Gov. Jerry Brown recently released a revised budget that paints an even more bleak economic picture for the state than imagined before.
The budget, which has a deficit that has now grown to $16 billion, is sure to have a rippling effect on school districts throughout the state, including the San Bruno Park School District.
With further budget cuts in mind for next year, interim Chief Business Officer Art Schmidtt told the school board earlier this month in a presentation that, with all the uncertainty surrounding education funding, the district could at least bank on one thing: likely won't pass.
At best, Schmidtt said, the district could remain financially solvent by and services.
At worst, the district could be teetering on bankruptcy in a few years if an alternative isn't figured out soon.
The district is expected to take a $1.2 million hit in the middle of next year because of the ongoing state budget cuts, and the district continues to spend in a deficit of about $500,000 a year—two trends the district can't sustain for too much longer, Schmidtt said.
Schmidtt said bankruptcy would be a "very ugly picture" for the district, but he doesn't think that will happen.
He told a group of parents at the last school board meeting that 172 school districts, or 20 percent, have already said they could face bankruptcy if Brown's tax measure doesn't pass.
"But is the state of California ready to take over the public school system?" he asked rhetorically. "Because there will be many districts facing the possibility of bankruptcy, and I don't think the state has the capacity to handle that."
The for the November ballot could offset the anticipated midyear cuts, he added. But it would do nothing to alleviate the district's deficit spending.
Schools trustee Dr. Henry Sanchez also weighed in by saying that the district has been dealing with a deficit each year for the last 30 years.
"The reason it's been working is because the money always shows up," Sanchez said.
That may not be the case this time around.
What, then, could the San Bruno Park School District do to fix its budget problems and reduce its ongoing deficit?