Is PUSD broke...or running out of operating cash?
At the April 7, PUSD Special Board Meeting, agenda item 4.0 reported the reserve fund will end the current year at $40,000. That’s $3.8 million short of the reserve requirement.
Agenda item 5.2 (which was approved) is to authorize borrowing $15 million dollars using Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes to “act as a cushion to the general fund in the event that we experience temporary cash flow needs”. PUSD reports they have “not required this cash flow support for the last few years”. The reliance on future revenues to fund current expenses is dangerous territory. (and pay interest - another new expense.) Sure, one might say that ‘everyone does it’. But so does the state of California – look at the fiasco they are in.
Is it any wonder the Pleasanton Chamber challenged the school board to address the long-term stability issues of school funding? Even after they supported Measure G? The Chamber had two representatives on the Budget Advisory Committee.
These are two well respected CPAs, one of whom participated on the Excellence Committee. What did they learn and share with the Chamber board such that the Chamber issued the strongly worded challenge?
Is it any wonder that Trustee Kernan, when leaving the Board Meeting early, left with a comment that said essentially, the meeting did little to address the number one problem (budget) facing the district?
(I would put a link to the webcast here so readers can hear the exact words, but PUSD hasn’t posted it.)
The PUSD façade is cracking. The evidence mounts further that PUSD is unwilling to do the hard work necessary to put their fiscal house into order. The call is now out to address the long-term stability issues of school ‘expenses’. For example, many PUSD employees will receive a salary increase next year. Call it what you will, step and column, contractual obligations, whatever. However you look at it, these are automatic salary increases of approximately $2,000,000 occurring every year. This will total $20,000,000 over the next four years. Stop piddling with cell phone bills and gasoline credit cards and whether teachers can or can not wear buttons in class. Slay the elephant (apologies to all elephants) in the room and get on with really Saving Pleasanton Schools.
This parcel TAX (aka Measure G) remains a "feel-good band-aid on undiagnosed trauma" and does not solve the structural spending issues of PUSD. Until that happens, the bleeding will continue.
Voting NO on Measure G will force PUSD to solve the real funding/spending issues and propose a real long-term solution.
Voting NO on Measure G will truly Save Pleasanton Schools.