San Dieguito district board approves 2015-16 budget, accountability plan

The San Dieguito Union High School District board adopted its Local Control Accountability Plan and 2015-16 budget at its June 16 meeting. In the next school year, the district’s funding will transition from Basic Aid to the Local Control Funding Formula and is expected to see a 3 percent increase in property taxes and an increase in state funding as well as one-time discretionary state funding.

The budget projects revenues of $92 million with $87 million in expenditures and $21 million in reserves.

The budget was approved in a 4-1 vote with trustee Mo Muir opposed.

Muir said she still wants more counselors and lower class sizes and she has not seen that represented in the budget. She also still has concerns about the new associate superintendent position given to Jason Viloria (formerly the executive director of educational services) and what she believes to be a $30,000 increase in salary.

Superintendent Rick Schmitt reiterated that the new position and salary increase is cost- neutral because of the re-organization of the educational services department, which results in one less position and a $35,000 savings to the taxpayers. Viloria’s salary will increase from $144,772 to $162,265 as he moves to the new position.

Muir maintained that she does not believe it to be cost-neutral.

The Local Control Accountability Plan, a requirement of all school districts as a result of the Local Control Funding Formula, accounts for how the district will spend allocated funding from the state for the next three years.

The plan must describe the annual goals for students and call out details for students designated as the most at-risk in California, such as low-income English-learners and foster youth.

The Local Control Funding Formula funding comes in base and supplemental formats. The base grant is the per-pupil amount; the supplemental grant is additional funding for those three groups. San Dieguito’s 2014-15 target for supplemental expenditures was about $950,000 and in the 2015-16 school year, the amount has grown to $1.6 million.

Supplemental funding will be used to provide increased support for English learners, intervention courses for those performing below grade level, college readiness courses, professional development for teachers on strategies to support English learners, and increasing course access for all students.

Superintendent Rick Schmitt said that the LCAP is the culmination of a year’s worth of work by Viloria, including surveys and meetings with various community groups.

Manny Aguilar, president and board chairman of one such group, the La Colonia de Eden Gardens Foundation, addressed the board about the LCAP.

The community Aguilar represents in Solana Beach recently underwent an assessment in partnership with the National Latino Research Center at Cal State San Marcos, which determined that education was the No. 1 priority for the residents.

Aguilar said he wanted to ensure that his community continues to have the opportunity to provide input for the district.

He said parents have concerns about their children’s transportation to school and low graduation rates. He said they want a parent center, creation and implementation of effective communication strategies, and potentially, a community liaison funded with state money — “the Spanish-speaking element, that’s what’s missing right now.”

“I think there are a lot of opportunities to figure it out,” Aguilar said. “The community really does want to be a part of the solution.”

Schmitt said that Viloria would continue to work with stakeholder groups like Aguilar’s and work on incorporating suggestions.

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