South San Francisco, CA June 10, 2016 Submitted by John Horgan, SSFUSD
The South San Francisco Unified School District is facing some important challenges to its fiscal health over the coming years.
During a study session June 2, the District Board of Trustees learned that, soon, it will have to come to grips with reductions in expenditures in order to avoid serious future financial problems.
According to data presented by District administrators, the current $93 million operating budget will show a small positive balance when the 2015-16 fiscal year ends on June 30. But, beginning in 2016-17, significant deficit budgets are on the horizon going forward.
The negative trend, in which expenses would regularly and ominously exceed revenues by millions of dollars, is unsustainable, explained District Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Michael Krause. He noted that San Mateo County authorities have warned the District that the looming situation cannot go unaddressed.
There is a variety of reasons for the District’s predicament:
- Shrinking operating reserves ($10 million has been shifted to the capital improvement budget to help finish construction work started with taxpayer-approved bond monies).
- Increasing employee pension contributions required by the state.
- Scheduled employee salary increases.
- One-time monies allocated for ongoing programs and services.
- A lack of state cost-of-living dollars.
- An increase in health insurance premiums.
- An increase in property/liability insurance premiums.
- An increase in special education costs.
- An increase in the minimum wage.
- The potential to revert to per-child funding from the current local-property-tax-based model.
During the budget workshop conducted at the District Office, the Trustees grappled with their options. There was considerable discussion about spending priorities.
No decisions were made. The Trustees are scheduled to consider the District’s 2016-17 budget later this month. Potential expenditure cuts could be on the table at that time.
For more information, contact District Superintendent Dr. Shawnterra Moore at 650-877-8705.
UPDATE: JUNE 29, 2016; THE SSFUSD BOARD OF TRUSTEES HAS VOTED ON THE 2016/17 BUDGET – TO READ MORE CLICK HERE