SCUSD Solicits Community Input on Budget with Public Forums, Survey

Press release

Sacramento City Unified School District will launch a major effort this month to increase community awareness of 2011-12 budget issues and engage the public in this difficult process.

Starting Tuesday, February 15, SCUSD will hold a series of public forums on the district’s projected financial picture for the next school year. Additionally, the district has launched an online survey to gain greater feedback and input from the community.

The 2011-12 budget year is shaping up to be especially challenging for schools, as Governor Brown has proposed a budget that hinges on voter approval of tax extensions in June. This has forced local districts to produce budget scenarios based on “what ifs,” said SCUSD Superintendent Jonathan Raymond.

“In these uncertain times, it becomes critically important that we work hard to educate our community about budget challenges and listen to their suggestions and concerns,” Raymond said. “The better informed our community is, the better they can work with us to find innovative and resourceful ways we can do more to accelerate student learning with less state funding.”

In the last nine years, the district has cut $177 million in expenditures – a 35 percent reduction. Even if voters pass tax extensions in a special election, it is projected that more cuts will be needed to balance SCUSD’s budget for next year, due to the lingering recession and enrollment declines in some areas.

“We can’t pretend that this will be an easy year,” said Raymond. “But if we work together with all of our partners, I believe we can make it through. And families are our most important partners.”

Increasing family and community engagement in SCUSD work is one of the three main objectives of Strategic Plan 2010-2014: Putting Children First.

The following is a schedule of forums:

Budget Community Forums – 2011*

Tuesday, February 15 – C.K. McClatchy High School, 3066 Freeport Blvd.
Wednesday, February 16 – Kit Carson Middle School, 5301 N St.
Tuesday, February 22 – Rosemont High School, 9594 Kiefer Blvd.
Wednesday, February 23 – Will C. Wood Middle School, 6201 Lemon Hill Ave.
Tuesday, March 1 – John Still Elementary School, 2200 John Still Drive
Wednesday, March 2 – John F. Kennedy High School, 6715 Gloria Drive
Tuesday, March 8 – Father Keith B. Kenny Elementary School, 3525 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

*All meetings start at 6:30 p.m.