Saturday, October 15, 2011


The funding environment of public agencies in California, including school districts, has been and will continue to be that of great uncertainty and fluidity. At this point in time, one of the realities we continue to face is a large budget deficit of approximately $60 million that must be resolved to balance the 2012/13 budget. Complicating this challenge is the possibility that the Governor will impose (“trigger”) significant midyear cuts to education should state revenues fall short of projections by this December. As a result, parallel budget tracks are evolving.

Over the past several weeks, district staff has been briefing the Board on our General Fund departmental budgets as a starting point for the development of next year’s budget. Unfortunately and concurrently, we are also considering a strategy to accommodate upwards of $30 million in midyear cuts that would be implemented in January. Our district staff, parents, and the greater community must be informed about these activities and this debilitating and deepening budget crisis. During the next 60 days, supporters of public education must voice their concern with all stakeholder groups, especially our state representatives as we approach a midyear trigger decision in Sacramento. We are all in this together and must pursue the most genuine of collaborative and courageous conversations about difficult trade-offs and shared sacrifice.

I truly appreciate your loyalty to public education and our students in these unprecedented times. In closing, I encourage you to read my commentary published this week in the San Diego Union Tribune.


Bill Kowba