Facing a $4.3 million deficit in the coming year, Lemon Grove School District trustees will meet Tuesday night to consider adoption of a balanced 2012-2013 budget.
The governing board prepared for tonight’s decision with a June 5 workshop in which Dr. Gina Potter, assistant superintendent of business services, presented an extensive overview of the May revision of the state budget, which has California’s budget gap jumping from an anticipated $9.2 billion to $15.7 billion—and includes cuts to education funding that total nearly $8 billion.
Potter warned the increasingly dire situation may cause a collapse.
“Schools cannot continue to function with such massive budget reductions year after year without the floor falling out from under our feet soon,” Potter said.
In struggling to close the $4.3 million gap, Potter said the district has been both creative and collaborative in making difficult fiscal decisions—and warned that lay offs may be needed to make up the final piece necessary to reach the target.
Potter says the state budget crisis is damaging the district’s relationship with its employees.
“First, the state threatens midyear budget cuts to education so district management prepares for the cuts with lay offs and negotiating salary concessions,” she said. “Then the state threatens to make the salary cuts larger, so district management prepares for the larger cuts. Meanwhile, the dollars set aside to deal with the midyear cuts show up in the district’s ending fund balance and appears as though salary concessions are not needed.”
Also on the agenda tonight, Principal Rick Oser will present programming and school highlights of the new Lemon Grove Academy for the Sciences and Humanities, the new STEM middle school making its debut in September.
The school board meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Lemon Grove Community Center.