School board to contemplate new round of fiscal planning

By From page A1 | January 09, 2013

The Davis school board will tackle short-term and long-term fiscal planning at its meeting Thursday, the first of the new year. Trustees will gather at 7 p.m. in the Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.

The Nov. 6 election saw California voters approve Proposition 30 — preventing a new round of “trigger cuts” in state funding for K-12 school districts — and Davis voters approve Measure E — a four-year local parcel tax that renewed an emergency tax approved in 2011.

Those approvals have put the Davis school district in a somewhat stronger cash position, since the board will not need to make program cuts due to revenue reductions. But neither measure replaces funding the district has already lost to state budget cuts. And Davis continues to face long-term issues relating to structural debt as various costs involved with operating a school district rise, at a time when state funding is essentially flat.

As the agenda summary notes, the district “still has not fully recovered from years of reduced state funding. As a district, we continue looking for ways to strengthen our academic program while protecting our fiscal health. The best way to accomplish both of these goals is through strategic short- and long-term planning.”

In addition, Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to release his annual budget Thursday morning, which reportedly will include a proposal to significantly overhaul state funding formulas for K-12 school districts, shifting more resources toward supporting school districts with high percentages of students from low-income families and students who are English learners.

While it is unlikely that district staff members will have had time to make a thorough analysis of the proposal in time for the evening board meeting, some trustees may choose to comment on the broader aspects of the governor’s plan.

Elsewhere on the agenda, the school board will:

* Hear a presentation on the Community Care program, in which local students raised charitable donations for medical programs and education programs in Kenya;

* Hear a presentation about academic programs at North Davis Elementary School; and

* Conduct brief public hearings relating to collective bargaining proposals from the Davis Teachers Association and the California School Employees Association, the two bargaining units representing most of the school district’s employees.

The meeting will be carried live on Davis cable Channel 17 and as streaming video at www.djusd.tv.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at [email protected] or 530-747-8055.

Jeff Hudson

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