As the California Legislature continues to battle over a budget, LASD administrators are looking at their own finances, hoping to balance a budget "without affecting the children," Superintendent Tim Justus told local community leaders at a Challenge Team meeting last week. (As of press time, state politicians were one vote shy of passing a budget.)
The state faces a deficit of $40 billion through 2010, and the current proposal would slash state education funds by $8.6 billion over the next two years. The Los Altos School District is being hit particularly hard because it is a basic aid district, relying on both funding from the state and from property taxes. The district also has lost funds as property values decrease, Justus said, and now must cut $2.6 million from its budget.
"Every source of revenue that comes to our district is in jeopardy," Justus said.
Administrators are looking to lay off 30 certified and 30 classified staff. They have to send out pink slips by March 15, and present a final district budget to the state by June 30.
All local school districts face steep cuts as they wait for the state Legislature to pass a budget. Although Mountain View Whisman administrators have not calculated exact numbers under the current proposal, the district could lose up to $3 million, and the Mountain View-Los Altos High School District faces $2 million in cuts.