South Pasadena Unified School District

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Updates » SPUSD Budget Fast Facts - April 20, 2020

SPUSD Budget Fast Facts - April 20, 2020

SPUSD Budget Fast Facts is a brief recap of funding and budgetary actions affecting the SPUSD community. Every effort will be made to share regular updates with current information. This synopsis is not intended to offer lengthy explanations, but instead to ensure that important details are provided.
What is the story with SPUSD’s budget?
  • Since California adopted the Local Control Funding Formula in 2013, SPUSD has received funding in the lowest 10% as compared with other unified districts in the state.
  • Districts with higher percentages of foster youth, low-income families, and English Language Learners annually receive more money per student.
  • 10% of the SPUSD total budget comes from local funding sources like SPEF, PTAs, booster clubs, parcel tax, and rental property.
  • SPUSD also receives funding through a local bond measure (Measure SP). This fund is restricted and may only be used for school construction projects.
  • In January 2020, the Governor reduced projected funding for public education which resulted in an annual loss of approximately $500,000 in revenue for SPUSD.
How is the California budget normally addressed?
  • In a normal year, California’s Governor announces the proposed, balanced state budget in January, offers a May revision after the public, legislative members and subcommittees have voiced opinions and then the legislature has until June 15 to vote on a final budget that the Governor must sign and that will begin on July 1 each year.
What will the process look like this year?
  • The Governor presented a state budget in January; however, lawmakers have shared with education leaders that the May revision will include reductions that affect public education during the current year and for the next fiscal year (2020-2021). State leaders are also expected to make additional reductions to the education budget in August 2020.
  • Lawmakers are unlikely to consider new priorities from stakeholders during this time. Instead, they will likely focus only on state needs related to the COVID-19 crisis and making reductions in State programs including public education funding.
What has SPUSD done so far?
  • SPUSD Superintendent and School Board members regularly advocate for public education funding with local legislators like Senator Anthony Portantino and others.
  • SPUSD administrators attend weekly meetings with the County Office of Education and neighboring districts to discuss strategies in preparation for significant decreases in education funding.
  • SPUSD Superintendent and Board members participate in statewide associations that provide guidance on budget planning such as the School Employers Association of California, the Association of California School Administrators, California School Boards Association, among many others.
  • Over the last several years SPUSD has reduced expenses that had minimal effects on employees and programs and has added revenue sources to help meet the budget challenges. Examples include energy reductions, water reductions, increased grant applications, increased use of property assets, and much more.
  • Much of this work has been accomplished behind-the-scenes to keep our district solvent while offering expanded and new academic, social-emotional and extracurricular programs.
  • Since the school closures in March, SPUSD has been spending District reserve funds to prevent lay-offs this school year. However, expending reserves is not a sustainable option in future years.
What will SPUSD need to do in the future?
  • SPUSD will need to make changes that will include difficult decisions on how to remain solvent due to the anticipated funding reductions.
  • Administration will continue to seek out the best ways to save money while reducing the impact on employees and programs.
  • SPUSD will be seeking community support to advocate for public education and support our PTA, Booster Clubs, and Foundation.