Not much change in school district’s budget
CALIFORNIA CITY — The Mojave Unified School District’s first budget update showed little change from when it was approved in June, Assistant Superintendent for Business Keith Gainey said.
He presented the first interim report to the Board of Trustees on Dec. 12, with it showing a snapshot of the District’s finances up to Oct. 31.
Overall, the budget will require dipping into the District’s reserves this year, but it still receives a positive certification and is in the black in the future years’ projections.
The revenue forecast remains largely unchanged, with enrollment projected at 2,841 students and an estimated average daily attendance of 2,646.
The District’s actual average daily attendance now stands a bit lower, at 2,602, for a 93.3% attendance rate. The District’s attendance goal is 94%, which it was able to reach at the start of last year, but fell to 93.54% overall by the end of the year.
The revenue, as based on attendance, will hold as long as the District’s attendance does not decrease by as little as 20 students, Gainey said.
“This budget doesn’t work if I reduce that 20 kids in ADA,” he said. “We really need the 2,602 ADA that we have now to hold up until April.”
The revenue also reflects the end of a parcel tax that expired in the previous fiscal year, that had been in place for five years.
However, it also reflects $5.1 million in revenue from bonds sold from a voter-approved measure in November 2008. These funds must be used for construction projects for the District’s two Mojave campuses, as specified by the measure. A construction committee will be formed to determine projects and timelines and an oversight committee will be assigned to oversee the spending.
“It goes all the way back to the authorization in 2008 and we were finally able to sell this year,” Gainey said.
Compared to the original budget, the expenses in the first interim report show actual costs, reflecting the staffing changes made between the end of the 20182019 school year and the start of the current year.
“I know who’s here now, what the cost is now, so all that’s included in the first interim report,” he said.
The original budget uses projected personnel costs based on the staffing of the year that just ended.
The report also includes the most recent figures for contributions to retirement funds.
The personnel costs include a 3.26% cost of living increase this year, as well as 3%, 2.8% and 3.16% in the following three years.
However, these expenditures do not include pending salary settlements due to negotiations for either the current year or the projections into future years, Gainey said.
With negotiations continuing, he noted that the impact of what was decided just that week, is about $400,000 that will be taken from reserves.