For the first time in several years Valley Center-Pauma Unified School District has a budget that doesn’t have to dip into. A new education budgeting formula recently adopted in Sacramento means more than $1 million in revenues this year compared to last year.
School board trustees learned about the surplus at Thursday night’s meeting.
The additional money is produced by the Local Control Funding Formula, which was adopted by the legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown last month. The new law gives every school district money based on its number of students and adds to that based on its number of low-income students and English as a second language (ESL) students.
“It is the most significant change in school funding in over forty years,” Julie Macy Kimball, chief business officer, told the board. Besides changing the method of how ADA (Average Daily Attendance) is figured for each school, it changes the designation of transportation and Economic Impact Aid (EIA) from restricted to non-restricted funds.
The state provides two types of funding to schools, restricted and unrestricted.
Restricted funds, aka categorical aid, are set aside for specific programs. Unrestricted funds can be used for general educational purposes.
The new formula gives VCPUSD an additional $1 million over last year. The budget was already adopted, so no new expenditures are anticipated this year. That will mean that for the first time in several years the district won’t have to draw off its reserves.
The board and audience members applauded the good news and Board Pres. Don Martin said, “Great news! A great cloud has left the building!”
Meanwhile, fresh from its lawsuit against the district being dismissed, Jon Vick of the CCC Interest Group attended Thursday’s meeting and called on trustees to meet with his group to work out a compromise on the land where the old CCC barracks once stood.
Thursday, the school board voted to hire a contractor to due preliminary work that is required before putting together an environmental impact report on developing the site for three sports fields.
Before that vote took place, Vick hinted that the CCC Interest Group plans to appeal its loss at the lower court. "We remain ready to meet with you to discuss a win/win for the community and the district. We believe we will win on appeal, as laws have been broken and valuable historical assets of the community needlessly destroyed, but would rather settle this out of court."
The CCC group wants the district to allow the history museum to place a plaque on the property and leave the foundations of the destroyed buildings intact so replicas of the old buildings can be built, among other demands.
So far, the district has spent $50,000 fighting the complaint.