LVJSD

Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District’s board of education approved a $147.3 million budget last week that’s more of a placeholder, as schools around the state already expect some relief from anticipated funding cuts in the state budget.

The board unanimously approved a general fund budget based on information from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s May budget revision. Subsequently, state lawmakers and Newsom agreed on a revised budget last week that avoided many of Newsom’s cuts to education. It uses a combination of delayed spending and cuts to colleges, courts and state worker salaries, temporary tax increases, and taps the state’s “rainy day fund.”

After the state budget is adopted and signed July 1, the district has 45 days to revise its own budget using current information from the state and updated staffing and enrollment projections.

The board approved a budget that assumes class sizes and staffing remain the same ratios as in the 2019-2020 school year, said Susan Kinder, assistant superintendent of business services.

It cut $3.2 million by eliminating some positions through retirement and attrition, reassigning some district teachers on special assignment and reducing district department budgets by 10%. It also cut back transportation services as well as professional development conferences and outside agency-provided professional development.

The approved budget included $5.5 million in tentative compensation concessions, which employee managers and bargaining units had indicated willingness to give to reduce or avoid layoffs.

“Those concessions are no longer necessary based on the actual state budget being adopted,” Kinder said.

The budget’s estimated ending balance would decline to $4.6 million from $7.9 million, mostly as a reserve for economic uncertainty.

Of course, a big unknown is the economic toll of the pandemic and shelter-in-place orders on state revenue. The state may revise it in August after tax receipts come in since tax payments aren’t due until July this year.

Possible revisions in federal funding will also impact the district’s final budget.

The school board’s next official meeting is in August and the school year begins on Aug. 25.

However, the board will host an information night on Tuesday, July 7, at 7 p.m., for community members who may be interested in running for one of two board seats that will become available after November. At this session, the district will share roles and responsibilities board members, information about the election process and deadlines, the meeting schedule and conflict of interest and campaign reporting requirements.

For additional information, or to receive written materials after the session, contact Superintendent Kelly Bowers’ office at 925-606-3281 or email Cathy McConnell at cmcconnell@lvjusd.org.