- As the only Exec. Board member in attendance, I introduced the team of teachers from Cordova Meadows as the spotlight school for tonight’s meeting. Linda Purser gave a wonderful presentation of the day in the life at CM. To which one board member responded, ‘we just heard a distinguished school presentation.’
KUDOS! Cordova Meadows
- State politicians are in a holding pattern through the June Primary & awaiting for the Governor’s May Revise [I agree]
- Because the state has implemented delayed payments to districts, FCUSD has been forced to borrow funds from the Early Retirement Benefits Account and the Capital Outlay Fund 40 account to meet current contractual obligations [this will be replenished when the state releases their delayed funding].
- Future SFSF (federal) one-time funding is expected in the amount of $800,000. Coincidentally, the state has reduced the amount a district can sweep funds by $800,000 [effectively a theft by the state to get around the rules]
- Expected budget shortfall for 2010-2011 is $13.9 million.
- Superintendent’s Recommendation savings is $14.1 million, as seen HERE.
- 2nd Interim Report filed with the county shows a $16.1 million ending balance for 2009-2010. It was reported that those funds include:
- $4.5 state mandated 3% reserve
- $4.6 million Title I/EIA/ARRA [legally restricted; can't be touched]
- $2.3 million site/department carryover
- $1.4 Tier 3 Carryover [grants intended for special programs that will continue i.e. not be cut]
- $3.3 Tier 3 swept balances
- April 22 or May 6 the Board is planning to take final action on the RIFs
- May 20 – 3rd Interim Report to the County
- June 17 – the Board expects to adopt its budget
- June 30 – the Board submits its budget to the county
There was a great deal of discussion after Mrs. Bettencourt’s presentation on the suspicion that the district’s 2nd interim budget report does not accurately reflect the district’s true financial status i.e. the district has additional money that is not showing up in the financial reports. It was asked [not by me; I did not speak publicly], that if FCEA pays for an independent audit would the district be open to it? Mr. Godwin responded that the district is audited by a state-licensed independent auditor that would lose his license to practice in this state if the accuracy of the reports were falsified or purposefully misreported. Mrs. Stanley suggest that the teachers hire someone to review the documents for accuracy rather than a full-fledged audit.
After the meeting, I spoke with Mrs. Bettencourt and asked her two simple questions:
- Does the County review/audit/verify the interim reports submitted by the district?
Yes, not only does the County verify that the reports are accurate, but they also send each district a letter outlining any errors found with specificity that is available to the public.
- With regards to the second interim report and the suspicion that monies seem to have vanished from certain accounts, where has that money gone?
Certain accounts in the interim reports contain school site funds. As those funds become available to be swept i.e. it is projected that those funds are no longer projected to be spent, they are moved into the ending balances account [what Mrs. Bettencourt termed 'savings account']. She said the monies did not disappear, but were merely transferredto another account that becomes a part of the balances that can be legally swept by the district. I will endeavor to find out from the county if this is indeed the case.
Our Budget Analysis Committee met with Mrs. Bettencourt this week. There were numerous questions related to the above that were addressed in that meeting. I look forward to receiving that report. For a more detailed look at the most recent Budget Communication Committee meeting minutes, go HERE.
Mrs. Bettencourt offered to meet with any person or group [be it exec. board, rep council or otherwise], to answer any questions or concerns they may have regarding the budget numbers or reports.
It may seem like time is running out. However, we need to let our bargaining team do its job. Have faith, be patient, and as always, stay tuned…