The Santa Monica – Malibu Unified School District Board of Education might have set a record for a public meeting this week with at 20-minute session to take feedback on their budget process.
Public schools are now funded by a streamlined state system known as the Local Control Funding Formula. Part of the LCFF program requires schools to work with parents, educators, employees and the community to establish Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP) that create goals and actions across several areas.
A public hearing regarding the LCAP and the larger budget plan was held on June 27, however there was not much to be said by the public and the meeting concluded in about 20 minutes.
On Thursday, June 29 the Board will meet again to formally adopt the 2017 – 18 LCAP and the 2017 -18 General Fund Budget.
“The LCAP sets goals, metrics, and expenditures for efforts to improve the outcomes of our students, particularly English language learners, foster youth, and students who qualify for free and reduced lunches,” said Boardmember Ralph Mechur.
The new LCAP includes three main goals, all graduates are ready for college and careers, English learners will become proficient in English, and all students engage in schools that are safe and well maintained.
“The LCAP that was presented to the Board outline the work started by Dr. Rousseau and King and continued by Dr. Drati,” said Boardmember Jon Kean. “We have reduced the number of stated goals so that we can address core issues as part of a carefully constructed and scaffold process.”
He believes the plan is slow and arduous work, but will get the district where they need to be.
Changes in LCAP consist of deleting secondary math metric, deleting dual enrollment metric, change preschool metric to be EDI based, provide release time for Pre K teachers, SAT for all seniors on school day, provide an extended day for ELS in MS
“Meeting the metrics of the LCAP should result in improvements in student performance, particularly of groups that have historically underperformed,” said Mechur.
The LCAP includes information regarding a supplemental grant, which is to be used to increase or improve outcomes. The supplemental grant money covers certificated costs, classified cost, materials and supplies, contracts and services, and software.
The LCAP 2017 – 18 allocation totals out to $4,425,900.
This year the total general fund budget expenditures for LCAP is $155,371,152 and is intended for the three LCAP goals.
The BOE will also need to adopt the 2017 – 18 General Fund Budget Plan at its Thursday meeting.
“The budget meets the requirements of have a three year budget and look ahead that ensures the district’s finances provide for the funds necessary to operate the district as proposed,” said Mechur.
The district’s 2017-18 budget begins with a balance of $26,129,362 and projects revenues of $153,228,949 for a total fund balance of $179,358,311. This comes from LCFF, federal revenues, state revenues, parcel taxes, City of Santa Monica, Proposition Y & GSH, Santa Monica – Malibu Education Foundation, and other local organizations.
This year the enrollment for 2017 -18 is expected to be 10,768 with a lottery allocation of $189 per annual average daily attendance. Of that, $144 is for unrestricted general fund expenditures and the remaining $45 is for Proposition 20, which is mandated for instructional materials.
“I believe that we are finally on a path where future budgets will clearly show our priorities and the ‘story’ of our district while controlling spending at the same time,” said Kean. “In the next couple of years our budget will reflect this new reality and we will be able to make progress on our vital programs as we move toward Excellence through Equity.”
The district plans to spend $155,371,152 on unrestricted and restricted expenditures, which includes salaries, employee benefits, books and supplies, services, capital outlay, and other outgo. Leaving a projected fund balance of $23,987,159.
Boardmembers said spending more than they take in is not sustainable and cuts will be the subject of ongoing discussions.
“The budget is a deficit-spending budget, utilizing reserves to offset projected expenditures being greater than projected revenues,” said Mechur. “The Board has directed the Superintendent to bring potential cuts forward as we start to plan the 2018-19 budget to reduce future projected deficits. This discussion will take most of the coming year.”
School Board meets at 5:30 p.m. at the District Office, 1651 16th St.