Budget Reductions 2008-09 School Year
Jeff Sweeney
Jeff Sweeney
Superintendent Fillmore Unified School District

In January, the Governor proposed a $4.8 billion funding cut to education that would have a devastating impact on our school district. In Fillmore, the estimated loss in funding for 2008-09 is nearly $900,000. In addition to this loss due to the Governor’s proposal, an additional $700,000 in on-going costs must be budgeted into the 2008-09 school year budget. The reduction in funds from the state in addition to the on-going costs means that the Fillmore Unified School District must reduce our overall 2007-08 school year budget by $1.6 million for the new school year, 2008-09. In response to this information, the District began immediately containing costs (reduction in office supplies, elimination of conferences, etc.) and developing a potential budget reduction list in January. Our Board has been meeting since February to review potential cuts in preparation for approving a final budget for the 2008-09 school year in June. Be assured that we will do all we can to preserve vital programs and minimize employee layoffs as we develop next year’s budget.

Educational Budget Crisis
On March 4, our Board of Trustees adopted a resolution in opposition to the Governor's proposed cuts, which would be the largest in the history of education in California. Every parent, student and staff member can have a voice in the fight to protect public education in California. I encourage all of you to take a moment and write to our elected officials in Sacramento to voice your concern about the budget crisis and the effect it will have on our children's futures. The names of our elected officials are: Senate-George Runner, 5097 State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814, phone 916-651-4017, fax 916-445-4662; Senate-Tom McClintock, 3070 State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814, phone 916-651-4019, fax 916-324-7544; Assembly Audra Strickland, 4208 State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 94249, phone 916-319-2037, fax 916-319-2137.
I want our employees, parents and community to know that protecting students and staff from the harm the proposed Governor’s budget proposes is our top priority. However, such severe cuts to our funding will necessitate the loss of some services. We have already had to cut some summer school offerings. In addition to this item, the Board has been studying a variety of potential budget reductions. Some areas the Board is considering include: Eliminating in-town bus service; Reducing positions and utilizing their funding sources to provide more service; and Reducing the budget needed to replace aging technology equipment.
We want to keep moving in the positive direction that we have begun together these past two years. Board members, leaders, teachers, support staff, parents, and moreover the entire community have all worked especially hard to make Fillmore Unified a district that focuses on student achievement, providing a safe environment, and meeting the unique needs of all our students.