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Pink slips coming for Loomis teachers?

District planning for the worst, could lose up to $722,934
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Pink slips are on the horizon as the Loomis Union School District prepares to budget for the upcoming school year. The state has directed schools to plan for the worst – the defeat of Gov. Brown’s proposed tax extensions in a June election, said Jay Stewart, assistant superintendent of finance for the Loomis district. “We’re going to have to issue layoff notices before we even know what our budget will be,” said Paul Johnson, district superintendent. Stewart said without the tax extensions, the district stands to lose $330 per student for average daily attendance, which equates to a $722,934 loss to district schools. That amount is on top of 20 percent in revenue reductions the district has already experienced and which will remain in place. Bruce Waymire, co-president of the Loomis Teacher Association, said further budget reductions will lead to teacher lay-offs, increased class size, and reduced pay for teachers. Tim Ahrens, Waymire’s co-president, said budget cuts in other areas will also have an impact on teachers and students. “Textbook adoptions, computer updates, facility maintenance all affect student learning to varying degrees. The longer they are put off, the greater the impact,” Ahrens said. Johnson said, “We’re still working on what the failure of the tax measure means to our district. We begin contract negotiations with our teachers in February and plan to have community meetings to discuss the state of the budget.” Stewart said if voters pass the sales, income and vehicle tax extensions, education funding from the state will not remain flat, as Gov. Brown said, but the Loomis district will lose an additional $42,000, or $19 per student average daily attendance, on top of cuts from previous years. “Even though the governor has said funding for education will remain flat with the tax extensions – that’s a little misleading. We’ve already lost 20 percent of the funding due to us,” Stewart said. “The 2011-2012 deficit, if it remains unchecked, will roll and compound into the subsequent year. The 2012-2013 deficit is currently projected at $2.2 million before any cuts are made or reserves used,” Stewart said. Stewart also said the state has deferred its payments to the Loomis district. Approximately 45 percent of current year revenue, he said, is not paid until the following year. Stewart said the district will be forced to seek short-term financing to cover cash deficits. “Interest on this financing is not reimbursable by the state,” Stewart said. “It seems schools are getting a disproportionate level of cuts compared to other state services,” Johnson said. ---------------------------- LOOMIS UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT 2011-2012 BUDGET If tax extensions fail: $722,934 deficit If tax extensions pass: $42,000 deficit