The Budget Balancing Recommendations were brought to Board March 12, 2019. Please find the presentationhere.
The District Budget
The District is currently confronting a structural operating deficit. This structural budget deficit is primarily caused by two factors:
Declining enrollment, caused by declining birth rates in Marin County
State imposed rising contribution rates for state pensions (STRS/PERS)
Beginning in 2014-2015, a trend of declining enrollment began in the District caused by the reduced birth rates in Marin County, beginning in 2009-2010. Enrollment has been decreasing at a rate of approximately 1% a year since 2014-15. Based on the District’s 2018 enrollment projections, this trend of declining enrollment projects to continue for at least the next five years.
Starting with the adopted 2014-2015 State budget, State imposed rate increases were implemented to the District’s pension contributions (CalSTRS and CalPERS) by both employees and employer. State imposed rate increases for CalSTRS continues until 2020-2021, when the rate will be 19.1% (10.85% higher than in 2013-2014). CalSTRS has a much larger impact on school district budgets than CalPERS. At this time, all increases are funded from the LCFF base grant and the increases to CalSTRS and CalPERS are approximately $1 million a year, totaling a $6 million increase annually by 2020-2021 (when the CalSTRS rate increase is fully implemented.)
What the District Has Done So Far
In September of 2017, the Superintendent formed the Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) to support the Superintendent and the District in determining recommendations for budget solutions to bring the District’s 2018-2019 budget into alignment. The Committee’s work can be found at https://nusd.org/committees/budget-advisory-committee/ .
The Committee was made up of 27 members, including principals, teachers, classified employees, parents, district administrators, operations managers, students, and Board members. The Committee included representatives from all comprehensive schools, NFT, CSEA, DELAC, PTA/O, and School Fuel.
The Committee met over a five-month period. In February of 2018, the Committee finalized their $1.5 million in budget solutions and also determined secondary recommendations to give the Superintendent. In March, the Board approved the Committee’s recommendations along with $500,000 in staffing savings due to declining enrollment for a total of $2 million in reductions for the 2018-2019 budget.
The final reductions included:
Elimination of Two District Office Administrative Positions ($320,000)
Elimination of Four Teacher Coach Positions ($400,000)
Elimination of One District Office Administrative Support Staff ($70,000)
Reductions to Professional Development ($150,000)
Increase of Staffing Formula to High Schools (from 29 to 29.5) ($180,000)
Increase of Staffing Formula to Continuation High School ($100,000)
Elimination of Middle School Community Day School ($135,000)
The Committee also recommended that the District perform a Special Education Efficiency Review and form an Elementary School Size Committee to look at potentially closing an elementary school.
In December of 2018, staff outlined a process that built upon the work of the BAC and began where that committee left off at the end of the process in Spring of 2018. The process includes generating budget solutions, engaging stakeholders, finalizing a proposed list of solutions, and approving the final list.
The District is in the process of completing the additional recommendations from the Budget Advisory Committee. The Elementary School Size Committee has been meeting since the Fall and is scheduled to complete its work in the next month. The District is also working with School Services of California to complete the Special Education Review, which is expected to be finalized prior to the end of March.
On January 10, 2019, Governor Newsom announced his proposed 2019-2020 State budget. While the budget included some good news for schools, overall the impact did not eliminate the need for budget solutions.
Staff is recommending a minimum of $1.5 million of additional reductions for the 2019-2020 year. The Business Office has already identified $500,000, of the $1.5 million, in savings from declining enrollment (the State provides about $10,000 per student to NUSD.) Over the next month, the District will be reviewing the feedback on budget balancing options from all stakeholder groups, including parents, teachers, classified staff, students, and administrators. A list of draft recommendations will be presented to the Board in March of 2019.
Given the need for these reductions, we are asking for your assistance helping us prioritize the budget balancing solutions that have been proposed by various stakeholders. Please help us by completing the following survey that should take approximately 10 minutes. The surveys are now closed.
For budget information, you can also watch this 5 minute video from Superintendent Jim Hogeboom:
Provide financial, maintenance, operational, transportation, facilities, information technology, and food/nutritional/wellness support to the NUSD education community through:
Timely and realistic response
Courteous and dependable service
Enhanced staff knowledge and competency from professional development, continuing education, and in-house training
Fostering a productive and positive work environment