Gov. Jerry Brown’s May budget revision, released earlier this month, could spell more trouble for the New Haven Unified School District.
According to a New Haven press release issued last week, if California voters don’t pass the Governor’s tax initiative in November, the local school district could face an additional $1.3 million in budget cuts.
The shortfall would come on top of the $10.7 million in cuts initially estimated for the 2012-13 school year.
“We now must plan to reduce our budget by more than $12 million,” wrote Superintendent Kari McVeigh in an e-mail to employees last week.
“When the Governor announced his May budget revisions last week, it appeared public education had been spared further cuts, or at least those cuts would be relatively minor,” McVeigh wrote. “But as details of the revisions became clear, it became evident that two key pieces of the funding model had been impacted.”
According to New Haven officials, one of those key pieces affected by Brown’s revised budget is what’s known as “the deficit factor” — the percentage by which funds expected to be allocated for a school district can be reduced. In his May revision, Brown increased the 21.666 percent deficit factor from January to 22.273 percent.
School officials said the increased deficit factor means a reduction of the district’s revenue limit — the funding the district receives based on the average daily attendance. That number has been reduced from $5,253.53 per student to $5,216.78, which adds up to a loss of $475,104 for New Haven.
Also, if Brown’s tax initiative fails, the additional per-student loss would increase from $370 to $441, a loss of up to $882,981, the district reports.
“Our estimated budget deficit for 2012-13 has grown from $11,123,965, at the time of our second interim report, to $12,464,050,” McVeigh said.
If local voters pass , a local four-year $180 per parcel tax measure on the June 5 ballot, the district’s deficit will be offset by about $3 million next school year and every year for the next three years.
And if state voters pass Brown’s tax initiative in November, New Haven will regain about $5.5 million, according to district officials.
In the case that Brown’s tax initiative fails, the governor’s budget calls for additional cuts to the school year for a total of 15 days in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years, the district reports.
“Our best thinking at this point is that it could mean at least 13 budget-reduction days in 2012-13,” McVeigh said.
New Haven has already cut the school year by five days this year with a total of six unpaid furlough days for staff. Officials already approved three additional non-student days for the 2012-13 school year for a total of nine unpaid days for staff, the district said.
On top of that, the district issued for teachers and classified staff earlier this year and is planning to increase class size and eliminate elementary school specialists and middle school electives.