Elk Grove Unified School District Council on June 28 approved its district’s interim budget plan to spend more than $ 881.1 million in the 2022-23 school year that began this month.
This plan was described by district financial director Shannon Hayes as a “reserved budget” as it was drafted before Governor Gavin Newsom and the state legislature approved its new state budget that includes funding for K-12 school districts. Such districts are required by state law to approve the budget plan for their next fiscal year before June 30th.
Elk Grove Unified staff based their new balanced budget plan on K-12 education spending proposals on the governor’s May review budget. The school board previously reviewed this plan at its June 14 meeting.
“While this is a placeholder budget, it’s still a budget,” Hayes said June 28. “I’m very happy with the way the budget turned out; it’s good to be able to add money instead of taking money back.”
The school board voted 6-0 to approve this budget. Board of Trustees Tony Perez was absent from the meeting.
Newsom signed the new state budget plan two days after the Elk Grove school board vote. This state budget includes a $ 37.2 billion increase in funding from Proposition 98 for K-12 school districts and a $ 7.9 billion Emergency Recovery for Learning Recovery Fund that gives districts five years to spend on new programs that support students from low-income families.
Elk Grove Unified staff will return to the council with a revised budget plan for 2022-2023 that includes information from the new state budget. Administrators will review this 45-day review plan for approval on July 19 or August 9. The final budget plan will support educational services for more than 63,000 students enrolled in 68 schools, including the new Miwok Village Elementary School in Elk Grove.
In early June, the district’s superintendent of commercial facilities and services, Rob Pierce, hinted to the board that they will see dramatic changes in the revised budget plan.
“This 45-day review will be different from any in my 22 (working) years,” he said.
According to Elk Grove Unified’s interim budget plan submitted to the state, district staff projected $ 862 million in revenue, including $ 637 million in state funds from the Local Control Funding Formula. Its $ 881 million general fund spending plan includes $ 359 million in teacher salaries and $ 260 million in employee benefits. This leads to a budget deficit of $ 19 million and $ 1.9 million in transfers between funds that would be covered by the balance of the initial budget fund of $ 147.9 million. Overall, the final fund balance would be $ 126 million.
At the district meeting on June 14, Elk Grove Unified Superintendent Christopher Hoffman stressed that the budget plan works to retain employees even though the district has experienced a decline in student enrollment in the last two years of the COVID pandemic -19. According to reports, the district experienced enrollment drops of 412 students in the 2020-21 school year, and then 893 students the following year.
“We are maintaining the status quo with respect to staff, although we have had reductions in the number of children,” Hoffman told the council on June 14. “We’re trying to make sure we have the level of service our families are expecting.”
During that meeting, Perez and Councilwoman Carmine Forcina asked district staff about the lack of in-depth board discussions about budget priorities for the 2022-23 school year.
“Each of our concerns needs to be addressed before a final budget is approved, and if that doesn’t happen, the negative vote of seven,” Forcina said of the school board.
Hoffman noted that the district was already spending deficit on its budget plan that was presented to the council on June 14th. He said he has been affected by council decisions on school curricula and district agreements with labor organizations.
“It’s where we are now,” Hoffman said. “If we do something we are doing right now, we will increase deficit spending next year.”
Hoffman and Pierce stressed that their district was presenting a position marker budget as Newsom and the state legislature did not agree on their new state budget at the time.
“I jokingly said he was a king for the day, that he would require the legislature and the governor to adopt a (state) budget in May,” Pierce said.
Elk Grove school board approves tentative budget for 2022-23 year | News Source link Elk Grove school board approves tentative budget for 2022-23 year | News