GLENDALE — Nineteen months since congressional Democrats passed the $787-billion stimulus and recovery bill, local school districts continue to fend off budget cuts and protect employee jobs.
In other words, they're not out of the woods.
In Burbank, district officials used all $6.8 million in stimulus funds to plug holes in their operating budget. Glendale Unified took in more than $21 million in stimulus funds reserved for stabilizing state and municipal institutions, according to the watchdog website, EdMoney.org.
Neither figure includes additional stimulus dollars released earlier this month from the federal education jobs bill. Both districts are waiting for the Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to approve a budget before they consider restoring a shortened school year.
"The revenue has dropped so much," said Eva Lueck, the chief financial officer of Glendale Unified. "One-time revenue and one-time sources … that is the thread we're hanging by."
It's a similar feeling in Burbank Unified, where Supt. Stan Carrizosa likened the federal spending to the jetliner that crash-landed with no casualties in the Hudson River last year.