As we begin developing the budget for the 2008-2009 school year, we face a challenging road ahead. Budget decisions will need to involve all of us--parents, staff, board members, and the community--so we continue to do what's best for our children and schools.
Many of you have seen the headlines about the "fiscal emergency" evolving in California. Governor Schwarzenegger's proposed budget calls for dramatic reductions in state services and programs, including hundreds of millions of dollars of cuts in education this year, and a $4.4 billion decrease for next year. We join school districts throughout California in looking for ways to remain fiscally responsible with minimal impact on classrooms and students.
- Anticipated impact of the governor's proposed cuts;
- Decreases in Title I funding and other federal grants;
- Reductions in the state's funding for specific "categorical" programs;
- New "rules" for distributing "categorical" funds;
- Rising costs in many areas of school operations;
- Maintenance of employee salary schedules; and,
- Increasing costs of health and welfare benefits.
Preliminary projections indicate that we may have to reduce spending by approximately $70 million. We already have made changes at the central office to reduce or curb spending this year. Additionally, every central office department has been asked to develop scenarios for 10-15% cuts across the board. We also are looking at ways to trim centrally funded programs with the least amount of impact on our students.
The magnitude of the potential reductions likely will go beyond the central office. We are asking employees and you, our parents, to offer ideas for reducing costs and increasing revenues. All ideas are welcome and all will be considered. To learn more, please visit [www.sandi.net/budget]. This webpage includes information about how school district budgets are developed, the timeline involved, and a place where you can submit your ideas online.
We appreciate and need your continued support to carefully manage the resources available to support the ongoing success of our students and teachers. I will keep you informed about our budget planning efforts while adjusting to new information from the state.
The San Diego Unified District's school board delayed the vote that will decide new boundaries for Scripps Ranch elementary schools. The issue was to be voted on at the Feb. 12 meeting. However, due to the serious budget issues, the agenda was full.
As of press time, the boundary change was to be taken up in March, at either the Tuesday, Mar. 11 or 25 meeting. For updates, please check the SRCA website at [www.scrippsranch.org]. When we get word of a date, we will post it.
The EBS Design Task Force is monitoring the progress at the new campus. At a walk-through in early February, construction was approximately 50% complete, with about 20-25 people working on the project each day.
Bulldozers were busy moving saturated and unusable dirt out of the kindergarten area. Workers are fixing a longstanding problem with water seeping underneath the soil. Painters were starting the process of painting the school's interior. The district and community are working together to decide on a new exterior paint color.
The next meeting of the SRSC is on Tuesday, Mar. 25, at 4:30 pm at the Scripps Ranch Library's seminar room. For more information about the Schools Committee, please contact co-chair, Lynn Todd, at [[email protected]].