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More Budget Cuts on Horizon for Capo

Next year, CUSD needs to close a $31 million gap; meanwhile this year will see a temporary $23 million cash-flow problem by May.

The financial big picture is once again on the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees agenda, and once again, there is no good news in sight.

The trustees will meet Monday, when two new members – Jim Reardon and Amy Hanacek – will be sworn in, along with recently re-elected Trustees John Alpay and Gary Pritchard. The newcomers' first task: getting up to speed on the district’s financial outlook.

“The district faces a substantial shortfall budget for the two subsequent years,” according to a staff report. The estimated gap for 2013-14 is $31 million.

“Due to the volatility of California’s economic recovery and uncertainty with education funding, it is recognized that, if necessary, the district plans to implement $31 million in ongoing budget reduction in 2013-14,” says a fiscal solvency statement the district is required to make.

Capo Unified cut $31 million out of this year’s budget, about $20 million from employees through their negotiated agreements and another $11 million in other cuts the school board could make independently.

Last year's budget included employee contracts with a one-year expiration.

Beyond the budgeting challenges for next year, the interim report also shows the district struggling to manage cash this year. Revenues come into the district in spurts, and by May, the district will be $23.3 million in the red.

By June, however, it is expected to be back on the positive side by nearly $11.2 million, according to a cashflow worksheet on Monday's agenda.

The district had a similar cashflow issue last year, which it resolved when the trustees approved two short-term loans that crossed fiscal years.

The district will begin the process of planning for next school year’s budget in January. The next interim report about how this year is going financially is expected on the March 11, 2013 agenda.

The board meets 7 p.m. Monday at the district headquarters, 33122 Valle Road in San Juan Capistrano.

shelly December 10, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Dawn, And another one of your points in your own words which no one paraphrased but actually recorded was that it would be best if the system failed. What would happen to the kids out of those 47,000 who could not afford private school, which you stated you could afford to put your child. If we want to fix education funding then we should be willing to fund education at the level it should be funded and we should stop pointing fingers and roll up our sleeves and help. And Dawn, teachers are of value and deserve their compensation, beneftis and retirement.
Dawn Urbanek December 10, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Where is the District going to get the $103 million dollars it needs just to keep the doors open? Taxes are not going to be enough because Orange County will only get 11 1/2 cents back from the State for every tax dollar. Orange County gives half that to education- so lets see the entire county gets 6.5 cents for every dollar increase in taxes which must be shared by 32 Districts. To raise $103 million that is required just for CUSD would require a lot of new taxes.... about $1.5 Billion in new taxes or $300,000 per student at CUSD. Raising Taxes will not save Orange County Schools- especially the ones that have been financially mismanaged.
Pliny the Elder December 13, 2012 at 07:27 PM
What I find most puzzling is why one would think that throwing more money into a huge bureaucratic hole will make anything better. The answer is not more money,the answer is a better system. A system that rewards those great hard working teachers that CUSD has, A system that weeds out the under performing teachers just waiting for their pensions or are just bad at what they do. A system that lets the teachers do what they do best, A system that lets the teachers innovate. That is not the system we have in place today and that is truly not in the best interest for the kids. I am upset because I feel we pay the teachers a very good salary and we are not getting the results that we expect as a whole. Not saying that is 100% the teachers fault but as others like to say teachers are the ones in the classroom and all of those books and supplies would be useless without them.
shelly December 13, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Pliny, Our district is doing well. And if administrators do their jobs they do weed out teachers who are not doing their jobs. And no one is throwing more money at CUSD. The district's budget has been continually cut since the economy tanked. It would just be great to have adequate money to educate our kids and not have to cut every year. It would just be great to have people value education. CA ranks as one of the lowest states for per pupil spending. We have the most children to educate. Some see it at the teachers responsibility to fix our budget woes and all the blame gets put on them. I see it as all of our responsibililty. I advocate for all to help. And I do not see teacher as the bad guy. I am not saying you do but before the economy tanked all was right in the world for some. Now people are looking for a scapegoat and teachers have become their number one target. I have an opinion which is based on my experience and others around me. It may not be the same as yours. My 4 children have gotten or are getting a great education. They have had some great teachers who work really hard. Teachers are educated professionals who deserve their salaries. What they do is important.
Pliny the Elder December 14, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Shelly, Lets be realistic, The administrators are not doing their jobs on getting those bad teachers out, the union has way too much influence. When was the last time a tenured teacher was fired in CUSD for being a bad teacher? I would bet it has been a very long time. Public sector employees are a big part of the blame due to their union negotiated pensions and employment practices and the last time I checked the teachers fall under this umbrella. Once again I am not saying that it is 100% their fault but they do have a part in this. Teachers are not the bad guys, I respect the work thatmany teachers do, I am apalled by some of the work that other teachers do. The same can be said for some doctors that I know, the big difference is that the doctors can be fired much easier.

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