In a year when school districts all over the county are scrambling to make up for budget deficits, the Newport-Mesa Unified School District has approved its 1990-91 fiscal year spending plan--an $83.7-million budget that includes nearly $10 million in surplus revenue.
According to Stephen Wagner, director of business support services, the relatively high operating surplus can be traced in part to this year’s $4-million entitlement grant from the Irvine Co., as well as the sale of five acres of school land at the Lindbergh Elementary School site to the Costa Mesa Water District for a reservoir. That sale was approved by the board June 12 and will produce about $4.5 million for the district this year.
Unlike most other districts in the state, Newport-Mesa is considered a basic-aid district, which means it receives a higher-than-average percentage of its revenue from local taxes, Wagner said.
Of the $73 million in spending outlined in the plan, nearly $37 million will go to certified employees, including teachers and administrative personnel. Another $13 million is set aside for classified employees, who have yet to settle a contract for next year. Supt. John Nicoll attributed much of the district’s success to reliance on local taxes and reinvestment of funds.