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Dr. Wilson Explains Our Reliance on Local Support

At its board meeting last Tuesday, Dr. Wilson, Superintendent of SMUSD, presented his Strategic Financial Recovery Plan.

During his presentation, Dr. Wilson noted that SMUSD is heavily dependent on local revenue sources - approximately 50% of staff is funded through local sources - two parcel taxes, the Foundation, and PTAs.

The district receives minimal public funding from the state and federal government. As a result, the Foundation exists to bridge the gap between what the district receives in public funding and what it costs to provide a high-quality education.

To bridge this gap, every year, the Foundation asks parents to consider donating $2,500 per child. A donation helps the Foundation move closer to its annual commitment.

As Dr. Wilson noted, SMUSD’s revenue is affected by:

  • Declining enrollment, which results in revenue loss;
  • Homes passed down through trusts, resulting in low levels of assessed value and preventing SMUSD from qualifying as a basic aid district; and
  • Local Control Funding Formula, which provides more public funds for districts with more students who are English language learners, low-income, or foster youth.

In addition, SMUSD’s expenses have risen because of:

  • Increases in mandated employee benefits and pension;
  • Greater expenses associated with special education attributed to rising identifications of autism and spectrum disorders; and
  • Increases in advocacy for individualized services and propensity to litigate individualized services. 

To hear him explain in detail these and other challenges facing our schools, please click here.

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