Sac City Unified Leadership Issue Statements on Governor Newsom’s May Budget Revisions

Press release

SACRAMENTO, CA – Sacramento City Unified School District leaders issued the following statements in response to Governor Newsom’s May revised budget:

“These are difficult times for the communities we serve, and districts like Sac City Unified need financial, community, and political support more than ever,” said Sac City Unified Superintendent Jorge Aguilar. “To protect our students, we must advocate for federal funding, while recognizing that there will be tough decisions ahead. We’ve already examined each and every program, employee pay, staffing levels, and know that with new health guidelines we will face even greater challenges and complexity when we return to school. We can reasonably expect over the next year that, like other districts in the same fiscal situation as Sac City, we’ll need to employ other strategies that could include furloughs, pay cuts, loss of jobs and loss of programs. The truth of the matter is that to avoid cuts to the classroom we must address our well-documented health benefit structure. Outside that, there’s little left to cut. We again ask SCTA to come to the negotiation table to discuss the cost of benefits so that we can create solutions for our students together.”

“Our community and its leaders have always expressed a commitment to our students and equity, and we need to unite in this shared commitment more urgently than ever before,” said Sac City Unified President Jessie Ryan. “While we are grateful to Governor Newsom for maintaining his support for vital Special Education services, the announcement that we could expect a 10 percent reduction to LCFF funding could have a devastating impact on Sac City Unified’s most vulnerable students. We ask for support from community leaders and families to join us in advocacy for increased funding, and calls for round-the-clock labor negotiations to tackle unsustainable healthcare costs head-on. As documented by the State Auditor, we have few other options. Standing silently by and hoping for a magic fix would be irresponsible – our children need the courage of our collective voices.”

Four independent entities, including California State Auditor Elaine Howle, have confirmed that Sac City Unified’s $27 million deficit is largely attributable to employee salaries and benefits, which make up 91 percent of the district’s unrestricted budget. As presented at the district’s  May 7, 2020 Board meeting, the reduction in LCFF revenue could impact the district’s budget by an additional nearly $50 million, based on the district’s last financial report.

Sac City Unified will publicly present its Third Interim Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2019-20 at its board meeting on May 21, 2020 and its proposed budget at the following meeting on June 4, 2020. Sac City Unified will continue to inform its community with updates, presentations, and information on its budget and status of negotiations. Community members may sign up for updates at the district’s Budget Update page and its Negotiations Update page. 

Sacramento City Unified School District is one of the oldest K-12 districts in the western United States (established in 1854). SCUSD serves 42,671 students on 75 campuses spanning 70 square miles. Its students reflect the rich diversity that is the hallmark of Sacramento’s central city. Sac City Unified’s student population is 40 percent Hispanic or Latino; 17 percent Asian; 14 percent African American; and 18 percent white. About 7 percent of students are of two or more races or ethnicities. Residents within Sac City Unified speak more than 51 languages.