Last week's Merced City School District Board of Education meeting was notable more for what didn't happen than what did.
For the first such time in five years, board members Tuesday night didn't have to cope with large budget deficits by issuing layoff notices to teachers.
The district's top budget official said impending teacher retirements and more help from the state add to the relief of knowing layoffs won't be necessary.
Superintendent RoseMary Parga Duran said more information is needed on Gov. Jerry Brown's "local control funding formula" announced in January. More fiscal details are expected when Brown's traditional budget revision is announced in May.
"It made it nice we didn't have to do it," Duran said about the requirement for school districts to issue layoff notices by the Friday deadline. "We're still holding to what we have and won't restore any positions until we know for sure."
Greg Spicer, associate superintendent for administrative services, said for the past four years the board had to issue layoff notices in early March because of looming multimillion-dollar budget deficits.
A federal jobs bill grant, increasing student-teacher ratios and the retirements of about two dozen teachers each year lessened the need for layoffs. Twenty teachers are expected to retire this fall and will need to be replaced, according to Spicer.
He said the district's funding for the 2012-13 fiscal year is flat and cash flow problems remain because the state still is deferring the payments it makes to school systems.
Board member Gene Stamm said it's a great feeling not having to issue layoff notices.
"No one knows about money until the May revise," Stamm said. "We know we will get some money from Prop. 30 and because we have a high number of (students who qualify for) free lunches."
Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.