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.

   
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