California Governor Jerry Brown recently announced that trigger cuts will take place due to an over-projection of income for the state of $2.2 billion. Most of the cuts automatically take effect Jan. 1, with school cuts taking place Feb. 1.
The state reductions total $1 billion in mid-year cuts that will be made to schools and social services. Approximately $328 million of those cuts are from K-12 education. California’s public schools will see a $79.6 million decrease, plus a reduction of $248 million to the school busing subsidy.
“It still is yet to be determined the specific cost to our district,” said Marc Malone, Oakdale Joint Unified School District Superintendent.
He added that what the district knows for sure is that there will be an approximate $13 reduction in ADA (average daily attendance), totaling a $70,000 reduction to the general fund. OJUSD is made up of about 5,300 students. He also said there would be a 50 percent reduction in transportation funds.
Malone reported that the district expected that there would be some trigger cuts and built for that scenario in the July budget.
“We are reasonably confident that we’ll be able to survive this year without any (local) cuts,” Malone said.
He said that what they don’t know is if these cuts will be one time or ongoing, adding that the district will have to wait until they hear the governor’s new budget proposal in January and then when the state budget is adopted in July.
“I’m sure all of this will be tied to the tax initiative that will be on the November ballot,” Malone said.
Governor Brown has proposed temporary increases in income and sales taxes for the November ballot. His proposal is to temporarily raise taxes on those whose incomes exceed $250,000 a year and also to increase the statewide sales tax from 7.25 percent to 7.75 percent. Brown said he’ll pursue a second round of automatic cuts if voters reject the measure.
According to the California Teachers Association, California ranks 46th in per-pupil spending and approximately $20 billion has been cut from schools and colleges in the last three years.
State colleges and universities, as well as community colleges are also seeing trigger cuts, an additional $100 million each, which will result, in part, in tuition fee increases.