In an effort to offset lack of funding from the recently failed Proposition 204 and local bond initiatives, the Kyrene School District Governing Board on Tuesday analyzed next year’s projected budget deficit.
Though the district has been planning for the 2013-2014 school year since June, Superintendent Dr. David Schauer said immediate steps have been taken to “curtail any unnecessary hiring or spending” with the recent rejection of the proposition that would have continued a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund education.
The district projected a nearly $8.9 million budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1.
Governing board members and financial officers will first look to a freeze in hiring and spending and reassess capital needs before considering an increase in class size or a change to programs.
“We don’t want to impact our children,” Schauer said. “And we frankly hope we won’t have to go there this next year.”
In the past three years, the district has cut $27 million. The deficit for the 2012-2013 school year was nearly $5.3 million.
Another step the district will take to offset the $8.9 deficit is tapping into the reserves balance. The district’s savings account, though having many restrictions on how the funds can be used, would be able to help with the deficit.
Jeremy Calles, Kyrene’s chief financial officer, said during a presentation that the reserves have about $12.7 million in unrestricted funds.
“There’s more money there than we had planned for,” said Schauer, after the district used less money from the reserves last year than expected. “It’s something that can help us.”
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