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Ceres Unified School District adopted a $91 million operating budget during Thursday night's Board of Trustees meeting.

"We have enough reserves to get through 2012-13," CUSD Supt. Scott Siegel said. "After that, we have to take drastic action."

CUSD's budget assumes California voters will not pass the Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act, a tax initiative placed by Governor Jerry Brown on the November ballot.

"The district will take a $450 hit per student, which amounts to $5 million, if that initiative fails," said Siegel.

The governor's tax initiative was favored by a 52 to 35 percent margin statewide in the latest Field Poll. The Field Poll has operated continuously as an independent, non-partisan, media-sponsored public opinion service since 1947. The poll covers a wide range of political and social topics examining California public opinion each year.

Governor Brown signed a state budget on June 27 that protects funding for education and public safety while cutting $8 billion from government to close a $15.7 billion deficit.

The budget slashes spending in almost every part of state government and enacts significant welfare reform while increasing funding for K-12 education by 14 percent, pending voter approval of the governor's initiative.

Brown's initiative would enact temporary increases on high-income earners, raising income taxes by up to three percent on the wealthiest Californians for seven years. It would also increase the state sales tax by one-quarter of one cent for four years. Six billion dollars in additional cuts to education and public safety will be triggered if the initiative fails.

"It's always a tough sell to get voters to approve something," Siegel said. "They'll have to see a need. I can't advocate one way or the other. But I can tell you what will happen to Ceres Unified (if the initiative fails) because it's facts."

With direction from CUSD leaders, Ceres School Board members would have to make some tough decisions for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

"After school and summer programs could be curtailed," Siegel said. "Adult Education and Maintenance could receive hits. The length of the school year could be shortened significantly. We'll be looking at class sizes. If we increase class sizes, there's layoffs. They (Ceres Unified Teachers Association and the Ceres chapter of the California School Employees Association) understand something is going to have to happen if the initiative doesn't pass. We'll have very serious cuts."