Pleasanton Weekly

News - May 20, 2011

Revised budget offers help for PUSD

Short-term borrowing may be unnecessary but other questions remain

by Glenn Wohltmann

Gov. Jerry Brown's revised budget will mean the Pleasanton school district won't have to borrow money to get through the year, according to Luz Cazares, assistant superintendent of business services.

"I am glad to see that the governor's revised budget includes undoing the deferral that was proposed in the January budget, and actually additional deferrals," Cazares said.

She said that was good news for the district's cash flow; earlier plans called for short-term borrowing to pay bills until state money was received.

"Deferrals were going across the fiscal year. That mean dollars, cash, that I was expecting to receive in fiscal year 2011-12 were going into 2012-13," Cazares said.

The May revise calls for an additional $3 billion for California public schools. Cazares said the revise won't affect the Pleasanton school district's bottom line other than eliminating short-term borrowing.

The district is also waiting for news about funding for children's mental health services. Gov. Brown plans to shift responsibility for mental health services for special education students from the state to school districts instead of counties, which in theory is a good idea, Cazares said.

"They're our students so we know them best," she said.

But Cazares said details about funding for the shift are unclear and school districts across the state are waiting for more information.

Like Gov. Brown's initial budget plan, the May revise is just a proposal, and much could change before a state budget is enacted, Cazares noted.

"Like most folks, I'm hopeful that one will be enacted by June 1," she said.

One other piece of potentially good news for schools came from Sacramento recently. The Republican assembly caucus came out with its budget, which did not include extending the taxes but did support education.

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