Mon11242014

Schools

State budget brings good news to LASD


On a per-pupil basis, Proposition 98 support increases 6.6 percent, or $510, from the 2005-2006 school year, to $8,288 per student. It reflects a mixture of one-time and ongoing expenditures.

The state budget brings good news for the Los Altos School District this school year.

Though the district's net increase in state revenue is up $490,000, part of that revenue comes from one-time grants, guaranteed only for the 2006-2007 school year.

Randy Kenyon, assistant superintendent for business services, presented news of the state allocation to the LASD Board of Trustees Aug. 14.

In the district budget, adopted in June, the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) was set at 5.18 percent. The state set the COLA at 5.92 percent, which means the district will receive additional funding from the state.

Kenyon said the state budget report means a significant increase in state funding for the schools. The state will spend almost $8,300 per pupil.

A California school district is designated a basic-aid district when its property tax revenues exceed the state's revenue-limit formula. Until that happens, the district remains a revenue-limit district, and the state supplements the difference between the property tax funds and the mandated minimum funding. This year's increase in state funding prevents LASD from achieving basic-aid status, and it remains a revenue-limit district.

The budget adopted in June estimated that the district would receive $630,000 less in property-tax money than revenue-limit funding. Property taxes are now estimated to be $1.1 million less than the revenue limit.

"We are getting more money," Kenyon said. "It doesn't matter what status we are in right now."

Kenyon highlighted the new categorical funding - mostly one-time funding - that will benefit arts, music, physical education, instructional materials, school gardens, teachers and counselors.

Kenyon is also finalizing the budget from the 2005-2006 school year. He said property tax numbers should be available soon, which will speed the process.

Also discussed at the Aug. 14 board meeting:

• Justus updated the capital facility plan for remodeling the Bullis-Purissima campus. Justus said he was working and meeting with the architect, Lisa Gelfand of Gelfand Partners Architects of San Francisco, on what the campus needs. He discussed hiring a project manager who worked with him at his previous district. Justus said Gelfand would attend the Sept. 11 board meeting with a recommendation.

• The board discussed a permanent location for the Bullis Charter School. Justus asked for other suggestions before sites are compared in future meetings.

The district will consider placing the charter school at Egan Junior High, Covington Elementary School or a shared site on the Bullis-Purissima campus. The district expects to make a decision by Sept. 26.

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