Tuesday, May 22 , 2018, 1:30 pm | Mostly Cloudy 65º


Santa Barbara School Board Adopts New Budget

The plan factors in an end to interdistrict transfers in the secondary school district

After six months of consideration and recent expenditure cuts of about $4.4 million, the Santa Barbara School Districts Board of Education on Tuesday night adopted a budget for the 2009-10 school year.

The new budget brings the district’s general fund to an estimated $118 million.

One of the assumptions upon which the budget was built is ending interdistrict transfers in the secondary school district. With a reduction in state funding, it is no longer feasible to provide services to students residing outside the district, so those students would return to their respective district for the 2010-11 year.

The board will discuss the matter at an August meeting.

After learning that state revenues to the district has declined by more than $3 million since April 28, the board was forced make at least another $1.5 million in cuts at its June 16 meeting.

At that meeting, the board reviewed Fiscal Solvency Plan-Phase 2 and took action on two plans for additional budget reductions for the 2009-10 fiscal year, Plan A and Plan B.

Plan A, which consists of $1,611,538 in cuts, includes items that would need to be negotiated with the Santa Barbara Teachers Association to be implemented. Plan B, which consists of $1,409,162 in cuts, omits those negotiable items and replaces them with items that could be implemented immediately. Both plans reflect a $10,000 personal donation from Superintendent Brian Sarvis to the districts’ general fund.

“The Santa Barbara School Board has struggled this year to implement the deep cuts that we have been burdened with due to the state’s current fiscal crisis. Board members are trying to minimize the effects on our students and staff, but the situation is so dire that we know that the level of service our students receive will suffer,” board President Kate Parker said. “We sincerely hope that our Plan A cuts from our June 16 meeting can be successfully negotiated with the Santa Barbara Teachers Association in order to mitigate increases in K-3 class sizes and save teaching positions.

“In addition, we highly appreciate the superintendent’s decision to donate 5 percent of his salary to the district for 2009-10. All board members plan to donate over 8 percent from their total annual stipend, too. We strongly feel that it’s important for our community to see all members of the Santa Barbara School Districts pull together during this very difficult time. We do have Plan B in place in case Plan A cannot be negotiated, however, and we pledge to keep working over the summer to come up with more alternative budget cuts to reduce the impact of this financial emergency on our school sites.”

The districts have cut more than $8 million in the past two years. A portion of federal stimulus dollars have been used to partially restore reserves that would have been depleted because of the loss of state revenue.

— Barbara Keyani is the administrative services and communications coordinator for the Santa Barbara School Districts.

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