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Riverbank School District Running Out Of Cash
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News on the school district budget is not good. The Riverbank Unified School District is running out of cash, according to an informational report by business manager Karolyn Crisp.

The ending cash balance as of Feb. 28, 2011 was $3.6 million and the cash balance as of March 31 had dropped to $1.8 million, she told trustees at the April 5 meeting.

"Our funds due from the state are being deferred in part or whole," she said. "We anticipate there will be tax payments coming in but eventually we will run out of cash."

The state deferred 25 percent of its payments last year, will defer 33 percent this year and intends to defer 45 percent next year.

"At some point we will run out of cash. I'm not sure we will make it through June," she said, adding the Stanislaus County Office of Education has said it will loan the district money at minimum percent interest if that becomes necessary.

The other bad news is student enrollment (on which state funding is based - when the district eventually gets it) is still sinking.

Last year at this time, district enrollment totaled 2,779 but this year is 2,741 for a decrease of 38.

While Riverbank Language Academy has shown an increase of 67 students, the remainder of the district has a decrease of 105. Crisp broke out the RLA enrollment figures because the Academy has a separate board and operates on a separate budget, although rated part of the district.

Among action items, trustees authorized district staff to establish a Dual Language Immersion Academy at Riverbank High beginning in the 2011-2012 school year. This will allow the first eighth grade class promoted from the Riverbank Language Academy to continue their studies toward fluency in two languages at the RHS this fall.

With the formation of a DLI Academy at RHS, Superintendent of Schools Ken Geisick explained, any student there will have the opportunity to participate in elective coursework, mentoring and support activities to earn the Seal of Biliteracy. District staff will propose an elective course for board approval prior to the start of the next school year.

Trustees also approved the highly successful Riverbank High School girls cross country team participating in a race in Hawaii on Sept. 17 and wished them well in their fundraising efforts.

At a special meeting on Monday, April 11, Norma Gonzalez was promoted from manager to director of human resources for the district. Among calendar events, the board president announced all schools would close from April 22 through April 29 for the Spring Break.