The school year could be slashed by as many as seven days, and cuts in special education and busing are on the horizon, the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education was told Tuesday night.
Board member George West summed up the reason this way: “We have a legislature that has promised us an amount, but they have broken that promise.”
Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Sue McCann presented the revised budget for 2011-12 and pointed out that the disparity between what is owed to the GGUSD could trigger serious cuts to transportation funds as well as other areas of the budget.
According to McCann, the state budget has very optimistic revenue options built in to it, which, if those revenue numbers were met, would mean that cuts would not be enacted.
“I would like to keep wishing and hoping thinking and dreaming,” said McCann, “but we are still in a very fragile recovery, and depending on which financial pundits you listen to, we could be heading into another recession . . . since the state budget was passed and signed in June, the revenues are down.”
The Tier 1 cuts would not be as impacting as the Tier 2 cuts, which would involve cuts to general “Home to School” transportation and Special Education transportation for students.
Also, the instructional days in the school year could suffer. In McCann’s presentation, she said that the number of days could be cut from 175 days to 168 days.
These numbers are all down from the norm of 180 instructional days.
The numbers that have not been paid out due to state deferrals over the last three years, according to McCann totals about $200 million.
The projected cost of living adjustment, which is supposed to be a part of the state budget for education, is $6,489.35 per students in GGUSD for 2011-12. The actual funding for the year is $5,207.44, only an increase of $1.08 per student.
The actual increase was projected to be $143.
“We have weathered three really bad years . . . going into our fourth, but we will continue to be fiscally responsible,” said McCann.
The GGUSD serves most of Garden Grove as well as parts of Anaheim, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, Stanton and Westminster,