School board approves budgets

$5.6 million made in cuts
By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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The Western Placer Unified School District?s 2012-13 budget was approved Tuesday night, with very little discussion on the school board?s part. The budget was presented to the board by the district?s Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Joyce Lopes, who talked about how the budget will be impacted by the state?s budget and Gov. Jerry Brown?s 2012 tax initiative. ?Many trailer bills are still waiting to be approved and it does rely heavily on the tax initiative,? Lopes said. ?The best case, we are looking at flat funding for education.? Flat-funding means the district will receive a flat amount of funding from the state. Lopes said trailer bills are ?additional bills that support and implement the components of the (state) budget.? The tax initiative, which Lopes said is a tax increase initiative, goes to voters in November. If the tax initiative fails, Lopes said, the district will lose $441 per student for average daily attendance (ADA) revenue limit funding. The state?s 2012-2013 budget ?proposes flat-funding for Proposition 98,? a state proposition Lopes said ?provides funding for K though 14 institutions.? It was passed in 1988. Flat-funding will happen if the governor?s tax initiative passes and, Lopes said, ?if it doesn?t, our budget will be cut.? If flat-funding occurs, the district would receive $5,244 per student for average daily attendance and if the initiative doesn?t pass, Lopes said, it could result in a mid-year cut that would drop average daily attendance funding to $4,789. The district targeted $5.75 million in budget cuts for the 2012-13 budget, but achieved $5.6 million in cuts. Those cuts included $2.3 million in cuts for staffing and $2.1 million for programs, as well as $150,000 in technology and $248,680 for efficiency, which Lopes said includes utilities, department and site operating budgets. ?A fair amount of the cuts in 2012-13 were one-time, such as furloughs, and we could do them again,? Lopes said. ?We need $6.5 million in cuts for (the) 2013-14 (budget) to maintain a balanced budget.? Proposed revenue for the 2012-13 general fund budget is $42.9 million, with total expenditures at $47.9 million, according to Lopes. ?We are right on track and have spent down our reserves. We?ve done everything we could to keep cuts away from staffing,? Lopes said. ?Once we ride through this, we need to focus on restoring our reserves.? Brian Haley, a school board member, complimented Lopes by saying ?good report.? Earlier in the meeting, Ed Cummins, a Lincoln High School drama teacher who retired at the end of this school year (June 8), commented on the budget after receiving a retirement plaque. ?I know that the board has to do certain things because the state mandates it, I know there are cuts and an obligation to make things work,? Cummins said. ?I?ve always been curious if you?ve ever sent a letter back to the state and said, ?enough is enough.? The teachers in our classrooms and the fine administrators know as professionals that enough is enough. It?s not good for the kids.? Cummins urged the board to send a letter to the state. ?I know you have to keep making the cuts but send one letter saying you are wrong,? Cummins said. School board members did not respond to Cummins? comment but Superintendent Scott Leaman responded. ?Working closely on the budget, and along with Ed?s comments, I reiterate how sad it is based on funding from the state of California that we are looking at another year of reducing the budget,? Leama