Employee cuts erase red ink from school budget

By Maureen Robertson

For the first time in three years, Ramona Unified School District’s projected budget shows no red ink.

While revenues have stayed relatively the same — about $45.5 million — expenses have dropped, the result of salary and/or benefit concessions from district employees, Assistant Superintendent David Ostermann said during his budget update May 16. The district continues to spend more than it receives, but ending balances for this school year and the next two show no deficits.

This is the first time since March 25, 2010, that projections show the district able to meet its financial obligations for the current year and two additional years, said Ostermann. The state requires the three-year projections.

Among budget assumptions for 2013-14, Ostermann anticipates a 10 percent increase in health benefit costs, “step and column” increases for employees based on years on the job and educational units earned, retiree savings of $400,000 and a loan payment of $399,000 that will come out of the general fund.

He and other school officials planned to attend workshops this week to receive information about what the governor’s proposed budget revisions, released last week, mean to schools.

Gov. Brown’s May revision calls for a one-time statewide grant of $1 billion for school districts to implement the Common Core State Standards, new academic standards scheduled to go into effect in the 2014-15 school year.

Related posts:

  1. School district OKs $49.6M budget
  2. Schools brace for budget cuts
  3. Enrollment projections show an 11-year drop
  4. The only certainty in school budget is uncertainty
  5. School district proposes to reduce employee benefits or cut pay by 7%

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on May 22 2013. Filed under News, Ramona, Schools. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

3 Comments for “Employee cuts erase red ink from school budget”

  1. Jane Tanaka MD

    ( continued) The Friends of Ramona Unified Schools, is doing its pilot project with soap dispensers in the students' bathrooms. Even this fledgling project , of putting vandal proof soap dispensers with a year's supply of antibacterial soap , will cost atleast $18,000, for just the student bathrooms district wide. This is a pittance compared to the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to replace all the leaking roofs.
    FORUS has vowed not to get involved in the district politics.
    However, the public may not care to help with this issue if they aren't sufficiently aware .
    I was recently accused of forcasting that the school district will look like a " prison" if taken over by the State should RUSD become insolvent.. It wasnt what I intended.. but clearly the other blogger hasnt seen some of our campuses lately.
    Would the photojournalists of the Ramona Sentinel consider doing an investigative story on the deferred maintenance issues at RUSD?

    On Behalf of the Termites Linking Arms to Hold the School Buildings Together,
    Jane Tanaka MD.

  2. MainStreet Media

    No he didn't, Jane, and there's a reason. As I understand it, the governor's Local Control Funding Formula eliminates a level of categorical funding that designated money for specific programs such as Deferred Maintenance, Adult Education, Gifted & Talented and Instructional Materials and instead will give the money to districts to spend as they choose (local control). There apparently will be accountability tied to the money, and details of that were not available at the meeting.
    In February, the board in a 4-1 vote, with John Rajcic voting no, approved "flexing" $2.18 million of that level of categorical funding — they call it Tier 3 — to the general fund for the current school year. During the Feb. meeting, Mr. Ostermann explained that the state has allowed this since the 2009-09 school year.

  3. Jane Tanaka MD

    Thank you, Maureen. This may mean that unless the public raises it as an issue to the Board, the money will be "flexed" away from building maintenance. Deferred maintenance and health/safety issues will continue to worsen, and become worse of financial burden in the future, and potentially risk student/employee safety and health. It will take atleast a couple of years before another Bond measure can be placed on the ballot. Some say deferred maintenance shouldn't be covered by a Bond in the first place.Thus, we the public need to voluntarily mobilize to help our school district with its deferred repairs/replacements/maintenance.

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