School cuts update
Well folks, it looks like the school district has generated some new numbers detailing the local impacts of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s revised budget plan, and the sum is almost exactly the same as before. For starters, the district would essentially lose about $3.2 million in anticipated per-student funding (the funding would be about the same as last year, but wouldn’t include increases to cover rising costs), plus another $445,000 in state facilities revenue, according to this rundown on school board Trustee Mike McMahon’s fabulous website (it’s item #9). Toss in cuts to adult and career technical ed, class size reduction for kindergarten through grade three and other programs, and I’d say the number is probably pretty close to the $4 million in cuts the district has already planned to make over the next two years, though under Schwarzenegger’s plan, the district could use half of its reserve (which is $2.5 million this year) and shift other funds around to help cover the cuts. Look for a much more comprehensive picture at the school board’s meeting tonight, which will be held at Henry Haight Elementary School, 2025 Santa Clara Avenue (because the City Council is using its chambers to hold a special meeting to discuss its own fiscal doom and gloom; for the hat trick, the Planning Board is also meeting tonight, over at Mastick Senior Center). Incidentally, in an effort to be more transparent, school district staff will also present an overview of their budgeting process and a breakdown of how the money is spent, with a PowerPoint presentation available here. They’ll also offer a third interim report detailing the district’s projected finances for the next few years – something a district only does if it’s not sure it will be able to pay all its bills over the next few years – and that rather ugly-looking picture is here.
In other news, it looks like some Alameda businesses are concerned about the dent Measure H could make in their pocketbooks, according to an article in the Journal today (though teacher/blogger/H supporter Rob Siltanen says the article gives an incorrect impression on one point: Nonprofits would not have to pay the tax, he says). Per Alan Lopez’s article, the city’s chamber of commerce and business associations for the West End and Park Street are refusing to take a stand on the measure, which goes up for a vote one week from today.