By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
As the state budget crisis continues, local education must look at hard choices and thin wallets to cover expenses.
The proposed 2010-11 budget was brought before the Garden Grove Unified School District school board on Tuesday night and approved.
This budget, which was earlier predicted to have a $50 million shortfall, fell close to the mark. The overall predicted shortfall is expected to be around $66 million.
The predicted expenditures for this year’s budget are $443.7 million with revenue at $366 million.
In comparison, last year’s budget numbers were predicted to have a revenue of $378,185,898. The predicted expenditure need was $439,371,437. That left the district needing $61,185,539.
The year before that the gap ended up being $23,915,128.
As with last year’s budget, there was much planning and study put in before the budget proposal to try and find ways to close the gap, using reserve funds and further reductions. However, even with planning, tough cuts needed to be made.
In regards to reductions in state assistance to local schools, Superintendent Laura Schwalm said that they are going to be on their own and that Garden Grove has never been known for having much extra to work with.
Already, positions across the district have been left vacant and pay has been frozen in an effort to free up more funds.
There have been reductions and changes to adult education courses offered as well.
Already, sports are being reduced and some teams, such as golf and badminton, are slated to be cut entirely.
About 90 percent of the general fund goes towards salaries and benefits for educators and staff. Even last year though, Dr. Sue McCann, superintendent of business services, said that belts would need to be tightened further.
“We have more work to do with less money to do it with,” said board member Lan Nguyen.
Board President Bob Harden said that even though it might not be prudent to call the budget situation in Sacramento a train wreck, that is what it is playing out to be.