Budget Update: Board discusses the governor’s latest proposal and IUSD’s plan for 2010-11

At Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting, Assistant Superintendent Lisa Howell presented an update on the governor’s latest budget proposal and outlined IUSD’s spending plan for fiscal year that begins July 1.

Though California is grappling with a $19.1 billion shortfall, experts are now claiming that the longest and deepest recession in the post-Depression era is likely coming to an end, and the revised deficit for 2010-11 is approximately $800 million less than projections from January.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed closing the gap with a plan that includes $12.4 billion in spending cuts, including deep reductions to health and social programs. Education is again part of the equation, yet the reductions outlined – they total about $2.5 billion – are similar to those included in Schwarzenegger’s January proposal, and they were already built into IUSD’s budget plans for 2010-11.

It’s also worth noting that, as written, the proposed cuts to education impact districts funded under the “Revenue Limit” funding model. IUSD is now funded as a “Basic Aid” district, meaning our unrestricted operational dollars come directly from local property taxes. That doesn’t necessarily mean IUSD will avoid the latest round of cuts from Sacramento – remember that much of the state budget language will change in the months ahead as deliberations continue.

Howell said school districts probably won’t have any definitive information until a final budget is approved by both houses and signed by the Governor, and that may not occur until November. In the meantime, IUSD projects a balanced budget for 2010-11, though a shortfall is expected the following year as employee furlough days are scheduled to come to an end.

Update: To read highlights of Tuesday night’s meeting in a PDF recap called “Board Briefs,” click here.