The special meeting is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. in the district board room at 1875 W. Lowell Ave.
Casey Goodall, Tracy Unified’s assistant superintendent for business services, expects trustees to approve the 2012-13 spending plan.
“If the election supports the governor’s proposal, we will have the same level of funding next year as we had this year,” Goodall said. “Given this premise, Tracy Unified School District will receive no additional funding, will not be forced to make any budget reductions, but will still be spending more dollars than we receive. This ‘deficit spending’ can be sustained for greater than three years without additional budget reductions.”
Goodall said the district for years prepared for the worst and watched every dollar, making it possible to do more with less if state budget cuts should result in less money for kindergarten to 12th-grade education.
If the proposed taxes passed, Goodall estimates the area’s largest school district would see revenues decrease by about $4 million for the fiscal year beginning July 1, with revenues dropping from $116,429,711 in the 2011-12 fiscal year to $112,332,242 for 2012-13.
That creates a deficit of about $4.4 million for 2012-13, with expenditures estimated at $116,717,955.
But those totals only pencil out, Goodall said, if a majority of voters gives the OK to a Nov. 6 initiative that would provide more funding to public schools by providing funds to balance the state budget.
The initiative would generate about $9 billion annually by increasing the income tax by 3 percent on households earning more than $1 million dollars; by 2 percent on households earning $600,000 to $1,000,000; and by 1 percent on households earning $500,000 to $600,000. All of those increases are slated to expire after seven years.
The other aspect to the initiative would be an increase of the state sales tax by a quarter of a cent for four years.
“One major message I intend to share with the school board is that everything is absolutely dependent on the governor’s initiative,” Goodall said, “and that if his initiative fails, the impacts will be so dramatic, it will fundamentally change the way schools operate in California.”
Tracy Unified might be forced to make $7 million in reductions, but Goodall said it would take the remainder of the 2012-13 school year to identify cuts that would take effect at the beginning of 2013-14.
Members of the teaching profession are expected to push for the measure’s passage. Tracy Educators Association President John Anderson said the campaign was expected to kick into high gear in the fall.
“We need to educate the citizens, parents of Tracy, to vote in favor of it so the funds will be available for us to use — avoid the doomsday effect of it not passing,” Anderson said.
“I find it hard to believe the citizens of California and Tracy wouldn’t want to pass the initiative to save school funding, knowing the serious negative implications to children and the people of California.”
Goodall added that schools were already stretching scarce dollars, and he intended to drive that message home to trustees at the meeting.
“We are already operating with the lowest funding in decades,” Goodall said. “We are threatened with even greater reductions. And we are raising the bar on expectations. This is the key message for (today).”