The Board of Education at its regular meeting this month approved additional budget reductions, resulting in an estimated $115,000 in ongoing savings and nearly $463,000 in one-time savings. The savings are made possible by recent contract changes for certain classified employees.
At the same meeting, Long Beach Unified School District staff warned the school board that additional cuts here ranging from roughly $53 million (best case scenario) to as much as $100 million or more (worst case scenario) will be needed over the next two years due to the state’s worsening and highly volatile budget. The school board also OK’d a fiscal stabilization plan, required by Los Angeles County, listing potential methods of achieving further budget savings, including:
• Closing small schools;
• A continued freeze of certificated and classified hiring;
• Changing work calendars for staff, such as from 12-month to 10-month;
• Seeking efficiencies in health benefit programs;
• Seeking grant funding and additional expenditure flexibility through the state and federal governments.
The continuing cuts here are necessitated by the state’s ongoing, multi-billion-dollar reductions in funding for public schools. A $28 billion state budget gap is forecast for the next 18 months. Roughly 40 percent of the state budget is earmarked for K-12 education.