearing in of new board member Christy Gardner. A first reading of the district’s new graduation requirement policy, and a first round of proposed budget cuts, including layoffs, is also planned.
Declining enrollment, high chronic absentee rates, rising health and benefit contributions, and charter school encroachment, has caused a significant budget shortfall. To maintain fiscal solvency and avoid the loss of local control, cuts must be made.
Superintendent Adam Clark has found some $7.2 million in cuts that come mostly through personnel and program revisions/reductions, designed to meet both the fiscal and program objectives.
Source: Budget cuts, new grad requirements are part of Vallejo school district meeting agenda – Times-Herald
By John Glidden
Preliminary projections indicate that the exodus of students from the Vallejo school district will result in 1,708 fewer pupils over the coming two years.
That’s about a $15 million hit in funding for the Vallejo City Unified School District.
The district’s board of education got a look at the sobering numbers during a special study session Wednesday night on the 2019-20 budget.
Source: Vallejo school board gets look at budget numbers – Times-Herald
On January 10, Governor Gavin Newsom released a proposed 2019-20 budget that calls for a series of bold and smart investments in broadening economic security and opportunity for Californians, while continuing to strengthen the state’s underlying fiscal health.
The Governor forecasts revenues that are $8.1 billion higher (over a three-year “budget window” from 2017-18 to 2019-20) than previously projected in the 2018-19 budget enacted last June, driven largely by continued economic growth.
The Governor’s proposal includes a range of significant expansions in support of low- and middle-income Californians who are struggling to make ends meet and access greater economic opportunity, including doubling the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, working toward universal preschool for 4-year olds, investing in child care infrastructure, expanding health care to move closer to universal coverage, expanding paid family leave, boosting CalWORKs grants, and increasing investment in state higher education systems. Recognizing that high housing costs contribute to California’s high poverty rate, Governor Newsom also proposes a mix of policies and an expanded state role to address housing needs and homelessness. These policies would make California more affordable and more equitable for millions of Californians.
Source: Governor’s Inaugural Budget Proposal Includes Bold and Smart Investments, While Maintaining Fiscal Health – California Budget & Policy Center
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today praised Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2019–20.
“Governor Newsom hit a home run in his first budget in education and across the board. The budget is thoughtful and balanced and makes good use of public funds, but it is appropriately aggressive in its focus on helping Californians who need it most,” he said.
Governor Newsom proposed increasing K–12 education by $2.3 billion, investing $1.8 billion in early education, and providing $3.7 billion to help all districts deal with rising pension costs, which are stressing budgets of districts throughout the state. The pension aspect of his budget includes a proposed a one-time $3 billion contribution to CalSTRS and $700 million in each of fiscal year 2019–20 and 2020–21 to reduce the rates districts are charged for their employees’ pensions.
Source: Supt Thurmond Calls Governor’s Budget a Home Run – Year 2019 (CA Dept of Education)
By Todd R. Hansen
Lisette Estrella-Henderson begins her first four-year term as Solano County superintendent of schools next week with an agenda not that different from her first two years as the appointed official.
The veteran educator, who started her career about 32 years ago, said in a phone interview Friday that her office is working to keep students safe – and that goes beyond safe campuses – as well as prepare them for the changing work world.
She also has the task of signing off on all school district budgets, which includes keeping a close eye on the Vallejo City School District, which faces making $22 million in cuts.
Source: Schools chief works to keep students safe, teach work skills
Vallejo City Unified School District Superintendent Adam Clark is proposing the consolidation of two schools and the relocation of another to help close a $22 million budget deficit.
In a letter to school district stakeholders Thursday, Clark said he will present his proposed solutions at parent and community meetings at the affected school sites in January.
Twenty years ago, the school district had a population of 20,000 students and 22 schools. School enrollment is now 12,000 yet 22 schools are still operating, Clark said in the letter.
Source: School Consolidation Proposed To Reduce $22 Million Deficit – SFGate
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen
Though still trying to meet a Dec. 15 deadline, Vallejo Unified School District staff will be asking the board to ask Solano County for an extension for turning in its required financial audit materials at Wednesday’s meeting.
The Education Code allows for extensions for completing an audit under the right circumstances, but the district needs to get the request to the county in time for the county to make the request to the State Controller’s Office and the California Department of Education by Dec. 15.
Trustees will also review and consider approving the district’s First Interim Report for 2018-19, as required by Assembly Bills 1200 and 2756. This is a mid-term financial report as of Oct. 31 that reflects the district’s current revenue and expenditure projections through June 30, 2019.
