SACRAMENTO - The Sacramento City Unified School District put out an alert online and on video today saying $24 million in cuts for the current school year are in the offing. The School Board learned Thursday night that the Sacramento County Office of Education, tasked with keeping budgets balanced, rejected the district’s $500 million budget approved in July.
SCOE Superintendent Dave Gordon said the district received at least four letters since December outlining its budget concerns and said the rejection of the budget should not have been a surprise.
It all stemmed from a labor agreement reached with the teacher’s union that apparently was funded by the district’s mandatory reserve fund.
“They spent the reserve fund and then some,” said Gordon.
Teacher’s union President David Fisher says the district has some explaining to do because during labor negotiations the district gave them a budget that showed a $21 million dollar reserve through the length of the contract.
But Gordon said his office discovered that it would be $40 million in the hole in two years if nothing is done.
The district says everything will be on the table as far as reductions go including cuts in programs, class sizes and layoffs.
The district is asking that parents and the community weigh in on solutions that will insulate students in the classroom.
A special board meeting on the subject will be held later in the month and has provided an on-line site with updates.