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Hart district OKs slimmer budget

More than $10M cut because of lean state budget

Posted: July 2, 2008 1:17 a.m.
Updated: September 2, 2008 5:03 a.m.

After months of agonizing cuts to the Hart district budget — in excess of $10 million — the district governing board has voted to adopt a budget for the 2008/09 school year.

The district budget includes total expenditures of $255 million and total revenues of $213 million. The difference will be made up with accumulated balances from prior years, including remaining Measure V funds, said Sue Guthrie, chief financial officer for the William S. Hart Union High School District.

Because the state has not yet approved its own budget, the final figures are still subject to change. The state is expected to adopt a budget in August or September, according to Guthrie.

“At that time we’ll know whether the assumptions we based the budget on are correct or not, and whether we need to make some changes,” Guthrie said.

The budget includes a 2 percent raise increase for all employees, and includes a provision of a retroactive increase to July 1, 2007, if funds are available after the passage of the state budget. However, if more money does become available, the first $300,000 can be used at the discretion of the governing board.

“The first $300,000 is discretionary for the board — they could undo some of the cuts or they could add a new program,” Guthrie said. “Then the next amount of money would go to the retroactive raise. The cost of that is right around $1.9 million.”

Based on the uncertain revenue information provided by the state, the unappropriated ending balance for 2008/09 is anticipated to be approximately $1.8 million, Guthrie said.

“After the 2007/08 books are closed and the governor and the legislature approve the 2008/09 state budget, we will re-evaluate the funds that remain to determine what portion of the retroactive salary payments can be processed and whether any of the budget cuts can be reinstated,” she said.


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