School board mulls $40M budget

The trustees of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District got their first look at the proposed 2014-15 budget recently, and will vote on the document at a special meeting on Thursday, June 26.

The budget calls for spending $40.4 million on revenues of a shade over $38 million – a deficit of $2.3 million. But the district has a carryover balance of $5.6 million as rainy-day funds that it can tap into.

At the June 10 meeting, John Bartolome, the district’s chief financial officer, told the school board that 83 percent of the district’s budget is in salaries and benefits, 13 percent is in services, while 4 percent goes to books and supplies.

Bartolome also told the board that the district is budgeting a 2 percent increase in tax revenues each year, despite the fact that this year’s taxes came in at about 7 percent. And he said that the district should continue to receive about $1 million a year in residual funds that used to go to the local redevelopment agencies – one in the city and another in the Springs.

The deficit grew by more than $587,000 because of changes in special education revenue and costs – the district will receive $175,000 less in special education income and there will be a $385,000 increase in special education expenses because of additional students.

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