Nobody likes to be the bad guy- but yesterday evening Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, Holly Hermansen had to play the role as she explained the conditional approval of the Nevada Joint Union High School District Budget for 2012-13. By law, Hermansen’s office has the dubious job of reviewing and approving or denying every Nevada County school district’s budget.
A conditional approval is not great, but it is not bad for the high school district. It allows the district to make revisions and address concerns the Superintendent expressed in a letter to District Board of Trustees and Superintendent, Marianne Cartan sent earlier this month.
Hermansen began her presentation by reassuring the Board that the Districts fiscal position is not the fault of anyone or the result of fiscal mismanagement. It is a sign of the times due to the states budget woes. Hermansen did present several concerns with the adopted budget including ongoing deficits in multi-year projections, cash flow limitations as a result of ongoing state deferrals, district reserve limits potentially shrinking below the minimum required by the state, and further negotiations and cuts with close to 83% of the districts budget currently going to salaries and benefits.
Hermansen also presented three action items the district will need to respond to by September 8th and implement by Mid December. The district needs to redevelop multi-year projections, take action on identified sweeps of rollover site funds, and revise the cash flow report to reflect payment of the in lieu property taxes in the budget year.
Hermansen and her fiscal staff are willing to work closely with the District’s staff to assist with making the revisions a reality.
The Board Trustees asked good questions from asking about recommendations on potential cuts to the effects of charter schools on the district, to potential solutions. Trustee Jim Adams is trying to keep a positive perspective while addressing the challenging news.
District staff has already begun working on budget revisions and will present a draft response addressing Hemansen’s requests to the Board at next Wenesday’s regularly scheduled meeting.