Budget Updates

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Budget Update #4

September 18, 2018

Dear Community Member,

Thank you again for signing up to receive budget alerts from the Sacramento City Unified School District. The district would like to inform you that our website has been updated with responses to two new frequently asked questions and their responses. Please check the bottom of this email for the two new FAQ’s and responses that have been added to our web page. You can access all of the FAQ’s here.

We are still working to schedule a public meeting date for presenting a revised budget. Once that date has been scheduled, you will be notified. Thank you for your continued patience during this process.

Newly Added FAQ’s 

Was the budget disapproved because the district mismanaged its finances?

No. It was disapproved because the County Superintendent is required by law to provide fiscal oversight of the district’s finances and the district’s budget has projected deficit spending that will leave the district without any reserves before the end of the 2019/20 school year. The district’s adopted budget although having sufficient resources to pay expenses for this year, did not include sufficient reserves for outgoing years.

Does the district have a top-heavy central office and high amount of administrative overhead?

Not in comparison to other school districts. This can be determined by how much of the district’s overall budget is spent on administrative expenses allocated to the central office. The district’s records show administrative expenses allocated to central office have actually decreased from 4.5 percent of unrestricted general fund budget in 2014-15 to 4.2 percent of unrestricted general fund expenditures in 2017-18. These figures show an overall decrease in central office and administrative spending during this time period. It is worth noting that the district’s budget significantly increased during this time period. From the 2014-15 fiscal year to the 2017-18 fiscal year, the district’s budget grew from $333,320,568 million to $395,468,056 in state and local unrestricted general fund revenue sources. The larger revenues led to hiring more staff at all levels of the organization to implement programs and services dedicated to low-income, foster, and English Learners paid for with these revenues. By comparison, the number of teachers employed by the district also grew during this time period. For example, in 2014-15 there were 2,298 certificated (i.e. teaching) FTE employees in the district. In 2017-18 that number grew to 2,521 certificated FTE employees in the district—an increase of 223 teaching positions*. That increase in hiring of teachers would be equivalent to fully staffing classrooms at McClatchy High School three times. See chart below for how Sac City Unified’s administrative expenses as a percentage of its budget compare to surrounding districts. 

*Source for number of FTE certificated (teaching) positions: Sacramento City Unified School District Financial Database

Budget Update #3

September 13, 2018

Dear Community Member.

Answers to frequently asked questions that the district has received since the announcement of our budget disapproval, are now posted online on our budget review process page. Click here to view the FAQ’s.

The FAQ’s will be updated frequently in the coming days leading up to the October 8, 2018 deadline to submit a revised budget to the Sacramento County Office of Education. Remember that if you have a question, our public information office will work to respond with an answer. Please submit your questions here.

Thank you and have a good evening.

Budget Update #2

September 10, 2018

Dear Community Member,

Thank you for subscribing to receive updates from the Sacramento City Unified School District regarding the recent disapproval of the 2018-19 adopted budget. In the coming days, you will be receiving more updates from the district about this topic, including answers to frequently asked questions and when a public meeting will be held. You can also visit our website for updates and information. 

We want to clarify the reason why the district’s 2018-19 adopted budget was disapproved by the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE). It was disapproved because sufficient funding was not set aside in savings (our reserve) to meet the state’s mandated requirement to maintain a minimum 2 percent reserve in fiscal years 2019-20 and 2020-21. A minimum reserve is necessary so that we are structurally addressing our long-term fiscal challenges and able to meet the needs of our students in future years. Per Education Code 42127d, an independent fiscal advisor has now been assigned by the SCOE to work with the district to help remedy our financial sustainability challenges. The independent fiscal advisor arrived to the district today and has now begun the process of assessing our budget to help identify options to address our reserve deficiencies in 2019-20 and 2020-2021. No decisions regarding cuts will be made until the fiscal advisor has completed her assessment work.

To help raise awareness about the steps the district is now taking in response to the budget disapproval, Superintendent Jorge Aguilar and Board President Jessie Ryan were guests on Capitol Public Radio’s Insight with Beth Ruyak this morning. Click here to listen to the interview or tune in to 90.9FM Capitol Public Radio this evening at 7:15 p.m.  

Finally, we want to make sure you are receiving accurate information from us about what is going on. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to submit them here. We will do our best to respond to your questions as quickly as possible. Thank you.

Budget Update #1

September 7, 2018

Dear Community Member,

At last night’s Board of Education meeting, our Chief Business Officer, Dr. John Quinto, publicly announced that the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) has disapproved the district’s adopted budget for this fiscal year. The school district must now submit a revised budget by October 8, 2018 that addresses our $24 million budget deficit.
 

Understanding that this is a critical issue to our students and families, Superintendent Jorge Aguilar and Board President Jessie Ryan want to share this video message with our community in response to this situation—the first time SCOE has disapproved our adopted budget.
 

We want to assure our community that our commitment over these next few weeks is to work tirelessly to continue making good on the promise of advancing equity, access, and social justice for all students and collectively figure out how to address our budget challenges with the least disruption to our students.
 

The district has created a webpage to update our community with the latest news on this situation, frequently asked questions and other resources. Please sign up to receive alerts and details on how you can participate in meetings on this issue by visiting: www.scusd.edu/budget-review-process.