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What Happened to the Sac City Budget?

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For the first time ever, the Sac City 2018-19 budget was rejected by the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) in August, then again in October.

 

History is about to repeat–again.  The Sac City Unified School District under the leadership of Superintendent Jorge Aguilar (with the likely support of the school board) intends to submit a third, deficient budget on December 6, 2018.

 

The recent release of the District audited financial statement for last year (2017-18) provides some answers how things went so bad so fast.

 

According to the audited financial statement, the District’s budgeted for income (revenues) of $480,118,928 for 2017-18.  The District actual income (revenue) was $504,534,628, or $24,415,700 (5.1%) MORE than was budgeted.

 

The District’s revenues were higher than budgeted, so what happened?

 

The audited financial statement puts it succinctly:  “The next increase to the total expenditure budget between the Adopted and Year End Budget was $29,095,760 . . .”  That is, even though revenues were increased by 5%, the District spent not only the amount of the revenue increase, but substantially more than that, and significantly spiked its budgeted expenditures over the course of 2017-18.

 

What did the District spend its money on?  Two expenses stand out.

 

  • A $6 million payout in vacation to administrators and other highly paid district employees.
  • Increased the number of administrators from 251 to 269.8, an estimated cost of $3.5 million.
  • Other increases not accounted for.

 

If Mr. Aguilar and the School Board had been more financially prudent, the elimination of the vacation payout and the increased administrators would have been nearly enough to end the year with a surplus, that is, additional money in the bank, rather than a $11 million deficit.

 

Accordingly, SCTA has made an initial proposal to the District that would save $16.6 million per year, simply by reducing the number of administrators to 2014-15 levels (when enrollment was higher) and reducing the pay of Superintendent Aguilar and other administrators, thereby ensuring that no administrator makes more than the governor of California.

 

We await a response from the District.

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