School board approves $129 million budget

Plan includes $3 million in cuts

Facing twin challenges of fewer students and less money, the Gilroy Unified School District Board of Education approved an annual budget for the 2019-20 school year that includes nearly $3 million in budget cuts from the previous year and dips into cash reserves.

The total general fund revenues expected for the 2019-20 year are $128,946,781, with nearly half (48 percent) coming from property taxes and 36 percent from state aid, according to a June 13 staff report. The Local Control Funding Formula, used by the state to allocate funds by school district, yields in $105.4 million for the district.

However, budgeted 2019-20 expenditures for GUSD are nearly $2 million more—$130,639,071—with 42 percent (about $45.5 million) going to certificated salaries, 24 percent ($20.5 million) to employee benefits and 15 percent ($12.7 million) to classified salaries.

The deficit budget includes $2.8 million in cuts from 2018-19 spending levels, which were approved by the district trustees. Cuts, approved by the board Feb. 14, include nearly $2 million in staff reductions touching various departments, with the rest made by reductions in supplemental programs previously offered by district.

“These budget reductions are necessary to maintain fiscal stability, as the district continues to cope with declining enrollment and the corresponding loss of revenue,” according to staff.

Enrollment was at 11,118 students in the 2018-19 school term, down from 11,290 from the previous year and 11,483 from the 2016-17 year. With a loss of 365 students in two years, the district’s average daily attendance allotment ($10,505 per pupil) reduced by $3.8 million, according to the staff report.

Employer pension contributions, CalSTRS and CalPERS, increased by $1.7 million in the general fund, according to the staff report. Also an increased cost for the upcoming year is special education, for which GUSD has $24.2 million budgeted in 2019-20.

According to the district’s multi-year projection chart, revenues will increase to $130,624,498 in 2020-21 and $133,361,992 in 2021-22. However, each future fiscal year will come with $1 million in budget reductions. District staff are moving toward the closing of a school by August 2020, which they estimate will save $750,000.

The district’s reserves fund was nearly $10 million at the end of the 2018-19 school year.

Along with the budget, the board also approved the district’s Local Control Accountability Plan, which outlines “the goals, services and spending plan that address the needs of all pupils and each significant subgroup of the district.” The LCAP is a three-year plan based on eight state and local priorities: basic conditions of learning; implementation of Common Core State Standards; parental involvement; student achievement; student engagement; school climate course access; and other student outcomes.

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