Editor, Ceres Courier,
As the state Legislature was finalizing the state budget in June of 2014, they included a last-minute addition that would, when certain circumstances are met, cap most school district reserves at 6 percent. While the legislation also included more transparency around reserve levels - which is not a bad idea - the cap amounted to roughly three weeks of operating expenses, including payroll. This was profoundly poor policy. Having managed a school district budget for well over a decade, I can assure the public that reserves at that low level lead districts quickly into insolvency.
At the time of the vote, Assemblyman Adam Gray personally reached out to me and assured me that he would be working to either repeal or fix this flawed legislation. I want to thank the Assemblyman for being a man of his word and urge all of Mr. Gray's constituents to support him in his efforts as a coauthor of SB 799, a bill which would increase the reserve cap to 17 percent - an amount that, in my professional opinion, should be workable for school districts. The allowable reserves in this bill equate to two months of expenses, an amount in the lower end of the range recommended for savings for individuals.
I want to express my gratitude to Assemblyman Gray for his efforts to set aside partisan politics and work to find solutions to problems that are beneficial to the members and entities in his district.
Ceres Unified School District