School district fiscal year ends in the red

With nearly $00K deficit, reserved used to make ends meet
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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The Loomis Union School District ended its 2009-10 fiscal year almost $400,000 in the red, using reserves to make ends meet. “We can only do two more years of this before the money runs dry. The multi-year projection is terrible,” Jay Stewart, assistant superintendent, told the school board at their Oct. 6 meeting. According to Stewart, the shortfall was expected and planned for by the district and actually ended up being less than originally anticipated. Stewart said the district’s fiscal year ended on June 30 and all numbers had been finalized. The deficit was originally projected at almost $900,000, Stewart said, but came in at $358,252. He said one of the reasons the deficit was less then expected was because the state allowed the district to make a one-time transfer of almost $223,000 from a mandated deferred maintenance account into the general fund. He said budget controls also helped decrease the deficit, along with utility savings from district-wide energy reductions, a carry-over from unspent federal and state programs and eliminating special education expenses. Stewart said the district is budgeted to spend $431,921 in reserves to balance the budget for the current school year, leaving $659,584 in the reserve fund for future use. In other district news, Paul Johnson, district superintendent, said the district API (Academic Performance Index) score of 895 issued by the state, was not only tops in Placer County, but was the highest in the 24 surrounding Northern California counties. Loomis was the only district in the 24 surrounding counties where all schools earned an API over 886, he said. According to Johnson, the district has the highest performing Title I schools in the Sacramento region. He said out of almost 8,000 schools in the state, Loomis Grammar School ranks in the 98th percentile and H. Clarke Powers’ in the 93rd percentile for the lower socio-economic subgroup. Johnson said other noteworthy achievements included a score of 93 percent advanced and proficient in STAR test results in English language arts earned by Franklin Elementary School’s seventh- and eighth-graders. Ninety-eight percent of Placer Elementary School’s fourth-graders earned proficient or advanced in language arts. Johnson said Placer and Penryn Elementary School third-graders “bucked the county and statewide downward spiral” and posted STAR test results that were 20 and 30 percent higher than the state averages. According to Johnson, for the second year in a row, 100 percent of Ophir Elementary School second-graders scored proficient or advanced in math. He noted that 88 percent of the district’s middle school students completed a full year of algebra, which he said was one of the highest participation rates in the Sacramento region. Fifth- and eighth-graders at Powers Elementary School were recognized for having 90 percent of the students achieving advanced or proficient in science. “That is unheard of,” Johnson said. At Loomis Basin Charter School, students know their math and proved it by having 89 percent of the students achieve advanced or proficient in that subject. Johnson also said 16 school grade-level groups, across the district, scored over 90 percent of their students proficient in math.