SALIDA — Trustees will hear how the school district got itself in a $760,000 budget hole and how to get out of it at a special board meeting tonight.
Officials at the 2,900-student Salida Union School District in November stumbled across the shortfall and are trying to revise their spending plans accordingly.
Superintendent Doug Baughn said he thinks the shortfall occurred when officials failed to trim revenue projections proportionately with the state's decrease in per-student funding — about $250 per student.
For help, Baughn and staff went to the Stanislaus County Office of Education. Leaders there decided to contract with a consultant, who spent the month of December rebuilding Salida Union's budget, said Don Gatti, county assistant superintendent of business services.
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Those findings will be presented and discussed at tonight's meeting and approved as the district's first interim financial report.
The $760,000 miscalculation could lead to a deeper round of budget cuts for the 2010-11 school year. Baughn estimates needing to slice $1.3 million from next year's budget without the additional shortfall.
Salida Union has a $26 million annual operating budget.
An employee in the district's business office has been placed on leave for the gaffe, but Baughn won't say who. Trustees are set to discuss the discipline, dismissal or release of an employee at tonight's meeting. Baughn could not be reached last week to clarify if that closed session item is related to the employee on leave.
Tonight's meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Salida Middle School cafeteria, 5041 Toomes Road in Salida, and is open to the public.