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School Woes District Eyes Budget Crunch
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No layoff notices are anticipated but some belt-tightening measures will have to be taken in the Escalon Unified School District, as administrators and board trustees grapple with the impact of the state budget deficit.

Escalon will have to have a budget in place by the end of June, working off figures in the governor's initially proposed budget and the May revise, said EUSD Superintendent Dave Mantooth.

"It's very, very detrimental to districts," Mantooth said of the governor's state budget proposal.

What will hit Escalon the hardest, he noted, is the projected six percent deficit amount in ADA, Average Daily Attendance, funding. The less money coming in per student, combined with projected lower numbers for the district enrollment, will mean finding ways to cut spending since there will be less cash coming in.

"We're gong to get less money for every student we have," Mantooth said.

Cuts are also anticipated in categorical funding, for various special programs, and the district is looking to trim about a million dollars. Roughly half - about $500,000 less - is expected to come in from ADA and the other half needs to be cut in programs.

"These are the amounts the county sends to us," Mantooth explained. "They tell us 'you've got to send us a budget accounting for these cuts'."

Mantooth said school board members will be presented with a "second interim report" at their Tuesday, March 18 meeting.

"That's a report on this year's funding and shows where you're going to be three years out," he said of projecting the district's financial position. "We have to present a document the county will approve and we have to show, on the books, a million dollars in cuts.

"We're also in the middle of negotiations with all of our (bargaining) units."