New budget offers good news and questions for PUSD
Includes some new money, changes in funding, more flexibility
Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget contains some positive news for the district, along with a number of questions that will be answered in the coming months.
Deputy Superintendent Luz Cazares said the district would receive an extra $19 daily per student based on attendance in the coming year under the governor's plan. That would come to about $276,000 in extra money for the 2013-14 school year.
Brown also wants to allocate $1.8 billion statewide to eliminate cross-year borrowing, when the state holds on to funds owed to schools. That costs districts money because they have to take short-term loans to cover costs.
The proposed budget also includes an increase in cost of living payments, and would free schools to use money originally allocated for some programs anywhere they want.
Adult education would become the purview of the community college system, although Cazares said the district could keep money it has budgeted for it.
Among the questions is what's now termed the local control funding formula, formerly the weighted school funding formula. That would send more money to districts based on the number of reduced price lunches they serve, the number of English language learners and the number of foster children in the community.
It's unknown now what of that money the district would be eligible for.
"This is the first step of a very long process," Cazares told the board. That process includes discussions by the state Legislature, Brown's May revision of the budget and approval by the Legislature.
"We have to make decisions on the May revise but also adopt a budget with some uncertainty," Board President Jeff Bowser said.
Cazares said Brown hopes that his changes to how education is funded will be his legacy.
"It's going to change the landscape of what school districts look like in California," she said.
Board members worried that people had the wrong idea about the district's financial situation with the passage of Proposition 30, which doesn't add money but merely means fewer cuts.
The board also heard about a scaled back summer school program that would focus specifically on struggling students, particularly those at Valley View Elementary and Pleasanton Middle School, which have been targeted for extra attention because of poor performance on some tests.
It approved a job description for a summer school program coordinator, at a stipend of $8,000.