Tahoe/Truckee school board approves budget for 2012-13 | SierraSun.com

Tahoe/Truckee school board approves budget for 2012-13

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District board of trustees last Wednesday voted unanimously to approve the 2012-13 school year budget.

Steve Dickinson, TTUSD chief business officer, presented the budget, according to a press release, which was adjusted in response to the governorand#8217;s revisions to the state budget in late May.

The 2012-13 budget reflects a combination of a $1.9 million reduction in spending and an intentional spend-down of reserves. The districtand#8217;s reserve will decrease from its 2011-12 year ending balance of about $7.5 million to an estimated 2012-13 balance of about $4.1 million and#8212; or about 8.73 percent of the total expense budget.

According to the press release, Kim Szczurek, board president and member of the finance committee, questioned whether it was against board policy to approve a budget that reflects less than 9 percent left in the reserve fund. Dickinson said future budget reduction targets may need to be adjusted in order to maintain the minimum of 9 percent.

Dickinson also said the budget was necessarily conservative and that there are some yet-to-be determined factors that could result in improvements.

For example, Dickinson said the district planned as if Gov. Jerry Brownand#8217;s tax initiative fails in November and#8212; should the initiative pass, TTUSDand#8217;s 2012-13 budget projections could improve by $1 million.

Also, the budget plans for a 0 percent increase in revenue from property taxes. He said that by the end of July, the district will know whether it will see any percentage gains from property taxes; however, he warned that even a 1 percent gain doesnand#8217;t translate to a large amount of added revenue.

and#8220;This is a very difficult year,and#8221; Dickinson said in a statement. and#8220;What we have to remember is that many government programs have been hit hard and that our schools also serve as a safe sanctuary for all students, particularly those who suffer from budget cuts to health and human services programs.and#8221;

The board last week also approved a proposal made by Superintendent Rob Leri to conduct a formal fiscal health analysis and an organizational review of the district office of centralized services.

and#8220;We are now past the point of having to cut any fat off the bone and#8212; we are down to the bone,and#8221; said board member Kirsten Livak in a statement. and#8220;An analysis of our operations and spending by an impartial third party will be invaluable in guiding tough decisions that weand#8217;ll have to make.and#8221;

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