Merced City School District Board member: state funding will be a 'bloodbath'

By DOANE YAWGERdyawger@mercedsun-star.comToward the end of the year, financial news from the state may not be so good, Merced City School District Board of Education members learned Tuesday night.

Kris Cavallero, the district’s chief fiscal officer, told board members certain “triggers” in the state budget picture in December could mean cuts of $250 per pupil in funding. “It was grim,” board member Adam Cox said. “Next year is going to be a bloodbath; it is going to be terrible.”

Cuts in per-pupil funding could result in losses of $2.5 million to $3 million to the local district if anticipated state revenues do not come in as predicted, Cox said.

Superintendent RoseMary Parga Duran said the district has to start getting prepared for lower funding. “Our spending freeze is alive and well,” Duran said. “We could face staffing reductions or furlough days.”

The district has a seven-member Position Requisition Control Committee that meets each Friday to review expenditures. Duran said committee members ask if expenses are essential or required before approving them.

Pupil attendance is more important than ever, both for revenue and student achievement, Duran said.

Board member Gene Stamm said the district is going to have to figure out the funding dilemma. “The sad thing is we have no control over this. It’s all the state,” Stamm said.

Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or dyawger@mercedsun-star.com.