Pleasanton Unified board to review next year’s budget, update to facilities master plan | News

The Pleasanton school board will review and discuss next year’s 2022-23 budget, including continued staff rightsizing because of current and projected enrollment declines, during this Thursday’s board meeting.

According to a proposed budget report from Tom Gray, executive director of fiscal services for the district, the proposed budget of $195.5 million has benefited from the state’s strong revenue growth in the last three years but the district will need to be more fiscally in the future .

The report states that this is due to “high inflation, supply chain issues, volatility in the stock market, tight labor market, continued pandemic issues, and instability overseas” — all of which impact salaries, materials, operational costs and more.

But with that push for being fiscally conservative comes a need for reducing staff because of current and projected enrollment.

“Since 2019/20, PUSD has seen about a 5.4% or 800 student enrollment decline,” the report states. “While the initial enrollment losses may have been attributed to the pandemic, the district has seen two consecutive years of enrollment losses. Based on the demographic projection study that was completed in January 2022 the district will continue to see reduced enrollment in 2022/23 and in the next two fiscal years of almost another 700 students.”

The report says that PUSD, like most other districts, has been impacted by the pandemic and ongoing declining enrollment. However, a retirement incentive program, retirements and replacements will also be a part of the staffing adjustments.

The state’s current economic position will also include a base increase to the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) of 6.56%.

There will also be an increase in funding for K-12 schools because of the state’s strong revenues and surplus.

The district is waiting for the final enacted state budget for next year; following that staff will adjust the budget at a 45-day budget update or at the first interim report in December.

The board will evaluate the current estimated budget and final budget adoption on June 23.

The school board’s open-session meeting is scheduled to start at 6 pm Thursday (June 9). Read the full schedule here.

In other businesses:

* The school board will review another report and discussion on the PUSD Facilities Master Plan and will focus on prioritizing key points like the rebuild of a multi-level entry plaza and drop-off zone for Village High School.

In a report from LPA Architects, the architecture firm working with the district to design the masterplan, a conceptual design update of Village High School’s educational options center will be presented to the board.

This new building will be located near Bernal road and will serve as a multifunction outdoor space, staff support space, shared resources like science labs, virtual academy, student union and library.

Other prioritizations for the rest of the district’s schools will be reviewed such as modernizing existing classrooms, visual and performing arts, food service improvements, physical education facilities, existing building systems like toilets and heating/air conditioning.

These all came after several months of meetings with students, staff, community members and committees including the board.

On May 26, LPA Architects presented the prioritization feedback from the board to the Facilities Master Plan Advisory Committee, which included further discussion on the Village High School and the Pleasanton Virtual Academy and overall program costs.

Additionally, revisions to the Amador athletic facilities were considered that altered some of the gymnasium and music locations on the campus.

“These Amador considerations are a high level view of the overall campus which can be further defined when funding becomes available and specific project planning takes place,” the report states.

At Thursday’s board meeting, staff and LPA Architects will provide the board with a review of the program cost estimate tailored to a potential future bond and the next steps to complete the master plan. This update includes a final total cost of approximately $983 million.

A final project list will be developed to align with the amount of a future bond measure and staff will then return to the board for final approval of the Facility Master Plan update on June 23.

* The board is also set to vote on approving the adoption of the recommended curriculum for world language which includes changes to Spanish 1-3.

This year a committee of Spanish 1-3 teachers in all secondary grade levels and schools piloted new materials which will possibly be part of an eight-year adoption cycle. However, this number of years is dependent on the California Department of Education’s framework and standards adoption cycle for World Language and funding available at the end of the eight-year cycle.

This will be the final review and if passed, the district will start collecting and distributing new instructional materials by this summer.

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