Jul 26, 2014
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Will Prop. 30 Fix CUSD's Budget Hole? Nope

A post-election analysis shows more tough decisions lie ahead.

Will Prop. 30 Fix CUSD's Budget Hole? Nope

Although Prop. 30 was billed as a way to restore school funding, it won't be enough to stave off Capo Unified's multimillion-dollar budget woes.

If the measure had failed, CUSD faced a $51-million shortfall next year. But even after the passage of Prop. 30, the district is still looking to cut $31 million from the 2013-14 school year. That figure represents about 10 percent of the current budget.

In June, trustees put a bandage on the budget gap by adopting a one-year contract with employee groups.

Here’s how CUSD balanced the books for the 2012-13 school year:

  • Increased class sizes by an average of 1.5 students at all grade levels
  • Continued a 1.2 percent salary cut already in place
  • Continued three unpaid furlough days already in place
  • Added five unpaid instructional days, to be lopped off at the end of the school year
  • Froze regular salary step-and-column increases for six months

The district also made $11 million in cuts to other areas.

Class sizes in Capo already exceed state maximums. The district sought waivers to go beyond those limits. The waiver for grades 4-8 expires at the end of this school year. The waiver for kindergarten through third is good through June 2014.

So, any decision to continue with the current class sizes will take another vote from the board, at least for grades 4-8.

What are the trustees in the newly constituted board thinking? Only newcomer Jim Reardon responded to Patch’s inquiry.

"As a new board member and a member of a clear minority, I will have the unique opportunity to weigh in, but the decision about how to balance that budget will be made by the majority – the same people who brought CUSD to the point of this difficult decision," he said. "My priority will be to protect the quality of opportunity we provide our students."

Here’s state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson’s reaction to Prop. 30 passing: “Passage of Proposition 30 means parents and students across the state can breathe a collective sigh of relief, knowing that our schools will have the resources to stay open for the remainder of the year."

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