The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

County Officials Likely to Approve Budget, LCAP

On August 15, Santa Clara county school officials reviewed the school’s budget for the upcoming school year, which specifies how $59.8 million out of $62.7 million of revenue will be spent over the next nine months.

This year, the Mountain View-Los Altos (MVLA) school district will receive $62.7 million in revenue. The revenue comes from three places. Eighty-six percent of the revenue the district receives comes from local property taxes. MVLA is one of ten percent of districts statewide for which the revenue from local property taxes is greater than state educational funding. Only three percent of the district’s revenue comes from state funding, with just one percent coming from the federal government. The remaining 10 percent of revenue comes from interest, fees, agreements and donations received by the district.

The expenditures are categorized into five major areas: certificated salaries, classified salaries, employee benefits, books and supplies and services and other operating expenses. Certificated salaries refer to the salaries of teachers and administrators, while classified salaries refer to the salaries of employees such as office support workers, instructional assistants and maintenance workers.

A portion of the budget is also earmarked for Common Core spending. The money for Common Core was received by the district from the state during the 2013-2014 school year and is meant to be spent over two years. The district plans to spend the money for Common Core primarily on infrastructure, such as training, professional development and finding curriculum, to go along with Common Core testing.

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“There’s this [program] called ‘Teachers on Special Assignment’ where there are coaches from the district [who] are there to help teachers in the classroom with developing and implementing Common Core type lessons, materials, etc.,” Associate Superintendent Mike Matheisen said.

In addition to the money allocated for Common Core spending, plans for the 2014-2015 district budget include supporting programs to increase district-wide academic performance, salary adjustments for district employees and Common Core curriculum investment.

Money that came from increased property taxes as part of Measure A, which was passed in 2010, has been spent primarily at Los Altos High School this summer. The school upgraded the mechanical equipment in the pool and locker room area, in addition to investing in renewable energy sources.

The district budget was approved by the MVLA school board in June.

In addition to the annual budget, this year the state has required schools to develop a Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) to document how they will spend the dollars they receive from the state government. It also includes a three year projection of how the money will be spent in the future.

“The Governor and the state want to give more control to the school districts,” Matheisen said. “People said, ‘Hey, we’re nervous about how districts are going to spend their money,’ so they developed what is called ‘LCAP.’”

The budget is separate from the LCAP and is more related to how the district will be spending money for this upcoming year, rather than in the future.

For example, one of the district’s main goals for the next three years is to improve the performance of all students in Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II. The LCAP includes this goal, the actions and services that will be provided this year and in future years to help achieve this goal and the anticipated expenditures for each action.

“[After the LCAP is approved in June] we send it to the county office and they have to approve it,” Matheisen said. “Now, for the first time, they also have to approve the LCAP. The county reviews it by mid-August…says it looks good, and then it’s certified.”

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