School Cuts Looming

 

The Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) is awaiting a decision that could have a major impact on its finances in the coming years. At stake is $12 million annually that the district had been receiving from Measure A. Had all gone as planned, June 1, 2018, would have meant a seamless transition from Measure A, which voters passed in 2011 — and will “sunset” next June 1 — and Measure B1, which passed muster last November and should take effect next June 1.  

Last February however, Nelco, Inc., Santa Clara Investors II and Edward Hirshberg filed suit against Measure B1. The plaintiffs claimed that the measure’s different rates for residential and commercial property owners violate state law. 

“The lawsuit was heard in court in September, and we are now awaiting the judge’s decision on the matter,” AUSD said in an Oct. 26 statement.

In the meantime, the Alameda County Office of Education has instructed the district to prepare for the worst and draw up a list of potential cuts. “This is to ensure that the district remains solvent even if it loses the parcel tax revenues,” AUSD stated. 

Rising costs are also contributing between $4 and $8 million to the dilemma. In its statement, the district explained that it might to have to cut between $16 and $20 million from its $100 million budget. Managers have come up with a list of those cuts and presented it to the school board after the Alameda Sun went to press last Tuesday. 

The Sun will cover that list in its next edition. The board is scheduled to hear an amended list on Nov. 28 and will approve the final list on Dec. 12. Meanwhile the community awaits the judge’s decision