La Cañada school board reviews interim budget

The second interim financial report was approved by the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board on March 11, with an updated version to be presented at next month's meeting after the results of the March 4 parcel tax election have been certified.

The report, created by Diane Clinton, director of Fiscal Services, and Stephen Hodgson, the district's financial consultant, included tweaks to the previous version.

A state increase in the teachers' retirement system contribution and public employers' retirement system contribution increase were introduced to the report. Currently the district will pay 11.442% and that rate will increase to 15% in 2016-17.

"In the current year we spent a little over $500,000, and that amount is estimated to be $667,000 in 2016-17," Hodgson said. "Both of these retirement systems were previously unfunded. It does increase district costs, but in the long term, that system has to be set."

According to the report, utility costs are budgeted to drop from 13.6% for 2013-14 to 6% in the coming two years, Hodgson said.

"We will be in contact with our major representatives from our gas company and Edison, and as applicable, the water districts," Hodgson said.

He noted that Proposition 39 funds approved by voters in 2012 are specifically designated for energy efficiency, which could possibly reduce the district's use of utilities in years to come.

The financial report also reflected adjustments related to personnel.

"We've done some salary and staffing adjustments, adjustments in expenditures that is reflected in the ending balance for the 2015-16 school year," Hodgson said.

The next financial report is expected to be presented April 15.


MICHAEL BRUER is a freelance writer. He can be reached at


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