Welcome to GO’s School Board Watch for the meeting on Wednesday, June 13, 2018.
This week’s agenda includes the following key items:
- 2018-19 Local Control Accountability Plan
- 2018-19 Fiscal Year Budget
- Full Price Meal Charge Increase
The Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) is a document that describes how school districts will apply additional funds from the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) to improve student outcomes. The amount of LCFF funds is determined by the number of low income, English Language Learner, homeless, and foster students in the district. The Board will hear a presentation on the 2018-19 LCAP. The presentation includes updates on progress to reaching LCAP goals and areas of continued need, as well as recommendations from the LCAP Parent and Student Advisory Committee.
As it relates to the budget, the LCAP also outlines the investments that the district is reducing, as well as areas where the district has increased investments.
During this difficult time of making cuts to avoid state receivership, it is important that OUSD’s academic and finance leaders work together to create one strategic financial plan that provides clarity on the district’s goals and clearly outlines how they will pay for everything. Specifically, it is important that OUSD implement an Academic Return on Investment approach to making a clear case for the investments that are having the greatest impact on student achievement and investments that are well intentioned but not impacting student outcomes as much as we needed.
The Board will hear a first reading of the 2018-19 budget; the final budget must be approved by July 1, 2018. June 13th is the first time the school board will see the entire 2018-2019 proposed budget, and the reason provided that the school board received a delayed budget was because this was the first year district leadership employed “zero-based budgeting” in determining its budget.
The district will be ending the 2017-18 school year with a projected financial reserve of 1% (approx. $5 million). Based on this information, on June 6th, the school board passed a resolution to increase the reserve to 2.5% (adding approx $8M). Identifying this additional money in the 18-19 budget puts the district above the state-required 2%, but still below the Board policy of 3%.
OUSD is in the difficult position of needing to make a 3rd round of cuts to central and school site budgets now, or wait to make mid year cuts to central office and school site budgets. The ideal scenario would have been for these discussions to take place in the winter of 2018 as school site and central office budgets were being finalized. Best practices in district level budgeting call for districts to have multi-year projections that allow for advanced planning when cuts will need to be made and to allow for community input and careful analysis of the trade-offs that will take place. In March, aligned with GO’s advocacy, OUSD adopted national best practices in district level budgeting – and it is now time to create an implementation plan so that the district can establish financial stability.
The cost of full price meal charges has remained the same since 2014-15. In order to account for increased costs in food and food service, and in keeping with the National School Lunch program requirement that sufficient funds be available to serve students not eligible for free or reduced lunches, OUSD will increase the cost of full price meals. The cost of elementary school lunches will increase from $2.50 to $2.75 and the cost of secondary lunches will increase from $3.25 to $3.50.