Scripps Ranch Schools Committee (SRSC)
While the Schools Committee does not meet in the summer, there have been some recent decisions at both the district and state level that will impact our schools.
Budget Changes Impacted School Staffing
Although San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) staff recommended balancing the $115 million deficit for the 2014–2015 budget in part by selling several million dollars in real estate, the school board indicated it was unwilling to proceed with more sales. Also, there was a lack of reimbursement for some education mandates in the governor’s May revision of the state budget. Together these created an 11th hour shortfall in the district’s proposed 2014–2015 budget.
To fill that void, all schools were asked to forfeit one full-time teacher to be used to fill vacancies created by teachers leaving the district, instead of hiring new teachers for those positions. We are happy to report that all Scripps Ranch schools except the high school were granted appeals and did not lose any teacher positions. As of press time SRHS was able to staff its classes within class-size requirements even with its loss of one teaching position.
CalSTRS Impacts Schools
The state legislature and Governor Brown approved a state budget that saddled school districts with the bulk of the liability for funding the $74 billion deficit in CalSTRS, the teachers’ retirement pension system, without giving school districts any additional funding to absorb this cost. The district budget passed by the board in June did not include the additional cost of this liability, but SDUSD had to create an amended budget in July that reflects the additional cost.
The legislature did reduce the financial burden to school districts in 2014–2015, the first year of payment, but the cost will grow rapidly over seven years until it totals roughly $60 million annually for SDUSD. As of press time it was unclear how the district would absorb the costs of these increased payments. It is of note that SDUSD already has anticipated between $60 to $70 million in annual budget shortfalls through 2016–2017, even without the increased CalSTRS payments.
District Approves LCAP
The SDUSD Board approved the first Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) in late June. As a reminder the LCAP is the document where the district describes how it will use its funds in the education of students to allow for transparency and accountability under the new education funding system, the Local Control Funding Formula.
LCAPs are drafted every three years and reviewed annually. The district has indicated it will begin reviewing the current LCAP in August. More information and a copy of the approved LCAP can be viewed at [www.sandi.net/lcap].
New Area Superintendent
The schools in Area 6, including Scripps Ranch, have a new area superintendent, Fabiola Bagula. We look forward to meeting her at our next Schools Committee meeting.
Schools Committee members include all the Scripps Ranch principals, parents from each school’s foundation and School Site Council, and community group representatives. The committee meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 4:30 pm in the Marshall Middle School community room. All meetings are open to the public and everyone is welcome.
Tamara Hurley, Legislative Analyst