Escalon’s 2013-2014 school district budget – slated for adoption Tuesday night by the school board after The Times went to press – isn’t balanced but hopes are that the deficit spending it includes will be a short-lived anomaly.
“We have to have our budget done by June 30, regardless of what the state does and we have been working on our budget for six weeks,” explained Escalon Unified School District Superintendent Ron Costa. “Ours was finalized and had gone to print even before the state settled theirs.”
As presented to school board members on Tuesday, June 18, the EUSD budget shows a little over $19.4 million in revenues compared to $20-plus million in expenditures.
That means the plan has the district in deficit spending, between $700,000 and $800,000 short, but Costa said that will change when the budget is revised with new state information plugged in. The state budget was passed by the legislature over the weekend and sent to the governor for his signature.
Costa said some relief for the district will come by virtue of the local control funding formula provided for in the state plan, and Escalon officials will revise their plan accordingly. It is due back to the board 45 days after the Governor signs the state budget into law.
“There will be changes in revenue based on the new law,” said Costa. “We believe the local control funding formula will help make up most of the deficit.”
The original Escalon plan had to account for state funding deferrals and so was not a balanced budget.
“If you look at our budget right now it doesn’t look very good,” Costa admitted. “But the revenue side is going to change.”
The budget plan also calls for some reorganization of administration, with Kendra Helsley adding Farmington Elementary to her principal duties along with Dent; Scott Ferreira adding Collegeville to his job description along with Van Allen Elementary. Helsley will also get an assistant principal to help out at Dent, the largest enrollment elementary.
“We have hired several teachers, two science teachers, social studies, an English teacher for the middle school and a high school ag teacher,” noted Costa. “We were also able to pull one teacher off layoff for elementary, a fifth grade teaching position, and we currently have a third grade post open we are working on filling.”
Also going on this summer, work at the Dent cafeteria, paving at El Portal, upgrades to portable classrooms at Farmington and Van Allen and development of some modernization plans for the high school.