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Morgan Hill
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September 26, 2023

District spending will be down

After nearly $3.4 million in cuts, the Morgan Hill School
District came up with a proposed budget of approximately $50
million for the 2003-2004 school year. Trustees approved it
After nearly $3.4 million in cuts, the Morgan Hill School District came up with a proposed budget of approximately $50 million for the 2003-2004 school year. Trustees approved it 7-0.

The 2002-2003 budget numbers show a general fund budget of approximately $44 million, plus a restricted fund budget of approximately $9.2 million, for a total of $53.2 million.

The budget does not include district building projects including Sobrato High School, and renovation of of Live Oak High School and Los Paseo Elementary.

The district is required by law to hold 3 percent of all expenses in reserve, which is approximately $1.2 million. The amount in the 2003-2004 budget leaves undesignated is $240.81.

Next year’s budget was cut because enrollment is declining, and much of the district’s funding is based on ADA, or average daily attendance numbers. Decreased funding for certain programs also contributed to the budget cuts.

“I am satisfied with the work that has been done, by district staff and by our board, to put this together,” Board President Tom Kinoshita said Thursday. “We were faced with a situation where there was no easy solution.”

Before approval of next year’s budget and this year’s actual figures, Deputy Superintendent Bonnie Branco and Fred Gallacinao, director of fiscal services, discussed revenue reductions and expense increases as well as some increases in revenues before recommending trustees approve the budgets.

Trustee Shellé Thomas said the upcoming school year will be difficult financially.

“Between cutting the budget and declining enrollment, it is a double-edged sword,” she said.

Putting together next year’s budget was made more difficult by questions over the state’s budget for next year.

“I think it’s as reasonable as it can be, because we really don’t know how the state budget will look,” Kinoshita said. “We will take the prudent approach and be as conservative as possible.”

The state budget has not been approved, so district officials are faced with more than a few uncertainties as they try to predict what the district will spend and will receive in revenue next year.

The district’s budget, like the state’s, must be approved before the end of the fiscal year, June 30. Unlike the district’s, the state budget is typically not approved until later in the summer.

On Wednesday, State Controller Steve Westly said if the state’s new budget is not in place by July 1, he will freeze millions of dollars in payments to public schools.

“I would suspect that up and down the state, our community colleges will suffer and our summer schools,” Kinoshita said. “We don’t really crank out the dollars in the summer. Our district has one summer school program, but I haven’t yet spoken to Bonnie or Carolyn (McKennan, superintendent) about how this will directly affect us.”

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