SSFUSD Is Faced With Serious Financial Challenges

South San Francisco, CA     June 10, 2016  Submitted by John Horgan, SSFUSD SSFUSD logo color

 

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.

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UPDATE: JUNE 29, 2016; THE SSFUSD BOARD OF TRUSTEES HAS VOTED ON THE 2016/17 BUDGET – TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

4 comments for “SSFUSD Is Faced With Serious Financial Challenges

  1. Peggy Deras
    June 10, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Hmmm. This was predictable. The school construction/Measure J folly has come back to bite SSFUSD. Witness the Buri Buri School mess. Now they are whining that they have no more money.

  2. your neighbor
    June 10, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    It would not be the first time the school district mismanaged money. Are they going to ask the public to bail them out yet again with another funding measure? I am loathe to allow them another penny. We are being taxed by the City, a half cent to build a new police station, new library, while the school distric is struggling financially. I see the STate taking the SFUSDistrict over forcing us taxpayers to dig deep to bail it out again.

  3. Editor
    June 13, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Pat Murray comments from her ‘Pat Murray for School Board’ Facebook page:

    The following is the district’s article discussing their economic crisis… It mentions possible cuts a number of times in different ways: “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.” “There was considerable discussion about SPENDING PRIORITIES.” “Potential EXPENDITURE CUTS could be on the table at that time.”

    This is serious. YOU need to be paying attention… Only one Trustee actually has students attending our schools right now. YOU need to advocate for your kids!! Do not wait until programs are being cut before you’re involved!!!

    You need to make sure that no cuts affect our students… including programs, class sizes, extra-curricular activities, music, sports, PE, libraries etc
    What can be cut then? Consultants hired by the district cost thousands of dollars. Administrator turnover has cost the district thousands of dollars over the last few years. Principals sharing schools has been discussed in the past. Trustee stipends have been suspended by the Trustees in the past…as a symbolic gesture. We need to “cut the fat” at the district level and keep the cuts away from our students.

    Our district used the bulk of our reserve fund to pay for the mishandling and mismanagement of Measure J. Is it in the budget to finish the projects started and to fix the shoddy work already done? Who managed the projects? And whatever happened to the lawsuit filed against the district because a grandmother tripped over Buri Buri debris?

    And, by the way, if I had a child at Buri Buri, I would be at every School Board meeting. I was at Buri the other day and was appalled! I’ll post pics later. After three years, it’s not completed. The new baseball field that the kids used to use was never replaced.
    It is also a danger to our students (high dry weeds between the old and new school-fire hazard, old fencing and construction debris all over the place.)

    It is unsafe. There is fencing falling down where an intruder could enter the campus. A few years ago, I was on a district ad-hoc committee. We discussed what the district could do to keep our kids safe. This committee included parents, district employees, police officers and administrators. We wanted to be proactive and make sure that we did our best to avoid a Sandy Hook. I don’t believe any of the recommendations were actually implemented and I’ve seen a few campus’ that are open and vulnerable!

    Is the district communicating via email, letters or meetings just how serious our district problems are? John C. Baker & Patrick Lucy, I hope you’ll keep us updated!

  4. Editor
    June 13, 2016 at 11:27 am

    A comment sent to us-

    ‘With regard to the new district appointments- One of them was a newly created position: ‘Mr. Jason Brockmeyer has been appointed to the newly created position of Director – Innovation, Community Outreach & Special Projects. He has worked in the Jefferson Union High School District since 2005, most recently as principal at Jefferson High School in Daly City.’

    At the board meeting this particular creation of a new administrative position was questioned. Sounds like an Imagineer for Disney? If the district was truly is such dire straits would they spend upwards of $100K per year? ‘

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