School board mulls budget

RANCHO SANTA FE — The May 5 meeting of the Rancho Santa Fe School District Board was short and to the point, centering mostly on the upcoming budget, which continues to be hard to nail down because of what can be expected from the state.
“It’s hard because the governor has not settled on a May revised budget yet,” said Lindy Delaney, school district superintendent.
She said she will bring a school district budget to the June 2 meeting for approval by the trustees, even though she is not sure how much will be forthcoming from the state.
“I assume we’re going to get something,” she said.
She said she is going to go with a working number of $9.1 million and pretend little or nothing is coming from the state. Last year’s budget was $9.6 million.
In the meantime, she said she will work with the Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation to see if it can help take up some of the slack.
She said she wants to be careful with rainy day funds at the moment.
“We don’t know how rainy the days are going to get,” she said.
The state has a $15.4 billion deficit with which legislators are trying to deal. The new fiscal year begins on July 1, but it is doubtful a new budget will be in place by then, making it difficult for entities like school districts which depend on government dollars to finalize their own budgets.
Delaney said after all the budget wangling is done at the state level, there may be a windfall for the school.
“I don’t anticipate it though,” she said.
On the brighter side, the state did come through with $6.44 million grant for the school for modernization, new construction and overcrowding relief. Delaney said although none of the money can be used for staff or things like supplies, it does allow the district to pay back loans that paid for the recent renovation and to restore some of the projects de-scoped from the final construction budget.
A computer upgrade is on the schedule.
“Our computers are seven to nine years old,” she said. “We have a great tech team that has kept them going, but we want to move forward with our technology.”
And making the school’s performing arts center “school ready” with lighting, sound and seats is also on the agenda.
The next board meeting will be at 6 p.m. in the performing arts center at the R. Roger Rowe School in Rancho Santa Fe.

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