• Shrunken revenues threaten PG school budget

    by Michael Sizemore

    The Pacific Grove United School District has been forced by diminished revenues to engage in deficit spending for the most recent three years, according to Assistant School Superintendent Rick Miller, speaking at the PG School Board’s regular meeting September 5. Miller said that funding has been reduced for the schools by a shrinking of property tax revenues in recent years.

    He said the deficit spending was enabled by the district’s healthy reserves, which have supplied the extra money needed to run PG schools. California school districts are required by state law to maintain a minimum of 3 percent reserves, and, even after using some of the district’s reserves to maintain spending levels, PG has 10 percent in reserves.

    However, Miller noted that if things stay as they are for another two years the district will be in financial difficulty. The reserves will shrink to be close to the 3 percent level.

    Miller said in a phone interview that if the negative trend continues the deficit spending will have to be reined in, probably by reductions in personnel. Personnel costs make up 85 percent of each year’s budget.

    “We wouldn’t want to lay anyone off,” he said, noting that reductions would probably be accomplished by not hiring replacements for teachers who leave the district’s employ.

    There are some bright spots in the situation, however, as property tax revenues have recently begun to climb, while at the same time enrollment decreased by 25 students this year. A smaller number of students reduces the financial load the district has to lift.

    The School Board voted unanimously to accept the Unaudited Actuals Financial Report for the 2012-13 school year at the September 5 meeting. This is the last step before the budget is turned over to an auditor.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on September 12, 2013

    Topics: Front PG News, Schools

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