CHINO - After a couple years of uncertainty, Chino Valley Unified School District board members are expected to approve a report that says their fiscal future is stable.

The district's first interim report - which is expect to be in front of the board at its Dec. 13 board meeting - will show for the first time in almost three years the district will be able to meet its financial responsibilities for the current and next two school years.

Districts each year are required by the state to submit first and second interim reports that reflect their financial status for next three school years to their county board of education and the state Department of Education.

"I think the board has been so judicious and prudent as far as spending and making cuts because of the deferrals from the state and now that the state passed tax initiate we're in a better situation than a couple years down the line than expected to be," said Superintendent Wayne Joseph.

The first interim report, which comes out in December, should represent a district's financial status ending Oct. 31. The second interim, which comes out in March, reflects the district's budget ending Jan. 31.

There are three possible financial certifications.

The first, "positive," means the district will meet its financial responsibilities this school year and the next two years.


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Second is "qualified," which means the district may not be able to meet its financial responsibilities for the current year or two subsequent fiscal years.

The last certification is "negative." This is when a district is unable to meet its financial obligations for the remainder of the current school year or two consecutive school years.

Districts that submit a qualified or negative report must also provide a third interim report in May.

The certifications allow the state to provide assistance or intervention, which may include assigning external consultants, requiring a district fiscal recovery plan, or even disallowing certain expenditures, according to a previous article.

For Chino Valley Unified the last time they had a positive interim report was its 2009-10 first interim report. Every report after that - first and second - has been qualified, which meant the district was in the red.

"What the board has to decide at this point is if they want to and what do they want to bring back as a result of this positive news," Joseph said.

"There are two trains of thought: be very careful of what you bring back and how long do you bring it back for, because you don't know if the economy has totally recovered and that everything will be OK."

Like Joseph said, the passage of Proposition 30 tax initiative on Nov. 6 has helped the district reach that positive status.

The ballot measure is expected to close a $15.7 billion shortfall in the state budget by raising the state sales tax as well as income taxes on California's wealthiest people.

Because the initiative was approved the district will be able to restore five furlough days that were agreed upon with their teacher union members earlier this year to help balance their budget.

But a district official cautioned the tax initiative ends in 2016.

The good news though is the initiative eliminated the need for a trigger cut in the middle of the 2013 fiscal year and and it takes away the need for school districts or charter schools to reduce their school instruction days by up to 15 days, said Sandra Chen, the district assistant superintendent of business services.

"While that is absolutely good news that we can eliminate the trigger cuts in the middle of the year and two years out, that means no new programmatic funding for any school district," she said.

"There are definitely still risks ahead for education."

Chino Valley Unified School District will host a budget study session at 5 p.m. on Dec. 4 at the district office, 5130 Riverside Drive, Chino. The board's next regular meeting is at 7 p.m. Dec. 13.


Reach Canan via email, call her at 909-987-6397 ext. 425, or find her on Twitter @ChinoValleyNow.