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School Board Approves 2017-18 District Budget

The Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) and the Riverbank Unified School District (RUSD) Fiscal Year Budget for the 2017-18 school year have both been approved by the district’s Board of Trustees.

The action came at the board’s final regular meeting in June, shortly before the new fiscal year began on July 1.

According to RUSD Superintendent Dr. Daryl Camp, the district’s general operating budget includes about $30.6 million in revenues and $31.8 million in expenditures.

In the budget report provided by Chief Business Officer Roberto Perez, Jr. the budget for 2017-18 should be accepted by the County Schools Superintendent as positive. The Board was able to certify that the District can meet the financial obligations for the current fiscal year and the two years following, 2018-19 and 2019-20. The Board also certified that the District will have funds equaling a minimum of 5 percent of the total General Fund expenses allocated as a reserve.

“Over the last few years, the board of trustees has done an excellent job of ensuring the fiscal health of the District,” stated Camp. “They continue to monitor the cost pressures associated with rising pension costs for both teachers and support staff. They also are keeping an eye on the federal administration’s budget proposal that includes reductions in federal funding for school districts.”

RUSD receives approximately $3.2 million in federal funds.

Along with the budget the district also sets strategic goals including improving instructional programs, retaining quality staff, improving student programs, evaluating partnerships, providing a safe and healthy environment, alternative educational programs, and to improve the strategic planning process so that short-term and long-term resources are allocated effectively.

The LCAP included input from the community and staff to improve services for the students in the District. Some of the recommendations provided by the community and staff were to provide Six K-3 Teachers to Reduce Class Size, as well as provide Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Program and Staff, Elementary Music Teacher, Mandarin Teacher, Parent Liaison, and Out of School Time Programs.

Camp added that the LCAP clearly demonstrates the District’s intention to continue to increase and improve services for students. The three goals of the plan are to: increase student achievement to ensure each student demonstrates success with the California State Standards and graduate ready for college, careers and life; support students’ academic and social success by providing access to remediation, enrichment opportunities, and promoting positive well-being; and provide an environment that is safe and welcoming to parents and students to enhance and maximize learning opportunities.

“The District is pleased to have been able to hire two Parent Liaisons last spring to support Goal #3 and #1,” expressed Camp. “One of the Parent Liaisons will work extensively with Cardozo Middle School and is funded with the federal School Improvement Grant that CMS received in 2016-17. The other Parent Liaison will work with other schools in the District. Both Parent Liaisons will be based at the new Parent Center on the Cardozo Middle School campus.”

Stanislaus County Office of Education oversees the budgeting process for all the school districts within Stanislaus County. Each district receives different amounts of revenue and has their own financial risk factors. RUSD’s risk factors include implementation of LCFF funding, Certificate of Participation debt service, increasing statutory retirement benefits, and improving and increasing services to the District’s students per the LCAP.