Board Update on the 2012-13 District Budget: March 29, 2012
On March 21, the Governing Board held its fifth study session on the 2012-13 District budget. In its previous session (March 9), the Board approved issuance of layoff notices to reduce certificated staff by 13.6 “full-time” equivalents. As explained in the March 21 Update, the Board needed to take action to meet a statutory deadline of March 15. Layoff notices can be rescinded at any time, even after a May 15 deadline for Board action that would make the layoffs final.
Moving forward from March 15, the Board wanted to review all other potential savings with the ongoing intent of minimizing impacts on students. That said, the Board convened on March 21 to review prospective expenditure reductions for the following budget components:
• the CHS organic farm
Additionally, the Board heard a proposal to charge an “indirect” cost for administering the multiple private grants that fund the Carpinteria Children’s Project at Main. Further, the Board directed staff to convene a meeting with the certificated bargaining unit to negotiate a retirement incentive package that would yield some savings and potentially save some jobs.
Finally, the Board expressed an interest in other savings that would have to be negotiated with the bargaining unit. These include reduction/elimination of professional development and/or work (non-student) days for teachers (currently, there are 5) and changes in health benefit plans. Through negotiations, a contingency plan could be worked out that would go into effect should one of the November tax initiatives fail to gain voter approval.
After reviewing the aforementioned options, the Board directed staff to model budget scenarios that would aspire to minimize impacts to students while maintaining solvency in 2012-13 and in each of two fiscal years thereafter. This would involve some level of deficit spending (using reserves) that the Board would find acceptable. Staff was asked work on priority options that get to different levels of deficit spending through what would likely be a combination of expenditure reductions and some revenue generation.
The Board continues to acknowledge the ongoing uncertainty regarding public school funding, prompted by the state’s hefty budget shortfall (currently $9.2 billion) and the resultant need to raise revenue (e.g., voter-approved tax initiative). As stated in the March 21 update, the Board will be looking to the Governor’s “May Revise” to obtain new information on the state’s fiscal health and on any action the state legislature may take subsequent to the Revise.
The Board’s next budget study session will be held on Wednesday, April 18 (5:30 p.m., City Hall).
For all interested staff, there will be a budget information/Q & A meeting on Monday, April 2, 3:15 p.m., at the Carpinteria High School Cafeteria. Attendance is not mandatory. The meeting is closed to the public.