First published in the July 2 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.
The Glendale Unified School District entered the new fiscal year this week with an adopted budget calling for $335.26 million in spending, with a nearly $9 million surplus at the end of the year.
With the state budget signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom this week adding yet more to the tranche of funding for public school districts, GUSD’s next step will be the 45-day revise to its budget, to account for the additional resources. This new funding includes additional cost-of-living adjustments for the subsequent year that are expected to close what GUSD had anticipated as a $16 million gap.
Salaries and benefits for certificated and classified employees continue to represent the bulk of the district’s expenses, accounting for $283.37 million of the anticipated spending. Of the district’s total spending, $227.38 million is unrestricted, while the remaining $107.88 million is dedicated.
In terms of revenues, GUSD is working with $344.29 million, of which $265.49 million comes from the local control funding formula based on enrollment and average daily attendance. Broken down, that is approximately $11,034 per student.
The revenues include around $108 million in restricted funding, which is typically dedicated in its scope. Notably, the district has fully accounted for all of the dedicated funding programs, meaning it has a clean Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP.
“That is a big accomplishment,” Deborah Deal, the interim chief business and finance officer for GUSD, said during the board’s adoption process on June 21. “That means that across the departments, working together in partnership, have initiated all of those programs we talked about earlier into the actual budget.”
The GUSD Board of Education is expected to review and approve revisions within 45 days to account for last-minute additions to the state’s budget. As districts are required to also project the next two years of revenues and expenses, those revisions will factor in a higher-than-expected COLA for the 2023-24 fiscal year, Deal said.
In the immediate future, some school board members anticipated that expenditures could increase as a result of inflation and supply shortages, which have been causing price increases for fuel, construction materials and food.
“It’s a fact of life and these are questions that we as a body need to address,” said board member Greg Krikorian last month, proposing sharing certain resources with the city. “We have a maintenance yard, they have a maintenance yard. We have resources, the city has resources. The more that we can share resources through these tough times, it makes sense for us.”