Schools to get $800K more from state

The Sonoma Valley Unified School District will see a one-time payment of about $800,000 from the state next fiscal year as it moves from being a basic aid district into being funded by the state’s LCFF (Local Control Funding Formula).

A basic aid district is one that receives the majority of its funding through local property taxes and Sonoma became a basic aid district during the recent economic turndown over the last decade.

LCFF is the state’s new funding formula.

John Bartolome, the district’s chief business official, told the school board in his second interim financial report at its March 8 meeting that the district can meet its financial obligations this year and the next two fiscal years.

He said the district this fiscal year will have $38.1 million in unrestricted income and $30.8 million in unrestricted expenses.

“I want to remind the board that 91 percent of our expenses goes to salary and benefits,” he said.

“The governor proposed a $214 ADA (average daily attendance) in discretionary funds that would bring the district $800,000,” he said.

In his projections for the coming year, Bartolome included a number of financial assumptions such as salary increases, medical benefits increases, and increases in retirement funding for both certified staff and classified staff.

He projected the district to have budget deficits in the next three years of $3,520 in 2015-16; $450,734 in 2016-17 and $679,109 in 2017-18.

Even though it will be deficit spending, the district will have almost a $3.1 million balance in the general fund, $1.4 million balance in the 3 percent Reserve Fund and $3.7 million in the Special Reserve fund at the end of this fiscal year, June 30.

“The district is able to meet its financial obligations in the budget year and subsequent two years,” he said. “And the projected ending balance, cash balance and reserves are adequate.”

The board approved the second interim report.

In other business, the board received its annual report from the Citizens’ Oversight Committee on the $40 million Measure H bond that voters approved in November 2010. The six-member committee met four times since last September.

Its report showed that over the last year, the district spent $108,218 in Measure H funds, and since its inception, the committee has approved expenditures of $9.8 million and an additional $3.9 million for two funds.

In other action, the board:

Recognized Ava Burk and Joe Costanzo as Altimira students of the year.

Approved a course of study in 3D Design.

Approved a course of study for Agriculture and Soil Chemistry.

And received the audits from the Sonoma Charter School and Woodland Star Charter School.

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