PAUSD Board of Education Holds Series of Meetings to Discuss Budget Shortfall
July 25, 2016

The Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) community is invited to participate and engage in the series of meetings that the Board of Education (BOE) is holding to discuss the school district’s Budget shortfall.

The Facts:

On July 1, the Santa Clara County Assessor’s Office published the growth data for the 2016-17 tax year, which currently shows growth at 5.34% versus the adopted PAUSD budget projected 8.67% property tax growth.  A decrease in property tax revenue from 8.67% to 5.34% is approximately $5.2 million.  The PAUSD trend data this year showed its typical upward trend and the growth was at 8.62% as of June 1, 2016.  In the past three years, the July 1 assessment growth numbers have all come in higher than June numbers for both PAUSD and Santa Clara County.

The drop in assessment growth from June 1 (8.62%) to July 1 (5.34%) for PAUSD is mainly due to the increase in exemption values of $1.2 billion compared to last year.  The increase in exemptions is primarily from the expansion of Stanford Hospital.

In addition to a 4% increase on the salary schedule for 2016-17, the recently approved multi-year employee contracts provide a 1% off the salary schedule increase.  The off-schedule increase is contingent on property tax growth.  The provision states that if property tax revenue is less than the amount budgeted in the adopted budget by 1.5% or more, the 1% off the salary schedule increase is eliminated.  With the 1% off schedule payment eliminated, the budget shortfall is reduced to $3.7 million. 

Board of Education's Budget Balancing Values (adopted by the BOE in 2009):

Maintain academic excellence
​​​​Transparency and openness about our challenge
​​Continued support and fidelity to the district’s Strategic Plan
​Participation by all stakeholder groups
​​​Understanding of and dedication to what works educationally
​​Optimism about ability to solve problem
​​​Long term fiscal health – no gimmicks
​​Staffing levels that sustain program quality as we grow
​​​Avoiding layoffs is a high priority

Update: Feb. 14, 2017

The Board made and approved a motion with the directive for the Superintendent to come back with additional cost-savings measures totaling $2 million. This is in addition to the $3.5 million proposal the staff advanced at the this Feb. 14, 2017, Special Board Study Session, which included over $1.1 million in cutbacks at the district office, through eliminating and consolidating positions next year.  

Update: Oct. 18, 2016

The Board held preliminary discussions regarding potential budget-blancing solutions for the 2017-18 school year.  PAUSD staff presented $3.7 million of possible areas to balance the budget for 2017-18. 

Update: Sept. 27, 2016:

During the regularly scheduled BOE meeting on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, the Board heard a presentation that included two options for managing the budget shortfall in 2016-17 and preliminary ideas for 2017-18 in advance of the October 18th budget workshop.  The Board voted 4-1 approving Option 2 which totals $3,432,000 in budget solutions for 2016-17. 

Update: Aug. 29, 2016:

The most recent information from the County Controller's Office shows that the tax growth rate is 4.61%, the equivalent to a further decrease of $900,000, which increases the budget shortfall to $4.2 million. 

Update: Aug. 23, 2016

During the Aug. 23, 2016, BOE meeting, the Board came to a consensus on resolving the $3.3 million budget shortfall over a two-year period and recommended staff to plan for Scenario C.  

Scenario C uses growth rates of 4% for the next two years and 3% in the out years. Growth projections are applied to secured roll only. The growth rates are 3.72%, 3.73%, 2.81%, 2.81%, 2.82% for 2017-18 to 2021-22 respectively.

At the next meeting, the Board will receive a recommendation for the 2016-17 budget and preliminary list of budget adjustments for 2017-18.

Update: Aug. 11, 2016:

A presentation from staff to the BOE indicates that a budget surpus of $418,000 from the 2015-16 school year reduces the current shortfall to $3.3 million. 

The PAUSD Board of Education will discuss the $4.2 million budget shortfall during the following meetings:

Date & Time Meeting Location  
Wed., July 27, 4 pm Special Meeting
Budget Study Session
Board Room
PAUSD District Office
25 Churchill Ave.
Palo Alto
Watch the Board discussion
Thurs., Aug. 11, 8:30 am Board Retreat Board Room
PAUSD District Office
25 Churchill Ave.
Palo Alto
Watch the Board discussion
Tues., Aug. 23, 6:30 pm Board Meeting Board Room
PAUSD District Office
25 Churchill Ave.
Palo Alto
Watch the Board discussion
Tues., Sept. 13, 6:30 pm Board Meeting Board Room
PAUSD District Office
25 Churchill Ave.
Palo Alto
Watch the Board discussion
Tues., Sept. 27, 6:30 pm Board Meeting Board Room
PAUSD District Office
25 Churchill Ave.
Palo Alto
Watch the Board discussion

Tues., Oct. 18, 8:30 am

Special Meeting Budget Study Session

Board Room
PAUSD District Office
25 Churchill Ave.
Palo Alto

 
Tues., Feb. 14, 8:00 am Special Meeting Budget Study Session

Board Room
PAUSD District Office
25 Churchill Ave.
Palo Alto

Watch the Board discussion

Tues., March 7, 8:00 am
 

Special Meeting Budget Study Session

Board Room
PAUSD District Office
25 Churchill Ave.
Palo Alto