HomeSchools & YouthGlendale School District Foresees Budget Squeeze

Glendale School District Foresees Budget Squeeze

While the Glendale Unified School District’s ongoing budget for the 2023-24 year shows fewer expenditures and additional revenue than originally anticipated, unforeseen costs projected over the next few years have led the district to identify a plan for $3 million in cuts across a number of departments.
The Board of Education voted to approve a resolution for a plan to enact cutbacks, “if the fiscal condition further deteriorates,” during discussion on the second interim financial report at its March 12 meeting.
Even with these potential cuts, the district is still projected to operate in deficit spending — defined as when it must dip into its general fund reserve — in 2024-25 and 2025-26, according to Santhasundari Rajiv, the district’s chief financial officer of business services.
Changes from the first interim financial report, which was approved by the Board of Education in December 2023, and the second report, which was approved March 12, reveal an increase of $7.6 million in savings for the current year’s expenditures. Of these savings, $4.9 million will be earmarked for supplemental spending in 2023-24 so these funds will not be counted as “real savings” for this year, Rajiv explained.
Because of increased student enrollment, the district’s base Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) revenue increased by $2.7 million this fiscal year. While many districts across the region are seeing decreased enrollment, GUSD reported an increase of 207 students as of its October 2023 census.
With these changes, the ending balance for the Unrestricted General Fund is projected to have a net increase of $6.89 million, which would create a beginning balance of $25.97 million for the 2024-25 year.
Rajiv highlighted that this does not account for potential salary raises, for which the Glendale Teachers Association is currently in negotiations with the district. Based on current rates, Rajiv reported that 87.90% of the budget is used for employees’ salaries and benefits.
Due to increased projections of textbook adoption costs and to cover vacancies of Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN), the second interim financial report also included a “Fiscal Stabilization Plan of Ongoing Reduction” which is intended to save the district $3 million over the next three years, beginning with 2024-25.
The plan includes reducing the hours and benefits for yard duty assistants. Other affected departments will likely be athletics and staffing.
Iliana Cano, a yard duty assistant at Cerritos Elementary School, told Board members that YDAs act in a wide range of roles to ensure student support and safety.
“It’s not fair to take away our hours when we give our hearts to these kids. We literally give our hearts,” Cano said. “We just want to work … I’m a single mom and I need to support my kids and all the other yard duties have other people who are depending on them.
“Think about your kids, your nieces, your nephews who go to public school. We are there for them … and we are always going to be there if we are given the chance to be there,” she added.
Board member Nayiri Nahabedian said that this report underscores that public education is “consistently, systemically underfunded.”
“It is an unhappy situation to have to make decisions and not have all the resources that the district needs to make the choices that we want to make on behalf of our students and on behalf of our employees to make sure that they’re being compensated well, to make sure that we are moving forward in a way that we all feel really good about,” Nahabedian said.

First published in the March 23 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

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