Board of Education to tackle MUSD budget cuts

MARTINEZ, Calif. – Martinez Unified School District Board of Education will decide Monday where it will trim hundreds of thousands of dollars from the budget it adopted in June 2018.

“Although the Governor’s January Budget Proposal does provide for a slight increase in funding for MUSD, the need to made reductions still exists due to increases in costs,” said District Superintendent C.J. Cammack in his report to the Board.

“The Board will be presented a list of potential reductions,” he said, adding that staff has recommended cuts of $300,000 to $500,000 to keep at least 3 percent of revenues in reserve, required by the State of California if the District is to remain certified.

Two weeks ago, Board members were reluctant to consider the staff’s higher recommendations, preferring to keep the cuts to the absolute minimum.

The Board also will vote whether to accept the second interim budget report, which looks not only at the current budget but makes predictions through Fiscal Year 2020-2021.

Among the assumptions is an increase in the California State Teachers Retirement System rates from 16.28 percent in the current fiscal year to 19.10 percent in 2020-21 and California Public Employees Retirement System rates increasing during the same period from 18.062 percent to 23.40 percent.

Revenues are predicted to be slightly better, from the $44,726,310 in the adopted budget to $44,782,137 in the second interim report.

Expenditures have decreased slightly, but still exceed expected revenues. The adopted budget predicted $47,143,568 and the second term projection is $46,864,227 despite a rise in projected salaries for both certificated and classified employees.

Benefits are projected to be lower, from the $13,339,393 adopted last year to $12,052,487 in the second interim projection; books and supplies dropping from the adopted $1,670,800 to the second interim projection of $1,446,355; and other outgo and transfers decreasing from $710,705 in the adopted budget to $626,518 in the second interim projection.

Still, services and contracts are higher than budged, from $6,156,789 to $7,427,272; and capital outlay has gone from the budgeted $9,940 to $11,078 by the second interim.

Certificated salaries, for teachers, account for $43 percent of the budget; classified salaries are 11 percent. Ten percent of the budget goes to health and welfare benefits and teacher retirement accounts for another 10 percent.

Midyear projects of revenues this budget year is $4,782,138 and expenditures, $46,864,228, with an anticipated reserve at 9.13 percent. In Fiscal Year 2019,20, revenues are expected to be $45,396,139 and expenditures are predicted to be $46,208,157, with reserves expected to be 7.54 percent.

In 2020-21, revenues are anticipated to be $46,626,303 with expenditures of $47,522,041 and reserves of 5.84 percent.

The structural deficit shows a decline from the current year, but does not disappear, and assistant superintendent Helen Rossi said the District will continue to be challenged to find ways to decrease its spending.

The Board will vote Monday on the updates of the District’s Safe School Plans for each of its campuses. Once approved, the plans excluding certain confidential portions, will be posted on the district’s website.

The topics covered include bully prevention, vaping, dress codes, behavior expectations, a student’s bill of rights, safety entering and leaving the schools, visitors, emergency radio use, the Sandy Hook Promise plans to reduce youth violence, responses to emergencies and how they’re managed,

Also on Monday’s agenda is consideration of prequalification documents for proposed repairs to the Alhambra High School swimming pool.

The panel also will hear a report on its revised local plan that must be adopted and submitted to the Contra Costa Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA). The SELPA Governing Board has analyzed its contract language used with providers of services for students with disabilities, and has modified its wording concerning indemnification.

The Board of Education will meet in a closed session at 5:30 p.m. Monday to discuss a personnel matter and a potential student expulsion.

The regular meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the MUSD Board Room, 921 Susana St.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *