Irvine school district will have potential $10 million budget gap
By Samantha Schaefer
February 23, 2012 | OC Register
California’s potential 2012-2013 budget plan could cost the Irvine Unified School District $11.5 million.
Next year, K-12 schools could be hit with $4.8 billion “trigger cuts” if Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed tax hikes do not gain voter approval in the November election. That comes out to a loss of about $10.4 million for IUSD, , John Fogarty, assistant superintendent of business services, said during a Board of Education study session. That, in addition to proposed cuts to home-to-school and special education transportation, would come out to district losses of $11.5 million for 2012-2013.
The district has $15 million in reserves for future cuts. Funds were set aside last year in preparation for declining state support and mid-year cuts were not as severe as expected, leaving the district with higher reserves than expected, Fogarty said.
But with an expected budget shortfall of about $13.5 million next year, the district will have a deficit of $25 million should the governor’s tax hike fail. That leaves the district to bridge a potential $10 million gap after reserves are used. To prepare for the potential cuts, the district has implemented a budget freeze for the remainder of the school year, Fogarty said.
The Governor’s tax proposal, which he hopes to get on the November ballot, would generate an estimated $6.9 billion and includes an increase for high earners and a half-cent sales tax increase through 2016, according to the district.
Alternate proposals are being discussed in Sacramento, and there will likely be other tax initiatives on the November ballot, Fogarty said.
Teachers must be notified by March 15 whether they might be let go for the coming year, and school districts must submit balanced budget proposals by June 30. The state shares the budget deadline, but often misses it, leaving districts to estimate whether the outline for K-12 funding will change in the approved budget.
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