Milpitas school leaders faced tough funding decisions for the district's school buses on Tuesday in the wake of state budget cuts.
"As of right now, we are getting zero dollars for busing," said Milpitas Unified School District Superintendent Cary Matsuoka.
Matsuoka blamed the state's mid-year trigger cuts, set in place by Gov. Brown, for a $141,000 cut this year. By law, the district must provide bus service for special education students, Matsuoka said. Current annual transportation costs are $414,000.
The news was not all bad though. Matsuoka told the board that MUSD had budgeted for a full trigger cut of $2.6 million. Instead, that number was only $130,000. This means the district will not need to transfer $930,902 from the special reserve, as they had previously anticipated. The $2.47 million "saved" from this year's trigger cuts, will be used to balance the school budget for the remainder of this year and 2012-13.
Trigger cuts for the 2012-13 school year are projected to be $3.7 million. Special reserve funds will be earmarked to help balance the budget for the 2012-13 school year.
When asked if he anticipated any cuts in school programs, Superintendent Matsuoka's response was positive. "My recommendation right now...I don't think we need to proceed with any cuts or layoffs." He added that he tends to be an optimist, and stated that the worst case scenario would be the state would do no harm and keep the district flat-funded for the next two or three fiscal years.
"I plan budgets based on current information and what is known," commented Matsuoka.
The next school board meeting is Feb. 14.