Sunday, July 22 , 2018, 4:02 pm | Fair 76º


Brian Sarvis: Fiscal Solvency Plan Goes Before Santa Barbara School Board

District officials face daunting task of finding another $10 million in budget cuts

Brian Sarvis
Brian Sarvis

Over the next couple of weeks, the Santa Barbara school board will be faced with the daunting task of finding another $10 million in budget cuts for 2011-12 on top of the $20 million in cuts we have made in the past four years.

I am sorry we are facing such massive cuts. In all of my years in education, it has never looked this bad, and in all probability it will not improve in the next couple of years. The state budget crisis will continue for a number of years to come.

The good news is that if district finances improve through our planned unification and through the state budget, which is largely predicated on the passage of tax extensions on the state ballot in June, we will be able to rescind most if not all of the cuts for next year.

The board will be prioritizing the cuts so we will know which items to bring back first if our district budget improves.

The Fiscal Solvency Plan on Tuesday night’s board agenda has few items on the potential budget cut list that anyone will like. This list was compiled after watching other districts in the state that have already made cuts in these areas in the past two years. They include services and programs that many other districts have already cut.

We have an excellent board, faced with making incredibly difficult decisions to keep the school district solvent. The board is painfully aware that every item on the Fiscal Solvency Plan touches real programs, real students and real staff in our elementary and secondary districts.

— Brian Sarvis is superintendent of the Santa Barbara School District.

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