May 15 Closure Update: End of year procedures, sobering state budget news
May 15, 2020
Dear WCCUSD Families,
As the weather continues to improve and the shelter-in-place orders are being relaxed, I hope that you are finding ways to keep yourselves entertained and engaged while staying safe and healthy. The last two months have not been easy and this summer will not be a typical summer. But I hope that we can all have a strong finish to the school year.
We are hearing from a number of students and staff who want to return to their campuses to clean out lockers, desks and classrooms. We are working on arrangements to facilitate this work. We will have a plan in place next week and will communicate it to you at that time.
I also want to share some information with you about the budget situation. While we have come very close to meeting the budget reduction targets we set for next school year, the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis has significantly affected the fiscal outlook for the nation, the state and this school district.
As you know, we have worked our way through most of our intended budget reductions. We started the year with a goal of reducing $48 million for next year. We amended that goal to $32 million with the plan to push out that other $16 million in reductions for one more year.
With a lot of hard work, we have been able to reduce our expenditures by $30 million, coming $2 million short of our target for this year. We have always planned to cover that $16 million shortfall through our last bit of extra reserves. Our hope was that new revenue might help us--additional funding from the state, the Schools and Communities First ballot initiative, new money for Special Education, increased enrollment, or improved attendance.
We have been implementing our plan and doing so collaboratively with our labor partners but we had no idea what was coming: COVID-19. The state anticipates an $18 billion reduction to education funding. The Governor released his May Revision this week and we may have to reduce $26 million or more for the 2020-21 school year. It is also possible that the State may announce additional cuts beyond this amount in the late summer or fall.
This is sobering news, but I truly believe that we will get through this crisis, as with all the others, together. As I get more clarity around what impact the economy will have on our work, I will make sure we communicate that with you.
Thank you again for your continued patience and support.