Trustees ponder potential $6.9 million in new cuts

By From page A1 | October 03, 2012

The Davis school board will ponder several budget options on Thursday night that the trustees undoubtedly hope they never will have to implement — contingencies if Proposition 30 and Measure E fail at the polls on Nov. 6.

Prop. 30 is Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to fund education and public safety through temporary tax hikes. Measure E is a Davis parcel tax that would renew an expiring “emergency” tax and impose a new tax if the statewide measure fails.

The agenda packet notes that “Last spring, in order to prepare for 2012-13, the Davis school district reduced $3.2 million in spending by cutting 51 full-time equivalent positions. These layoffs increased class sizes and reduced districtwide services to students and families. Moreover, the cuts did not solve our budget challenges.

“Now, the state’s threat of a $440-per-student midyear trigger cut (if Prop. 30 fails), combined with the (upcoming) expiration of Measure A means the potential loss of an additional $6.9 million in revenue to the district’s general fund. We must put a fiscal plan in place that addresses these potential cuts in the event the November tax initiatives do not pass.”

If Prop. 30 is rejected by California voters, the Davis district will be hit immediately with a $3.7 million budget cut by the state. The agenda material indicates this would translate into a reduction of 67 full-time positions. Prop. 30 requires a simple majority to pass.

If local Measure E fails, the $3.2 million annually that is being provided under Measure A, which expires in June 2013, will disappear from the school district’s budget. This would translate into a reduction of another 44 full-time positions.

The agenda material indicates that a school closure could reduce the district’s expenses by $300,000 to $900,000, depending on the size of the school or schools to be closed.

Other options to be discussed would be additional furlough days (shortening the school year) and program reconfiguration within the district.

Thursday’s discussion is expected to carry over into another budget-related agenda item for the Oct. 18 school board meeting.

Elsewhere on Thursday’s agenda, the school board will:

* Hear an update on the proposed reorganization of the district’s technology department, including a report on services that might be shared by the school district and city government.

* Review state education code and Davis school district policy regarding attendance, and the district’s responsibilities for students who accumulate too many unexcused absences.

“Parents and guardians are frequently under the impression that calling in the absence to the school automatically excuses the student,” the agenda notes. “While that phone call accounts for the student’s whereabouts, which is paramount to keeping him or her safe, it is the reason for the absence, not the parent call, that determines if the absence is excused or unexcused in compliance with ed code.”

° Conduct a brief public hearing and possible approval of a resolution relating to the sufficiency of instructional materials.

Thursday’s meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Community Chambers at Davis City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd. 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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