Del Mar school district budget approved

By Karen Billing

The Del Mar Union School District Board of Trustees approved the district’s 2012-2013 budget on June 27. The district is projecting total revenues of $39,072,366 and total expenditures of $43,582,101, which represents $4.5 million in deficit spending.

“I know it’s hard to accept a budget that says we’re $4.5 million deficit spending but I think we’re moving in the right direction,” Superintendent Jim Peabody said.

The district has attempted to keep all cuts away from the classroom. The board has eliminated a lunch duty stipend for teachers ($16,000); teacher supply stipend ($5,000); and an extended school year principal ($8,500). Other reductions are $92,000 from district office department budgets and $200,000 in restricted maintenance.

The budget revision is based on the assumption that the governor’s tax initiative will pass in November. Peabody said that if the tax initiative passes, education funding at best will be flat.

However, if it fails, the department of finance estimates a mid-year $441 per student reduction.

The tax initiative failure will also result in an estimated $1.9 million reduction to the reserves.

“If we do pass our bond, that’s about what we will take out of the budget to pay for modernization, technology and teacher enhancement,” Peabody said. “It will go a long way to helping balance the annual budget.”

The estimated increase in the 2011-12 property tax revenue is $366,346 over budget. That increase in revenue puts the deficit spending at about $2.5 million this year and brings the reserve back to the same level it was two years ago.