By Alex White
Assistant Superintendent Rick Bagley presented the Manhattan Beach Unified School District’s first interim budget for the 2011-12 school year at a Board of Trustees meeting on Dec. 14.
The report showed that MBUSD was on track with the 2011-12 budget. Though many other districts face intense budget cuts, MBUSD has avoided cuts so far this year.
“[The LA County Office of Education] cautioned all districts of a high potential for mid-year cuts and to take these cuts into consideration when putting together the first interim budget,” Bagley said.
Revenues have totaled over $51 million for this year, over $250,000 more than expected when the budget was adopted in May 2011. This has come in large part from donations from the Parent Teacher Student Association and the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation, which raised over $7 million combined.
According to Bagley, the interim budget also accounted for $1.7 million in mid-year cuts. However, the governor’s office reported that the cuts would be drastically smaller, closer to $100,000.
“The good news is the state said that mid-year cuts wouldn’t be fully implemented as originally planned,” Bagley said.
The governor’s recently-released budget could create a less optimistic future. It relies on the passage of a new tax intiative, and if it fails to pass, there will be a $4.8 billion cut to education across the state.
“I’m concerned it won’t work out now,” MBUSD Board President Ellen Rosenberg said. “Whether one agrees with increasing taxes, it simply isn’t prudent to balance the state budget on pending legislation.”
With the passage of the tax proposition, per pupil spending is expected to increase to $11,246 from $7,096 in 2012-13.
“The best thing to do is remain fiscally conservative and be thankful for the support organizations in our community: MBEF, PTA and MBAF,” Rosenberg said.