School board set to adopt deficit budget
The Sonoma Valley Unified School District board will be asked tonight to approve a deficit budget for the coming fiscal year.
The budget calls for spending more than $34.6 million on revenues of $33.8 million – a deficit of $843,545. This current fiscal year, which ends on June 30, the district ran a deficit of almost $4.6 million.
After cutting nearly $2.6 million for this coming fiscal year, the board will be facing additional cuts for the 2013-14 fiscal year. Expenditures are down from $39.9 million this fiscal year to a projected $34.7 million– or 13.2 percent – for the fiscal year starting July 1.
In a memo from John Bartolome, the district’s business manager, to Deputy Superintendent Justin Frese, Bartolome points out that the property tax growth rate is flat – 0 percent – for 2011-12 and 2012-13, but the district could see a 2 percent growth in 2013-14 and in 2014-15.
But Bartolome stated that the district held off making all the necessary cuts in one year because of the uncertainty in the state budget and local taxes, and instead used one-time reserves to cover the deficits.
“It is now clear that a quick economic recovery is not on the horizon, and the district must make additional cuts to balance the budget,” the memo continues.“At minimum, it appears that the district will have to cut $1,500,000 more of programs and services to remain solvent in the future.”
And that’s not even the worst news.
Bartolome points out that if the governor’s proposed tax hike fails in November, the district will have to cut an additional $441 per student – or $1.77 million, for the 2013-14 fiscal year. That’s $2.9 million the district could have to cut for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
Salaries and benefits for the coming fiscal year account for almost $27.6 million – or almost 80 percent of the district’s budget.
In a PowerPoint presentation to the board, Frese said that the Sonoma County Office of Education is advising all districts to plan for the $441 average daily attendance cut to happen.
In addition to the budget, the board will also approve the salary schedule for the coming school year and approve various board policies and regulations.
The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. today, Tuesday, June 19, at the district offices, 17850 Railroad Ave.