The passage of Prop 30 is good news for all schools K-12 as California Sales Tax is increased four years and Payroll Taxes seven. Many voters thought this would be added income for Gridley Unified School District, but with last year's State budget, Prop 30 became part of the deal.
Gridley Unified's budget was prepared as if the proposition would not go through with $880,000 reductions. It was a smart move for the district, to prepare in case Prop 30 did not go through, but it also means it is flat funding, no added income, simply deciding what to bring back to the budget.
Preparing this year's budget meant looking a year in advance and Chief Business Official Heather Naylor was planning on failure to be on the safe side.
"We are restored back to the level before the budget deal and before Heather adjusted," Superintendent Rick Rubino explained.
The school district currently receives $450 per student and this amount would have been decreased had Prop 30 not passed. The district has 2,000 students.
"We will look at the list of what was going to be cut and decide what positions and programs need to be cut and what can be restored at board level. The passage of Prop 30 is going to get us back to neutral," Naylor explained.
If the board decides not to restore certain cuts, it may mean some undesignated money for the district. Decisions made by the board could restore $550,000 back into the budget from the cuts made.
If the cuts of $550,000 are kept, the district would be deficit spending, spending more than taking in.
"We are planning to spend $1.8 million which will be adjusted with the added revenue," Naylor stated.
Each school district is required to maintain reserves to keep in the black even though they could be spending more. The State of California requires three percent reserved. Gridley Unified is currently at 20 percent, well beyond the required reserve for a safety net, in case Prop 30 didn't pass.
"This was a safety net as we continue to deficit spend so that we would have a cushion," Naylor said.
With Prop 30 passing, the school district can go back to neutral and not have to use the reserve as much.
"We can do something with the reserve now that Prop 30 passed," Rubino explained.
Page 2 of 2 - Gridley Unified is among the lowest class sizes in the State. Many elementary K-3 classes have had class size reduction since 1996 which is record state funding for this many years.
Many districts took Tier III money and laid off teacher and reduced for class size reductions. Gridley did not. A total of 22,000 teachers have been laid off in California and many are not back to work.
Gridley teachers have not received a raise since 2007-2008.
Measure D passing in June means Gridley Unified will receive $2.5 million for the repair of aging elementary and middle schools along with HVAC. It also means the school district qualifies for matching funds.
An oversight committee is required to meet at least once annually and not more than four times a year to provide oversight and assure the community the funds are being spent correctly with seven members being appointed comprised of one parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the District; one parent or guardian of a child in the district and active in a parent-teacher organization or school site council; one member active in a business organization representing the business community located in the District; a member active in a senior citizens organization; a member of a bona fide taxpayers association and two members of the community at large.
The committee will be formed when the funds are received and construction has started.
McKinley and Wilson School Principal Chris McIntire presented a report during the November 7 school board meeting on General Obligation Bonds that passed in the November 6 election, with a required 55 percent, including Chico Unified that passed a $78 million bond with a 63.32 percent passing rate. Two in Sacramento passed, one for $346 million at 68.75 percent passage and the other for $68 million at 66.3 percent passage. McIntire stated out of 106 facility measures, a total of 86 passed.