The following is the press release we sent to the Modesto Bee followed by a cut and paste of the article in today’s paper
The Sylvan Union School District has reached consensus with the Stanislaus County Schools’ Business Department regarding the satisfactory status of the District’s 2009-12 multiple year budgets. On September 10, 2009, Don Gatti, Assistant Superintendent for the Stanislaus County Office of Education, informed the Sylvan District that the County was “conditionally” approving the District’s budget due to concerns over projected ending balances in 2011-12. While the Sylvan Union School District had submitted a balanced budget in June of this year, county officials felt further clarification of reduction strategies in future years was necessary.
On September 21, the Sylvan Board of Trustees took action to clarify budget reducing strategies for 2011-12. The two revisions included improved enrollment numbers and targeted program reductions for the 2011-12 school year.
The Superintendent, John A. Halverson, met with SCOE officials on Wednesday, September 22 to clarify Sylvan’s reduction strategies. As a result of the meeting, Don Gatti announced that he would be providing the Sylvan Union School District with a new letter of budget approval without conditions. Both District and County officials agreed that improved communication efforts will avoid unnecessary multiple approval steps in the future.
Superintendent Halverson stated that the Trustees of the Sylvan District take their role in overseeing the school district’s budget very seriously. They have and will continue to make the hard decisions necessary to balance the budget each year.
While budget monitoring and discussions have been completed, Halverson stated the real issue still remains that Sylvan, like most school districts, is faced with further severe reductions over the next two years. He encourages parents and community members to visit the Sylvan Blog site on a regular basis to read budget updates: http://www.sylvanconversations.blogspot.com/.
For questions or concerns, parents and community members are encouraged to contact the Superintendent, John Halverson, who has also been serving as the District’s Business Manager for the last 16 months, at (209) 574-5000 ext 201 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, Sep. 25, 2009
Sylvan leaves county list of districts on budget watch
Enrollment decline not as steep as feared
By Michelle Hatfieldmhatfield@modbee.com
Sylvan Union School District has been removed from the county's list of five districts receiving conditional approval of their 2009-10 budgets.The north Modesto school district now has full approval of its budget after officials tallied larger-than- anticipated student enrollment and the associated increase in revenue. Although the district still is experiencing a drop in enrollment, the decline was less than estimated. Most of a district's funding comes from the state based on daily student attendance.Officials estimated that daily attendance would drop by 260 students, but now believe attendance will dip by 53.Also, the Sylvan board of trustees committed Tuesday to cutting spending by $2 million each for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years. Details of what gets cut will be discussed more in the spring.County officials are satisfied with the financial health of the district, said Don Gatti, assistant superintendent of the Stanislaus County Office of Education. The office oversees the budgets of the county's 25 school districts."We've always submitted a balanced budget," Sylvan Union Superintendent John Halverson said. He added that trustees felt the district was misrepresented and the financial issue "overblown.""We needed to get the right message out there," Halverson said, and officials think they did that when they met with county officials Wednesday.