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MISSION VIEJO : School District Driven to Economize

After recent state budget cuts, administrators in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District are coming up with creative ways to pay for programs that cannot be funded by the district’s $99.9-million budget.

The district has been forced to cut its regular behind-the-wheel driver’s training course because it will no longer receive the $150,000 reimbursement from the state.

However, a new driving class will be offered through the district’s recreation department beginning Oct. 1. Students will pay a $90 fee.

In addition to the driver’s training funds, the district will lose $380,000 in state lottery funds, $600,000 in fees levied by the county for property tax preparation and about $50,000 in supplemental grants. And last year’s $1.6-million allotment of Proposition 98 funds also will not be available this year.

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Overall, the district will be spending $30 less per student and will lose $600,000 of operating budget funds because of state budget cuts, according to district estimates.

The 3% cost-of-living increase granted by the state is covering some of these cuts, but inflation in district expenses is at about 5%, Supt. Peter Hartman said.


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