The Turlock Unified School District (TUSD) adopted their 2011-2012 back in June, however Education Code Section 42127 requires a review by the Stanislaus County Office of Education. TUSD received their approval from the County office in August and formally filed the letter at their September 6th Board of Trustees meeting.
The purpose of the review is to ensure that the District will be able to meet their financial obligations over the next three years and maintains the minimum reserve.
Although the County did approve the budget, the letter discussed a few issues that were noted during the review process including reserves and multi-year projections, deficit spending, status of labor negotiations and debt issuance.
With the deficit spending at $592,139 in 2011-12 budget and a projected deficit spending of just over $1.3 million the following two fiscal years, the district will be moving closer to not meeting the minimum reserve level of 3%. Since the minimum is part of State Criteria and Standards it could present an issue in future budget years.
Another issue that has made plenty of headlines was the status of negotiations with certified and classified employees. Just after the letter was received from the county, the board passed a Memorandum of Understanding between TUSD and the Turlock Teachers Association.
TUSD Board President Frank Lima took the opportunity to express that he was especially proud of the contributions and concessions by the employees during these tight budget years.
Lima continued to express his gratitude by saying, "A special thanks to all our employees for their commitment to our students for their sacrifices and dedication, not only in their work everyday, but also in their salary and benefits that have allowed us to maintain fiscal integrity.”
A final thank you went to Lori Decker and her staff for all their work on the preparation and review of the budget.