District predicts no cuts in near term

By From page A1 | November 17, 2012

FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield-Suisun School District will likely avoid making new budget cuts for the first time in six years, thanks to passage of Proposition 30 on Election Day.

Kelly Morgan, assistant superintendent, shared the news with the school board Thursday. She said the district is scheduled to receive the $9 million in cuts it made earlier in the year. Morgan said the district had to budget thinking that Proposition 30 would fail, but the election came out in favor of schools.

“It’s certainly the best news I’ve got since I got here,” Morgan said Friday. “It’s like Christmas in November. It would protect us from making cuts next year, we think.”

Morgan’s cautious attitude comes from cutting millions of dollars, laying off employees and closing schools for the past six years. Not only will there not be midyear cuts, Morgan said, but no cuts will occur in the 2013-14 year if projections are correct.

“Stranger things have happened, but I would be surprised,” Morgan said. “We’ll know more at our December meeting, but I wanted to give the board a heads up.”

The $9 million coming back to the district won’t be a blank check for the board to spend, as a good portion will go to paying back concessions made by bargaining groups. Morgan said those concessions totaled about $6 million and had a clause to be repaid if Proposition 30 passed.

The board may end up funding some programs that were drastically cut, Morgan said. Those include cuts to transportation, a 5 percent cut to maintenance, $900,000 in School Improvement Block Grants and $850,000 to Adult Education.

Superintendent Jacki Cottingim-Dias, who is retiring in June, said that a solvent district was the only parting gift she needed.

Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.

Danny Bernardini

Danny Bernardini

Danny is a newspaper man born and raised in Vacaville. He attended Chico State University and has written for the Enterprise Record and the Reporter. Covers the City of Fairfield, education and crime. A's, Warriors and Saints fan. Listener of vinyl, frequent visitor to the East Bay. Registered "decline to state" voter. Loves a good steak.

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