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BUSD hoping for additional money

Molly Shore

School district officials say it’s too soon to get excited about

money earmarked for the district as a result of this week’s budget

compromise.

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Gov. Gray Davis is expected to sign the nearly $100-billion

spending plan today.

When the Assembly approved the 2003-04 budget Tuesday, it also

approved SB 1046, a bill that adds $50 million for distribution to

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school districts around the state.

“It’s all part of equalization,” said Steve Bradley, the school

district’s assistant superintendent of business services. “However,

there’s no guarantee that the district will get the money.”

Until he sees the formula included in the bill, Bradley said he is

not counting on the additional $173,642 that Assemblyman Dario

Frommer (D-Burbank) said is designated for the district.

“Right now, as far as Burbank is concerned, we’re basing our

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assumptions on what we did the [school district] budget on,” Bradley

said.

The trailer bill, which Assembly members wrote to equalize school

district revenues, must be passed by the Senate on Aug. 18 and signed

into law by Davis, said Teri Burns, deputy superintendent for

government affairs with the state Department of Education.

“Not all school districts will get money,” Burns said. “The money

will go to those [districts] with a below-average revenue limit

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payment.”

School board member Paul Krekorian cautioned that the $50 million

is not “new” money, but money taken for restricted programs

statewide, such as math and reading professional development,

education technology and principal training.

“This does create a benefit for [Burbank Unified] because the

equalization funding would be unrestricted general fund money, rather

than restricted categorical fund money,” Krekorian said.

If the funds are forthcoming, Krekorian said he would like to use

the money to minimize the effect of some of the district’s personnel

layoffs.

On Friday, the district sent layoff notices to 19 classified

employees. Layoffs would take effect on Aug. 31, Personnel Services

Director Nancy Gascich said.

Last month, the school board authorized the reduction in

classified positions to help balance the district’s 2003-04 budget.

Board member Ted Bunch proposed using the money earmarked for the

district to reinstate maintenance and operations personnel.


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