Stockton, CA / Bilingual Weekly
Worse yet. If voters do not extend the state tax increase in the June 7 elections, the deficit will grow to $28.3 million. A proposal is already in the works and it includes a 10.7 percent reduction on the District’s 1.800 teachers’ wages.
According to the 2011-12 Governor’s Budget Summary the ongoing recession has hit California and the State’s budget particularly hard over the past three years forcing public officials to make dramatic cuts in services. Public education has been the hardest hit, having lost 14.5% of its funding since 2007-08.
Because over 74% of the District’s funding comes from state sources, the District has had to wrestle with drastically reduced funding levels for almost three years —between 2007-08 and 2010-11 the District should have received over $114 million more than what was actually provided. Then, due to the continued use of one-time revenues (federal stimulus money) and risky assumptions outlined in the State budget, the District continues to project large budget deficits for this and future years.
In preparation for the 2010-11 fiscal year, the District implemented $32.5 million in budget solutions to help close its projected budget deficit. “For example, Central Office services including management/confidential employees and non-labor expenses have taken a 20% reduction since 2007-08” said SUSD CFO Jason Willis in his report to the Board of Education, “compared to other neighboring school districts that have already asked for employee concessions for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 fiscal years, Stockton USD has protected employee from those types of cuts. Unfortunately, the pervasive and ongoing fiscal crisis no longer allows the District to continue.”
If taxes aren’t extended this coming June, SUSD will lose $349 per student in Average Daily Attendance (ADA), receiving $4,870 instead $5,219.
SUSD negotiations with the district’s eight unions are ongoing.