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Ripon Unified could lose $3.9M over next 2 years
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RIPON – The good news is that indications show that the Ripon Unified School District will be able to meet its financial obligations for at least this year and the two years following.
The bad news? There might not be a whole lot left by the time they reach that point.
During their regularly scheduled meeting Monday night, the Board of Education formally received the response to the 2008-09 First Interim Budget that was submitted to the San Joaquin County Office of Education for review.
County Superintendent Rick Wentworth awarded the district with a positive certification in response to their submission that designates that there is currently a plan in place that will allow the district to meet their current financial obligations for this year and the two subsequent years. It is a time frame in which Ripon Unified could lose a total of $3.9 million in funding.
According to Superintendent Louise Nan, the district is set to cut out roughly $890,000 this year, $1.2 million during the 2009-10 school year, and $1.7 million during the 2010-11 school year.
“We’re going to have to work very hard to maintain that positive certification,” Nan said of the county’s designation.
But the report reviewed was based on an outlook that considerably brighter than the one that educators are facing today.
According to Wentworth’s assessment, the first interim reports are as of October 31, and “since then the State’s economic forecast and the corresponding impact on the State budget has continued to decline.” The second interim reports, which will take into consideration everything through January 31, will include the Governor’s January budget proposal which calls for significant mid-year cuts for the current school year and the 2009-10 school year.
The county is recommending that the district start building a reserve based on the 2008-09 .68 revenue limit cost of living adjustment that has been removed from the Governor’s January proposal. The reserve would cover the loss of revenue for this school year, but not on-going impacts for the following year or beyond. They also suggested including a deficit increase in the 2009-10 to reflect a zero-percent funded revenue limit cost of living increase.
District officials will also have to prepare for a reduction of $153 from the Average Daily Attendance – or ADA – funding that is granted based on every student that attends school for a given day.
According to a financial projection worksheet that accompanied the letter, the district will also be facing shrinking reserves that will significantly impacted over the course of the next three years.
While in the 2001-02 school year the district was able to record more than four times the State’s minimum requirement of three percent with $2,209,098 in the bank, they’ll end up just above the 3 percent margin that’s mandatory for the 2010-11 school year when they’re projected to show $841,872 in reserves when the minimum requirement will be $676,190.