Frequently Asked Questions about the Budget
SFUSD's Budget for 2015-16
The good news is, with the state’s economy recovering, we are starting to see funding levels from the state begin to return to a level that covers the costs of running a school district. Also this year, we are receiving some one-time bumps in funding that we are putting to use.
However, because we were underfunded during the seven-year recession, the increase and “bumps” only begin to return us to adequate funding from the state.
Frequently Asked Questions about the 2015-16 Budget
The district's unrestricted revenues are projected to increase by about $63.6 million for the 2015-2016 school year.
This increase is mostly due to an increase in funds from the Locally Controlled Funding Formula (LCFF), which is the way California now funds school districts. It also is due to one-time reimbursements for from the state for things SFUSD was required to pay for without funding over the last several years. Read more about LCFF and Local Control Funding (LCAP).
The biggest proposed increases in expenditures are for:
- Salary and cost increases for employee benefits
- Continuing our work to implement the new Common Core State Standards, which is no longer funded by the state
- School sites
Salary and benefit cost increases are the result of negotiations with our unions, as well as the state’s requirement to increase our contribution to the teachers' retirement fund, CalSTRS.
In addition, there are increases in required contributions to special education, early education, county office costs, and facilities maintenance. Other proposed increases include centrally-managed supports to schools (the Multi-Tiered System of Supports, or MTSS) and other priorities to be determined that follow SFUSD’s strategic plan.
Why are some school budgets lower next year than this year, even though SFUSD's budget is increasing?
School budget factors include: enrollment, which includes additional Weighted Student Formula funding for low-income youth and English learners, and school needs, which allocates resources based on student needs via our Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS). Therefore, your school’s budget could decrease if:
- Your school’s enrollment is expected to decrease for next year
- The number of high-needs students has decreased at your school
- Your school is moving to a different level of need for Multi-Tiered System of Supports from Pupil Services
In addition, some short-term sources of funding like the Quality Education Improvement Act are ending as planned. This reduces budgets for schools that previously utilized those resources. Schools have known that these funds were short term and that SFUSD does not have the resources to replace them.
California state law requires that every school district of our size holds at least 2% of its overall general fund budget in an unrestricted reserve, and the amount varies by district size. SFUSD also holds some additional money in reserve (Undesignated Fund Balance) to help streamline cash flows from year to year. This helps to stabilize the district’s budget and support more predictability and better planning.
For 2015-16, the Designated Fund Balance is increasing slightly because of the increased overall budget. We are also increasing our Undesignated Fund Balance because we expect our expenses will exceed our revenues in the 2016-17 school year, due to salary increases.
Read the entire proposed 2015-16 budget.
General Questions about the SFUSD Budget
Any additional comments, questions, or suggestions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.