Rich Buse, Director of Purchasing & Safety for the Pajaro Valley Unified School District, had the opportunity this week to meet with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson in Sacramento. Mr. Buse met with Supt. Torlakson in his role as President-elect of the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO).
During the course of their 30-minute discussion, Mr. Buse shared information with Supt. Torlakson about many of the fiscal challenges facing California public school districts, challenges shared by, but not unique to, Pajaro Valley. Describing the district’s current fiscal condition, Buse told Mr. Torlakson that the district has “already cut to the bone, and if the governor’s initiative fails in November, the only option left will be to cut beyond the bone.”
Mr. Buse also explained that CASBO has adopted a support position on Proposition 30, passage of which in November will allow schools to escape what would be a devastating round of trigger cuts. If the initiative fails, an automatic budget reduction of $5.4 billion will be immediately put into effect. Buse further explained that CASBO is not taking a position on Proposition 38, the second initiative that would provide revenues to schools, partly because of the restrictions it would place on school districts on how the revenues could be used.
During his conversation with Mr. Buse, Supt. Torlakson indicated his desire to develop an awards recognition program that would recognize school districts and staff for smart business decisions, innovative ideas that have resulted in savings for a school district, and innovations in business leadership. Buse will work with CASBO and their staff to determine how such a program can be developed in a way that does not lose sight of the fact that districts have endured significant and even catastrophic budget reductions in recent years.