EDITOR'S NOTE: Originally published at 12:33 p.m. Jan. 23, 2014. Edited to add information.
For the first time in seven years, Capistrano Unified School District officials are not expecting a budgetary shortfall for the coming year.
“We don’t see anything get worse. We’ve turned a corner,” said Clark Hampton, deputy superintendent of business services for CUSD.
Since the 2007-08 school year, according to a previous press release, the school district has been slashing its budget, resulting in layoffs, temporary salary freezes, cuts to programs, larger class sizes and a shorter school year.
Altogether, the district has cut $140-150 million dollars, said spokesman Marcus Walton
But the ever-progressive belt-tightening may be over, Hampton told trustees Wednesday night.
Back in October, the district was estimating a $15 million gap for next year. By December, it had dropped to $12 million.
But that was using a conservative eye, Hampton said. Using state Department of Finance estimates, officials could have taken a rosier outlook and projected next year’s budget $500,000 in the black.
Now that Gov. Brown has released his state budget proposal for 2014-15, things are looking up, Hampton said. Way up.
“The governors’ January budget proposal would actually mean $11.5 million more,” he said.
Brown will revise the budget in May, and the Legislature will have until the end of June to approve it, making its own tweaks. Hampton said, however, the financial picture for schools is not expected to change dramatically for the worse at this time.