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School District Sees Falling Reserves
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With most school districts facing a very uncertain financial future, Riverbank Unified School District appears to be doing okay with its budget for the present but will run into problems and fail to maintain its obligatory reserve by the year 2012 to 2013.

Looking at funding projections for the next three years, RUSD Business Manager Carolyn Crisp told the school board on June 15 the district will have a 6.9 percent fund balance ending 2010-2011 and 8.8 percent for 2011-12 but drop to .23 percent for 2012-2013.

State authorities require a reserve of three percent and the Riverbank district sets its standard higher and calls for a five percent reserve.

In trimming its budget for the new fiscal year that started July 1, the district since March has laid off two administrators and the equivalent of seven teachers after at one time targeting 15 teachers. For further savings, certificated staff will be required to take two furlough (unpaid holiday) days this fiscal year and classified staff will take four furlough days.

The total revenues anticipated for 2010-2011 are $22.4 million with the so-called revenue limit in funds from the state making up $14.3 million or 63 percent of that.

The revenue limit total is based on a figure calculated for each district dependent on social and economic circumstances multiplied by the number of students enrolled or more accurately their average daily attendance (ADA).

The per student figure for Riverbank in 2007-2008 was $6,138. The state has calculated it for 2010-2011 at $6,767 but is withholding money from month to month and to date has only funded it at $5,280.

Other revenues expected for 2010-2011 include $1.6 million in federal funds, 3.6 million in other state funds and $2.9 million in other local funds.

In expenditures, the district expects to pay out $9.4 million or 40 percent of its funds in salaries for certificated staff like teachers, nurses and librarians, $4.2 million or 18 percent for classified staff such as custodians, secretaries and bus drivers, $4.2 million or 18 percent in benefits, $1.9 million or 8.1 percent in books and supplies and $3.4 million or 14.5 percent in services and other costs.