Strategic Planning Sessions "Hijacked" to Discuss Grave Budget Issues Looming for All Schools

Posted by: Maria Johnson 4 years, 1 month ago

Strategic Planning Sessions "Hijacked" to Discuss Grave Budget Issues Looming for All Schools

Blue Ribbon Group of Citizens Prepare for Tough Talks

This year's District Strategic Plan Steering Committee meetings will prove to be unique and challenging. This group made up of "Blue Ribbon" community members conducts the annual review and revision of our school district's strategic plan. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 12, 2013, from 9:00 - Noon in the District Office Board Room at 201 Sixth Street.

However, this year because of the overwhelming distress caused by the state's new funding formula, the Superintendent will be "hijacking" these meetings and offering specific details on the funding future of Coronado schools. This group will brainstorm cuts that will need to be made in order for the District to remain financially solvent. For more information on the current state of finance, search for "Budget" on the website to find documents that will help to explain why this meeting is imperative.

The new state Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) changed the funding game for all school districts in California. Just as the State finally began inching toward economic recovery, the LCFF undercut CUSD's access to restored funding.  Instead of rapidly restoring state cuts, LCFF extends the period of cuts for school districts through 2021. 

The new supplemental money from LCFF is earmarked for students who are English Language Learners and/or economically disadvantaged, of which CUSD has a very small percentage. More money or "concentration" funding is provided to districts that have larger percentages of these students. LCFF relies on the state economy rising steadily over this 8 year period, something that has not occurred for over 40 years. Because this new formula promises to return school budgets to the 2007-2008 funding level, LCFF guarantees that California schools, in particular Coronado Unified schools, will remain dead last in per pupil funding as compared to other states for many years.

Based on the latest revenue and expenditure forecasts, the district is projecting a structural deficit of $3.1 million for 2013-14.  While reserves will keep the district afloat for the 2013-14 school year, sadly, it appears that the district will be insolvent by Spring of 2014.

Given current projections in order to meet the minimum state mandated reserve requirements (3% of total expenditures), CUSD will need to increase revenue or decrease expenditures by a total of $2.7M in the 2014-15 school year. An additional $1.6M in ongoing cuts will be needed in 2015-16 to continue to meet the minimum state mandated reserves. These new revenues or cuts must be ongoing in order to meet state mandated budget requirements of predicting solvency in the current and two subsequent years.