Dear Editor – Overspending and Debt at the District

Culver City is now ranked 14 out of 48 districts at $101,382–almost $2400 or 2.4% beyond the median salary for maximum pay. District-wide, this would come to over $1,150,000. This overage would make our district pay almost $200K more in added STRS and PERS contributions.

Certificated salaries for 2017-18 = $36,045,860 x 2.4% = $865K x 16.28% (STRS rate) = $140K

Classified salaries for 2017-18 = $11,941,564 x 2.4% = $286K x 18.062% (PERS rate) = $51K

$865K + $286K = $1.15M Board’s overshooting the median salary goal.

$140K + 51K = $191,000 in additional STRS & PERS contributions.

Adding all the over-payments together, it comes to over $1,340,000 more in additional spending. No wonder we’re running such a large deficit.

It looks as though board members have been too busy placating district employees’ salary demands that they lost sight of the overall financial picture. In the district’s Unaudited Actuals report of 2017-18, it shows board members have run up a $6,000,000 deficit–the largest ever in our district’s history.

The Board took a financial chance by spending down our one-time reserves to help pay for on-going district employees’ salary increases of over 25%. By running up a $6 million deficit, we, as a community–the tax payers and especially the children in our schools–are now losing that gamble.

Board members are now asking local taxpayers to ante up more of our hard-earned money ($2.36M for seven years) from Measure K for them to play on.

At the last meeting, Board member, Kathy Paspalis implied that their huge deficit was due to the state’s lack of adequate spending on K-12 education. Many times in the past, the state of California has been the funding-cutting villain; but, not this time. Not after it has increase our district’s local funding by almost $25 million dollars over the last 6 years.

The $6 million deficit is not a budgetary shortfall for the current school year 2018-19. The $6 million amount was reported in the 2017-18 Unaudited Actuals and is the amount of what the board over-spent last school year.

 So, if the board wants to find the real culprit for our mounting, $6 million dollar debt, I suggest they look in the mirror.

George Laase

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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