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Budget revise gives TUSD a helping hand
The Turlock Unified School District’s farm will soon receive $1.25 million in upgrades, including a swine facility and the creation of a live learning lab, as part of the district’s $631,000 increase in state funding following the governor’s May Budget Revise. - photo by File Photo

The governor’s May Revise budget means a funding boost for K-12 education, including the Turlock Unified School District.

As part of his final budget proposal before leaving office at the end of the year, Governor Jerry Brown in January provided a burst of spending for education in 2018-2019. As state revenues have continued to flow since then, the revised budget released last week reflected an increase of $3 billion, resulting in TUSD seeing some increases to their state funding.

With an increased Proposition 98 minimum guarantee – a voter-mandated budget formula that determines annual revenue for K-12 schools and community colleges – the May Revision increases funding for the Local Control Funding Formula for K-12 education, providing a total increase of $68 million from January. This means the LCFF will be fully implemented two years ahead of schedule, taking into account the needs of low-income families, families that are learning English and foster care children.

With full implementation of the LCFF in 2018-2019, TUSD Chief Financial Officer Ronna Fraser anticipates the district to receive $134,425,179 – an increase of $631,000 from the district’s January budget projections. The amount adds up to $9,900 in spending per pupil throughout the district. 

TUSD 2018-2019 LCAP Expenditures

·         Textbook Adoptions - $2 million

·         Instructional Coaches - $2.7 million

·         ELD Teachers - $680,000

·         Student Support - $704,164

·         Restricted Maintenance - $3.9 million

·         Technology - $1.6 million

·         Home to School Transportation - $1.9 million

·         Safety - $1.5 million

·         Career Technical Education - $3 million

·         District Farm - $1.25 million

·         Approved ongoing transfer - $2.2 million

As part of the full-funded LCFF, Governor Brown also called for parent-friendly, transparent processes which allow families to have a say in what is funded. Fraser believes the district has already accomplished this, she said during a budget presentation at Tuesday’s TUSD Board of Trustees meeting.

“The governor continues his quest for greater transparency in the use of LCFF funds…he wants to see this in a manner that’s parent-friendly and includes graphical representations when possible,” Fraser said. “I believe our LCAP already fulfills those requirements.”

TUSD’s Local Control and Accountability Plan is a planning process that determines what LCFF funding will be spent on, and includes a stakeholder survey that parents and other community members complete, pointing out what they think the district’s top priorities should be when it comes to spending.

Included in the 2018-2019 LCAP are expenditures like Career Technical Education, which the district anticipates spending $3 million on, and the district farm, which next year will see $1.25 million in improvements, including a new swine facility and the creation of a live learning lab.

The district will not, however, receive additional funding for Special Education, and Fraser stated that increases included in the budget will not be sufficient to support needs for staffing and facilities. One-time Average Daily Attendance funding is anticipated to meet that need, which in total is $4.6 million for the district.

Other expenditures for TUSD in 2018-2019 include funding to maintain the district’s instructional coaches, for textbooks, to increase the student to device ratio to 2:1 and support the district network technician, for home to school transportation and for safety, including School Resource Officers, campus supervision, trainings, roofing and a new emergency response system.

“These are all topics that we discuss regularly, and we’ll see how this money goes out and whether there are changes in the LCAP or changes in additional funding to sites,” Fraser said.

A public hearing for the LCAP and budget will take place at the TUSD Board of Trustees meeting on June 5, and the two plans are expected to be adopted at the June 19 meeting.