For once there is some good news for school district employees in this down economy. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed his state budget revise on May 14 with additional cuts to education, specifically for child care, but those cuts will not affect the Turlock Unified School District’s budget.
The additional funding cut reprieve allowed the TUSD Board of Trustees to rescind most of the 76 pink slips they had handed out earlier this year at their Tuesday board meeting, as well as put aside their second list of potential cuts they no longer have to make as of now.
The only cut to education in the May revised state budget is a $1.3 billion budget reduction from child care services, but TUSD doesn’t provide a child care service so they are left unaffected.
“We are still struggling with cuts received from the governors January proposal,” said Lori Decker, TUSD chief financial officer. “It is nice that it’s not worse, but it’s still a tough time in education finance.”
TUSD has rescinded a total of 58 pink slips leaving the rest just in case union negotiations fall through, said Sonny Da Marto, TUSD superintendent. The 19 pink slips that were not rescinded total to the amount of money the district could potentially save if teachers agree to take a two percent pay cut through negotiations.
District administrators have announced that they will take a two percent pay cut.
“I am very very pleased that we are able to rescind those layoff notices,” Da Marto said. “It is my hope that there will be no layoffs this year.”
From the governor’s budget proposal in January the district was expecting $3.9 million in cuts plus additional cuts after the May revise. TUSD will experience no additional cuts from the May revise, Decker said.
The $3.9 million deficit comes from two state cuts and a decrease of student attendance. Student attendance dropped 0.5 percent in Average Daily Attendance costing the district $825,000.
One of the state cuts is a decrease in Cost of Living Adjustments by 0.38 percent. The COLA is based on many different inflation components, such as employee compensation, services, structures and nondurable goods. The COLA is based on the annual growth rates of these components.
Another cut coming from the state level is a cost per student. The governor proposed a one-time $262 cut per student last school year and is now taking an additional $200 per student.
Currently, the district is expecting cuts to total $3.5 million after receiving official numbers for their ADA and no additional cuts from the May revise. The district received their official ADA numbers in April giving them 57 more students in attendance than expected. Their ADA loss went from $825,000 in January to $550,000 in April.
To balance the budget for the 2010/2011 school year, the board of trustees approved budget cuts at their April 20 meeting. The cuts they approved are to retain Medi-Cal Administrative Assistance funds, reduce school site/district office applications, reduce restricted maintenance contributions, increase portion of assistant principal salaries paid by categorical funds and eliminate GED testing. These cuts total to a savings of $2,359,942.
These approved cuts leave the district short about $1.2 million. The district is hoping to balance their budget gap with employee negotiations, asking teachers to take a two percent cut in their salary, freeze in step and column raises and reducing or eliminating mileage stipends.
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