Friday, May 25, 2012

From the Superintendendent: Sobering Budget News from Sacramento

Now that the Governor’s May Revise Budget has been released, the District CFO team is finalizing our budget and the associated deficit target for implementing the 2012/13 fiscal year on July 1. In the past few months, we have watched with growing concern as the state’s projected tax revenues have consistently fallen well below projection. This trend prompted Governor Brown to recently report that the state-wide deficit has grown from almost $9 billion dollars to almost $16 billion dollars. Given this sobering news, the Governor’s May Revise did not improve the funding outlook for K-12 education in our state. On contrary, the updated budget points to even deeper potential cuts to education based on the outcome of the November ballot measure.

With this as backdrop, this past Tuesday, the Board of Education took the very difficult step of approving final certificated layoff notices for 1,534 teachers, nurses, counselors and librarians. Based on the fluid nature of resignations, retirements, leaves of absence, and the like, we do expect that several hundred of our certificated employees will be called back before the school year starts to fill vacancies. But the unfortunate reality remains that the district will not be able to recall more than 1,000 of our certificated staff. There is simply no new revenue in the immediate future that would override this terrible occurrence. You can see a video of my remarks to the Board here that further details the situation.

The district remains open to begin discussion with our employee unions about alternative solutions to these layoffs. We remain hopeful that we can work together to find a way to reduce the number of these layoffs and mitigate the impacts that these budget cuts will have on our students.