Source: Vallejo school district to wrestle with budget concerns at board meeting – Times-Herald
By Kristin Schumacher
For the fifth year in a row, funding for California’s subsidized child care and development system has increased. This system provides critical child care and early learning opportunities for a limited number of children from low- and moderate-income families, but state funding was cut dramatically during and after the Great Recession, while federal funding for subsidized child care remained relatively flat. This meant that fewer children and families received subsidized care than prior to the onset of the Great Recession. However, state policymakers have incrementally reinvested in these programs and services beginning with the 2014-15 state fiscal year, and bipartisan support for subsidized child care at the federal level has resulted in newly available federal funds, as well. Due to these investments, after adjusting for inflation, overall funding for California’s subsidized child care and development system in the 2018-19 fiscal year is $3.887 billion, 15% greater than in 2017-18 ($3.375 billion), and nearly even with funding levels in 2007-08, prior to the onset of the Great Recession (see chart).
Source: Dollars for Child Care and Preschool in 2018-19 Near Pre-Recession Levels With Boost From One-Time Funding – California Budget & Policy Center
By Richard Bammer
Travis Unified leaders reported that the school district’s 2018-19 budget will incur a nearly $285,000 revenue decrease, due mainly to a cut in so-called “one-time” dollars from the state Department of Education.
Chief Business Officer Sonia Lasyone made the announcement during her 45-day budget report during the governing board’s once-monthly meeting Tuesday in Fairfield. (California school districts are required to prepare and announce publicly a 45-day budget revision 45 days after the governor signs the state budget.)
Lasyone reported a net revenue decrease of $283,564 to the five-member governing board, saying that, while Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2018-19 revised general fund budget of $139 billion provides for an increase in Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), it also includes a cut to the “one-time mandate dollars,” according to the text of the district’s board briefs, which were issued Wednesday.
Source: Travis Unified School District leaders report $285K revenue decrease this year
Earlier today, Governor Jerry Brown signed more than 20 bills in the 2018-19 state budget package, his final budget as Governor. The new budget package forecasts revenues that are $8.0 billion higher — over a three-year window — than projected in January, due to strong economic growth.
The budget agreement prioritizes building up state reserves. As required by Proposition 2 (2014), $3.5 billion is set aside, with half going to the state’s rainy day fund and half to pay down debts. An optional $2.6 billion is deposited into a new, temporary reserve; $2 billion is placed in a discretionary reserve; and a new $200 million “safety net reserve” is created to help support CalWORKs and Medi-Cal services in an economic downturn. State reserves are expected to total almost $16.0 billion by the end of 2018-19.
Source: 2018-19 State Budget Invests in Reserves and an Array of Vital Services, Sets Course for Future Advances – California Budget & Policy Center
By Richard Bammer
The 2018-19 annual budget, with its accompanying LCAP, a review of the school district’s policy and administrative regulation about responses to immigration enforcement, and an update on the naming ceremony for the Dixon Community Performing Arts Center at Dixon High are on the agenda when Dixon Unified leaders meet tonight in Dixon.
Melissa Mercado, the district’s chief business official, will present the budget, which must be submitted to the Solano County Office of Education for approval on or before June 30, the end of the fiscal year.
Source: New $37M budget, district response to immigration enforcement on Dixon Unified School District agenda
By John Glidden
Despite already trimming $8 million from its budget, the Vallejo City Unified School District needs to cut an additional $13.2 million by June 2021 or it faces insolvency.
The district’s Chief Business Officer Hitesh Haria will present a resolution during Wednesday night’s school board meeting declaring the district’s need to slash $6.6 million from the district’s 2019-20 and 2020-21 budgets, respectively.
Haria will return with a list of proposed cuts when he presents the first interim report for the 2018-19 fiscal year budget in December.
While the district states that discovery of revenue enhancements can help to ease the budget situation, that appears unlikely.
The board will be asked to approve the district’s 2018-19 budget which shows the district continues to lose students, while also facing rising retirement costs.
Source: Vallejo trustees expected to approve budget
By Nick Sestanovich
The Governing Board of the Benicia Unified School District approved the budget for the 2018-19 school year at the final school board meeting of the 2017-18 year on Wednesday.
Chief Business Official Tim Rahill noted there were no changes to the budget from the May 31 meeting when a public hearing was held. Rahill said the district would be operating at a small one-time surplus of $88,000, which includes the costs of employee negotiations from the tentative agreements with the classified employees union and confidential/management group, which were unanimously ratified at Wednesday’s meeting.
Trustee Peter Morgan asked if costs associated with the Benicia Teachers Association were included in the budget, considering negotiations were ongoing and the tentative agreement was voted down. Rahill said he contacted both auditors and school services.
