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Workshop on MUSD budget on Tuesday
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The Manteca Unified board will conduct a study session Tuesday on the proposed preliminary budget for the 2016-2017 school year.

The meeting takes place at 3 p.m. in the RESC Building (with the solar panels on top) at the district office complex, 2271 West Louise Ave.

The district currently is operating on a $224 million budget.

The current adopted budget has a projected ending balance of $38 million with unrestricted reserves of $31 million. The board policy for the existing budget is a 3 percent reserve or $6.3 million for economic uncertainties and 75 percent of one month’s cash flow or $13.2 million.

While that sounds as if the district is sitting on a pile of money, it actually means the district is operating prudently allowing them to undertake initiatives while having the ability to grant salary and benefit increases.

“A stable financial situation means there is no disruption to what goes on in the classroom,” Manteca Unified Superintendent Jason Messer noted in December.

It also means employment stability for teachers and staff that in turn eliminates upheaval at the classroom level. It also puts the district on solid financial ground for long-term initiatives.

Part of that financial stability was obtained by the district’s relatively early decision to tap into solar power to stabilize and reduce energy costs that rank as the general fund’s biggest line expenditure after salaries and benefits. 

Districts that cut too deep into unrestricted reserves run the real risk of not being in a position to maintain the ability to meet financial obligations two years out. It increases the risk of layoffs and typically sets in motion budget cuts all the way down to the classroom level.

It is why some of Manteca Unified salary increases have been one-time affairs to reduce the compound impact on the budget.

The Manteca Unified financial model is also paying big dividends for taxpayers. It helped secure stronger bond ratings allowing the district to refinance Measure M debt to save taxpayers millions. It also translates into lower interest rates for the Measure G bond series approved in November 2014 that also means property owners will be paying less than originally projected.

The board will also conduct three recognition sessions on Tuesday.

Traditional recognitions take place at 6 p.m. in the RESC Building. Being honored are:

uCertificated employees of the year.

uClassified employees of the year.

uFHA-HERO Award recipients.

uFFA State Degree recipients.

uHOSA medalists.

uDante Del Prete as the Every Student Succeeding Award recipient.

uMcKenna Doyle as the Congressional Merit Award recipients.

uSean Marsh awarded to attend space camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

uGreg Leland as the Association of California School Administrators Co-Administrator of the year recipient.

Art recognitions will take place in Board Rooms 101 thru 103 at 6:30 p.m. The awards being made are:

uBest of Show

uPeople’s Choice Award recipient.

uSan Joaquin County Nelson Zane 4-year Award recipients

Athletic recognitions will take place at 7 p.m. in the be.first gym. The awards include:

uWeston Ranch High Boys’ Basketball Valley Oak League and Sac-Joaquin Section Division 3 champions.

uWeston Ranch Boys’ Soccer Valley Oak League and Sac-Joaquin Section Division 3 champions.

uManteca High Boys’ Basketball CIF Division III State Champions.

uCandice Lao as the A. Dale Lacky Scholarship recipient.

uTyler Griggs for first place in the Drive, Chip &Putt National Finals.

uBranden Chapman as state wrestling meet qualifier.

uAnthony Chapman as the 2016 Sac-Joaquin Section Athletic Director of the Year.