Letter to the Editor re: CCUSD Budget Stabilization Plans

Letter to the Editor re: CCUSD Budget Stabilization Plans

With the sunsetting of COVID relief funds, CCUSD is faced with the same budget concerns that all districts up and down the state are facing. While CCUSD currently has sufficient reserves for this fiscal year, and we are meeting our financial commitments, we anticipate that reserves will be below the state's 3% reserve requirement during the next two years. Therefore we must make adjustments and develop plans to reduce spending.

As a district, we are committed to meeting the needs of our students and families by providing sustainable programs to secure the resources our students need to thrive in a nurturing learning environment. We will be submitting a board-approved Fiscal Stabilization Plan (FSP) to the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). A Fiscal Stabilization Plan is a budget blueprint based on projected revenue that will help us maintain adequate financial reserves.

The interim and permanent superintendents, board members and assistant superintendents are monitoring the district budget to ensure that we have a plan to maintain the state-required reserve levels for the current year and two future fiscal years. At the December 12th board meeting Mr. Reynolds, CCUSD's Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, indicated possible next steps in his presentation to the board.

CCUSD leadership has asked school site administrators to discuss future site budgets with their teams, and we are collaborating with our labor partners - Culver City Federation of Teachers (CCFT) and Association of Classified Employees (ACE). Together we are drafting a fiscally responsible plan that prioritizes the diverse learning needs of our students. Furthermore, we are taking under advisement the recommendations of the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee (CBAC) that were presented to the Board in December. CCUSD district administration will continue to discuss this matter with the CCUSD Board of Education and the Superintendent's Fiscal Committee, which includes Board Members Guerrero and Loredo.

Importantly, community members may be interested in looking at the Governor's most recent budget update in which he announced that the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) would be at just 0.76% for the 2024-2025 school year. This is the smallest increase in funding from Sacramento that we have seen since the great recession in 2008, indicating just how tight school funding will be in the coming year(s). In addition, rundown facilities have a tremendously draining impact on our general fund and divert dollars from the classroom. A pool of money dedicated to capital improvements can help alleviate this by freeing up more dollars to be spent on student services and student achievement.

CCUSD's leadership team is taking all of the above into careful consideration as we prepare our district's Fiscal Stabilization Plan. We are open to answering any questions, and thank you for your patience as we work through these budget issues and plan for necessary modifications. While budgetary constraints certainly present challenges, we are committed to working collaboratively and with transparency for the best outcomes that put our students and their educational needs first.

Dr. Brian Lucas Dr. Maria Martinez-Poulin

CCUSD Superintendent CCUSD Interim Superintendent


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