Source: School board OKs 18-19 budget
By John Glidden
The Vallejo school board’s annual tradition of receiving sobering budget numbers continued recently as trustees received news about the district’s need to trim $13 million from future fiscal year budgets.
Trustees held a public hearing during the June 6 board meeting on the proposed 2018-19 budget and following two fiscal years.
While the Vallejo City Unified School District is projecting a $226,754 general fund surplus for the new school year, the small cushion evaporates during fiscal years 2019-20, and 2020-21.
Source: Vallejo school board gets first look at upcoming budget
By John Glidden
Fiscal uncertainty continues for the Vallejo City Unified School District.
The Vallejo school board will hold a public hearing Wednesday night on its tentative 2018-19 fiscal year budget and the news isn’t good.
According to the budget’s executive summary, during the upcoming fiscal year, which begins on July 1, the district is projecting that it will be able to meet its current fiscal obligations.
However, the district may not be able to pay its bills in years 2019-20, and 20-21.
“During 2019-20, the district estimates that the General Fund is projected to deficit spend by $8.2 million resulting in an unrestricted ending General Fund balance of approximately $3.5 million — $1.3 million short of making the state required minimum 3 percent reserve for economic uncertainty,” according to the same summary. “During 2020-21, the district estimates that the General Fund is projected to deficit spend by $11 million resulting in an unrestricted ending General Fund balance of -$7.5 million (about) $12.4 million short of making the state required minimum 3 percent reserve for economic uncertainty and $13.1 million short of making the District Board reserve of 3.5 percent.”
Source: Vallejo school board to hold hearing on budget
By Nick Sestanovich
The Benicia Teachers Association voted to reject the tentative agreement Wednesday that had been reached with the Benicia Unified School District, Governing Board President Diane Ferrucci announced as Thursday’s school board meeting.
In January, BUSD had proposed a one-time bonus of 1 percent off the salary schedule for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. BTA countered with a 5 percent increase for 2017-18 and a 4.25 percent increase for 2018-19 school year. After being unable to reach an agreement, BTA requested to file for impasse. Teachers, students and parents voiced their disapproval at subsequent school board meetings, with some educators even providing lists of free services they would no longer offer to students outside of their contract hours unless an agreement was reached.
On May 17, a fact-finding hearing was held in which both parties presented their case to a neutral three-person panel so that a contract agreement could be reached. The meeting spilled over into the early morning hours of May 18 when a tentative agreement was reached. However, when the time came for the BTA to vote to accept the agreement on Wednesday, it was voted down.
Source: Teachers union votes down tentative agreement with district
By Nick Sestanovich
Budget numbers for the Benicia Unified School District are expected to fluctuate over the next few years, but Chief Business Official Tim Rahill is optimistic about next year when the district is projected to have a one-time $88,000 surplus. The latest budget update was provided in a public hearing at Thursday’s school board meeting.
Rahill said revenues are budgeted at $46.6 million, which has mostly come from funding through the state, Local Control Funding Formula and U.S. Department of Education title programs. Meanwhile, expenditures are projected at $46.5 million, which included certificated and classified salaries, employee benefits, supplies and capital outlay. Rahill said the tentative agreement with the Benicia Teachers Association were included in the figures, but the agreement was voted down Wednesday so it may be removed from the expenditures when the budget is brought back to the board for a vote.
Source: BUSD CBO: One-time surplus of $88K anticipated in 18-19 school year
By Jonathan Kaplan
When it comes to addressing the state’s shortage of bilingual teachers, there’s good news and bad news. First, the bad news: The shortage is serious. According to a survey conducted last year by Californians Together, a majority of California K-12 school districts (53%) reported having a shortage of bilingual teachers, and nearly 1 in 4 of all districts (23%) characterized it as a major shortage. In the aftermath of Proposition 58, a ballot measure approved in 2016 that removed longstanding restrictions on bilingual education, a majority of K-12 districts (58%) planned to expand their bilingual programs. However, a large share of these districts (86%) said that their current supply of bilingual teachers is insufficient to staff an expansion of their bilingual education programs.
The good news is that there are opportunities to make progress in addressing this shortage in the near term. California schools already employ thousands of teachers who have bilingual teaching certifications but who work in English-only classrooms. Last year’s budget package provided $5 million to create the Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program, a competitive grant program that provides training and support for teachers already authorized to teach English learners, but who have taught in English-only classrooms for at least three years. The program also is designed to help train bilingual paraprofessionals who want to become bilingual teachers.
Source: Will This Year’s Budget Provide Funding to Address the State’s Bilingual Teacher Shortage? – California Budget & Policy Center