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MUSD dipping into reserves for $7.2M to balance budget
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Manteca Unified expects to dip into reserves to cover the costs of educating nearly 25,000 students in the school year starting Aug. 8.

The school board tonight will consider adopting a budget reflecting $276,695,657 in general fund expenses for the fiscal year starting July 1. At the same time projections call for the district to receive $269,432,635 in revenue. That means the district will have to dip into $7.2 million of their reserves — something administrative staff has been warning about for several years as various dynamics converge not of the least which is shortfalls in the statewide pension system for teachers.

The general fund receipts for the next fiscal year will be $17.3 million higher than what the district expects to actually receive for the current fiscal year that ends June 30.

Manteca Unified is receiving $4.4 million in one-time discretionary funds that translates into $344 per student. Since it is not reoccurring revenue the district has stayed away from spending it on recurring costs such as hiring new personnel or putting it toward salary increases. Spending one time funds on reoccurring costs would force staffing cutbacks in subsequent years when the money is no longer available.

General fund expenses are expected to be up $6.03 million over the current fiscal year. That reflects contract settlements, 14.87 new certificated positions, and step and column pay increases for teachers, district operations and increases in both the State Teachers Retirement System and California Public Employees Retirement System employer contributions.

Manteca Unified in 2016-2017 contributed 13.88 cents for every dollar it paid a teacher who elected to be covered by CalPERS. The cost was 12.58 cents on every dollar of salary for a teacher enrolled in STRS.

In real numbers the district last year paid $39.4 million to staff covered by CalPERS with an additional $5.4 million going into the retirement fund. For STRS the salaries come to $167.8 million with the district’s share of the retirement contributions costing $21.1 million.

Manteca’s STRS contribution is at 14.43 percent for the current school year. It will go up 16.28 percent for the 2018-2019 school year, and 18.13 percent by the 2019-2020 school year.

 As for CalPERS it will go from 15.8 percent to 18.7 percent in 2018-2019, and 21.6 percent in 2019-2020.

By 2019-2020 Manteca Unified will be paying $40.4 million toward retirement costs as opposed to the $26.5 million they are paying this year. That represents a jump of $13.9 million.

Meanwhile, overall salaries are projected to go from $207.2 million this year to $215.3 million by 2019-2020. That represents a jump of $8.1 million.

The school board meets tonight at 7 p.m. at the district office, 2271 West Louise Ave.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email