The Manteca Unified School District budget for school year 2014-2015 was approved by the members of the Board of Trustees with the exception of Nancy Teicheira.
The Area 4 Trustee stood her ground and refused to give a thumbs-up to the new spending plan for one reason only.
“The budget is not balanced,” she said emphatically after the public portion of the board meeting Tuesday night and just before the trustees adjourned to the rest of the closed session.
“I’m for a balanced budget,” she said, while noting that the estimated expenditures for the coming school year at $197,545,438 is more than the estimated revenue of $186,741,148.
As a farmer, said Teicheira, she is fully aware that you can’t spend money you don’t have. She and husband, Frank, are third-generation owners and operators of a family dairy farm in south Manteca.
Asked how the district could decrease expenses to balance the district’s spending blueprint, she said that one way would be to eliminate the free breakfast, lunch and dinner meals offered at the school sites.
Superintendent Jason Messer spelled out in five words to the board the fiscal state of the upcoming school year: “You have a deficit spending plan.”
The major revenue source for the school district is the State of California which contributes 91 percent, or $170,024,689 to the total budget. In descending order, the rest of the funds come from the federal government – 5 percent or $9,763,266 – and from local funding – $6,953,193 or 4 perceent.
The budget is calculated based on Average Daily Enrollment or ADA. Enrollment in Manteca Unified has been declining in the last two to three years, Messer told the board.
“We’re declining enrollment,” agreed Senior Director Business Services Jacqueline Breitenbucher.
But that enrollment loss has not been limited only to Manteca Unified, Breitenbucher pointed out.
California, overall, has been experiencing declining enrollment, she noted.
Before the vote, Teicheira commended Breitenbucher, saying “You did a great job but I’m still going to say no (to the new budget).”