Fewer students, reduced state funding threaten Mt. Diablo budget
- Fewer students, reduced state funding threaten Mt. Diablo budget By Theresa
Contra Costa Times<tharrington@...?subject=ContraCostaTimes.com:
students, reduced state funding threaten Mt. Diablo budget>
Posted: 10/01/2009 04:42:18 PM PDT
Updated: 10/01/2009 05:46:02 PM PDT
CONCORD � A state plan to take $4.6 million from the Mt. Diablo school
district to offset money received for low-performing schools could mean more
budget cuts this year.
In addition, declining enrollment will lead to additional cuts in the next
three years, said Dick Nicoll, interim superintendent.
The district hired extra staff members at six schools that receive Quality
Education Investment Act funding to fulfill requirements for getting the
grants, he said. The grants require smaller class sizes than usual, along
with staff development and training aimed at bridging the achievement gap.
"We continued the program in good faith on reliance of the state's
representation they would continue to provide the money for it," Nicoll
said. "Now, we find ourselves in the predicament of having hired teachers,
but not having the money."
He and school leaders statewide hope Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will sign
SB84, which would prevent the state from taking the investment money away
until it could provide equal funds from another source, so there would not
be a net loss to school districts. There are 482 schools in California that
receive $402 million in grants facing the same money situation as Mt.
Diablo, said Mark Calonico, who provides program assistance in Northern
"If they wind up losing that kind of money," he said, "I think that the
districts would really find themselves in quite a financial fix."
Calonico predicted some districts, such as West Contra Costa, might have
trouble making payroll. Mt. Diablo also is grappling with other state cuts
of $1,422 per student, expected to lower revenues from $6,370 per student to
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