Saturday, October 20 , 2018, 3:43 pm | Fair 85º


Santa Barbara School Board Adopts $161 Million Budget for 2017-18 Fiscal Year

The Santa Barbara Unified School District’s governing board adopted a $161 million budget for the fiscal year 2017-18, which starts July 1. 

The unanimously approved budget shows an overall spending increase of $1.4 million compared to the previous year, according to Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Meg Jette.

Jette said the budget supports the priorities of the district’s Local Control and Accountability Plan — a three-year plan that outlines the district’s intentions to meet annual students goals, with actions developed through community outreach to respond to local and state education priorities.

California school districts are required to maintain a minimum 3-percent reserve for economic uncertainties, and the district has a 5.89-percent reserve fund, Jette said. 

“The district’s adopted budget recognizes our employee’s dedication to improve practices that maintain quality education programs and services for our students,” Superintendent Cary Matsuoka said.

“We made necessary cost reductions this year and recognize that continued reductions will be a priority in the years ahead. This means that over the next three years we will proceed with caution, yet remain steadfast to our top priority — quality education for every child.” 

The anticipated operating deficit of $11.6 million is caused by additional staffing, a 2-percent salary increase for employees, and the end of local parcel taxes Measure A and Measure B, according to the district. 

The district’s 219-page budget report also anticipates a drop in future school enrollment — a decline of 9 percent by 2023 — based on population forecasts.

Enrollment tracking is important since state funding is based, in part, on average daily attendance numbers. 

California law requires budgets to be finalized by June 30 and you can view the fiscal year 2017-2018 adopted budget documents by clicking here

“District staff have demonstrated their commitment to equity and to improving practices that will lead to a high level of academic excellence for our students and our community,” Board President Kate Parker said.

“While we invest in preparing our students for life, learning and work in the 21st century, we also recognize the board’s commitment to encouraging continued collaborative work to reduce deficit spending and strengthen our reserves.” 

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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