UPLAND-- Upland Unified school board is holding a special meeting tonight to discuss ways to mend an $8 million budget shortfall for the next fiscal year.

The shortfall has resulted in the budget being certified as negative for the first time. A negative certification is assigned to a district's budget if it is unable to meet its financial obligations.

Board members will hear from district staffers and a fiscal advisor assigned by San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools on the district's budget.

"We'll learn more about what that means to us and what kind of things we have to do," said Sherri Black, Upland Unified's interim superintendent.

"The big thing, at this point, they'll be appoint a fiscal advisor. She'll work with us as we develop a fiscal recovery plan. "

Upland Unified submitted its budget outlook for the next three fiscal years to the county, which found that the district will be unable to meet their financial obligations in the the 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscal years.

The district is able to meet their obligations for the current fiscal year, but face an $8 million gap in next fiscal year's budget.

Black said getting the negative certification was a shock, but the district had been spending down their required 3 percent reserve to remain solvent, which they can no longer do.

"It was a bit of a shock. We've known we have had some problems in our out years, but it's finally hit," Black said.

The majority of reductions are going to need to be made through bargaining with employee groups and board actions, she said.

The Board of Trustees last week approved open negotiations with the district's employee groups.

"I guess it should be included in that is the fact that the income from the state has been reduced significantly," Trustee Michael Varela said.

The workshop will be at 6 tonight in the district's community room, 390 N. Euclid Ave.