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School district set to vote on budget

Officials offset losses and present balanced budget for 2012-13 school year.

June 21, 2012|By Joanna Clay

The Laguna Beach Unified School District has compiled its 2012-13 budget, which is set to be approved at Tuesday's meeting.

As expected, Director of Fiscal Services Dean West said state revenue will go down.

State revenue is projected to decrease by $110,742 for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

Overall, the district's proposed budget shows a loss of $181,306, but it is prepared for the reduction in state funding, West said. LBUSD plans to use unrestricted fund on programs originally funded by that revenue.

Unrestricted funds include those that come from property taxes and some local and state revenue. They're relatively free from state restrictions and can be used for general operating costs of the district. As of right now, 91.7% of the total General Fund Budget is unrestricted, according to the report. Only 8.3% of the budget is restricted and must be used for categorical programs — and that includes money from state and federal funding, as well as some donations, grants and awards, which have stipulations for its use.

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The property tax revenue for the next fiscal year is projected flat, at the same level as 2011-12, the district's budget reports. Property taxes account for 88.2% of total projected revenue for 2012-13.

Overall revenue — which includes local funding, federal revenue, state revenue and other local revenue — went down $365,335.

The budget reports that the district will see a decrease in salary expenditures, much of which is due to retirement and the two-year incentive offered to employees to entice them to retire early. Classified salaries will show a decrease of $237,555 and a decrease of $45,338 in certificated salaries. West said the numbers are preliminary since many positions have not yet been filled.

Assistant Supt. Norma Shelton reports that although the state is in fiscal crisis and local property values are in decline, Laguna Beach schools are prepared to negotiate the dwindling state contribution with reserves and a "conservative balanced budget."

Joanna.clay@latimes.com

Twitter: @joannaclay

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