“We’re very lucky in this district that we have as much of a fund balance as we do,” she said. “Because we can cruise a little bit here.”
But without any changes at all, the reserve would be tapped by the 2009-10 fiscal year, she added.
The governor’s budget calls for cutting education funding next year by more than $4 billion statewide. A cut of that magnitude would require suspending Proposition 98, a 1988 ballot measure that guaranteed a minimum amount of state funding for education.
As district officials monitor budget wrangling at the state level, they are also keeping an eye on challenges unique to the district, such as declining enrollment, which could have an impact on Burbank schools, Ordway-Peck said.
“We will continue to be working on whatever we can do to keep that from becoming a large factor,” she said.
In addition, increased standard of living costs, notably gas prices, can mean more expenditures for the district, she said. Many products used in schools are delivered by trucks, which can have rates linked to fuel costs. Rising paper and utility prices can also put added pressure on the district, she said.
“There are so many secondary costs of oil that we really need to understand,” she said.
Though other districts are responding to increasingly grim forecasts by sending layoff notices and the like, Supt. Greg Bowman said it is much too early to speculate in terms of exact numbers.
“We haven’t weathered the storm because the storm hasn’t started yet,” he said.
But any suspension of Proposition 98 provisions will have an impact on the state’s schools, he said.
“There are many factors that we are going to have to look at,” he said. “And I don’t want to go down the path of what if .?.?. because what that tends to do is create anxiety among our faculty members and our public.”
?CHRIS WIEBE covers education. He may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at email@example.com.