So Hum School District still spending reserves

The Southern Humboldt Unified School District had a special meeting to look over the second interim report covering the financial and budgetary status of the district for the period ending Jan. 31, 2014.

The district is required to submit two interim reports during the year to the governing board of the district certifying in writing whether or not the school district is able to meet its financial obligations for the remainder of the fiscal year and for subsequent fiscal years.

District business manager Bambi Henderson reported that the district will file as positive this year, meaning the district will meet its obligations for the current year and two subsequent years.

Henderson said they are meeting the required 24:1 class size ratios at all of the school sites. She did a projection for the next three years and the district will stay within that frame. This means the district will not lose any of the class size reduction money.

The district continues to draw down their reserves, also called deficit spending, incrementally for the next three years. But they are projected to stay well above their minimum reserve calculation of four percent.

For the year 2013-2014 the district is deficit spending $597,427. The deficit spending for 2014-2015 is projected to be $602,527 and for 2015-2016 the deficit is projected to be $607,627. Henderson said these are just projections and they depend on how much money comes in during the next years. The multi-year projections are built on the assumption of no staff reductions, district superintendent Catherine Scott said.

Regarding the 2014-2015 LCFF (Local Control Funding Formula) and supplemental money, Henderson said the district will need to spend a minimum of $145,000 on high needs students, defined as English language (EL) learners, socio-economically disadvantaged students and foster youth. The supplemental money must track directly to those students, Scott explained, and must be above and beyond the general services that the district provides to all students. The district has increased their EL time this year, Scott said. She said they are exploring options that meet the state's rules for the supplemental funding, though the state's methods of accountability are still evolving.

In response to questions and comments from the board regarding the Local Control Funding Formula, Henderson said it is the same old money with a new name and new rules and requirements.