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Community Update 5.22.20: Concern About Fiscal Uncertainty 
Posted 5/22/20



Dear Miller Creek Community,


Before the COVID-19 pandemic, our District was facing difficult financial questions. The District’s expenditures were outpacing revenue therefore creating a deficit and necessitating the use of reserve funds. It was clear that the District would need to make structural adjustments to the budget to mitigate this pattern. However, the complexity of our response has been significantly compounded as the economic fallout of COVID-19 is realized, and the impact of shifting to a Basic Aid funded district is evaluated. 


We are beginning to understand the significant impact that the pandemic has had on the State’s ability to fund schools for the 2020-21 school year. Districts throughout the state have been advised to expect a reduction of 10% to the school funding formula and to expect state allocation payments to be issued later than normal. These reductions and delays are significant given the already lean budget that our district receives. 


It is important to note that these changes in budget scenarios are surfacing during our usual budget development process which mandates that our Board of Education adopt a budget by June 30th. This short timeline, tethered with evolving and alarming funding projections, make for a difficult set of circumstances. We believe that during the next regularly scheduled Board meeting, the Board will be faced with additional challenging decisions about reductions and other actions to stabilize and protect the District’s financial position, such as hiring freezes, possible staff lay-offs, and program reductions.


We understand that receiving this news is distressing as our schools are among the community's most precious resources. The fiscal picture, coupled with questions about the configuration of instruction in the fall, leaves us with far more questions than answers. We continue to await guidance from our County Health Officials to understand the parameters for fall planning and have assembled teams of educators to think through possibilities.


The next Board meeting will occur on Tuesday, June 9th. Members of the public are able to address the Board during the public comment section of the agenda. Our meetings are operating under temporary conditions given the COVID-19 pandemic. Information about Board meetings, including how to submit public comments can be found on the homepage of our District website. Highlights of the Board meetings can also be found on a new section on the website, called Board Highlights


We remain vigilant and committed to serving our community during this uncertain time. The feedback that you’ve provided through the surveys has been a significant resource for planning and making adjustments. We anticipate sending one more survey to parents in early June to capture additional input that will help us design scenarios in preparation of schools reopening in the fall.


Thank you for your continued support as we partner in the education of our students.


Sincerely,


Becky Rosales | Interim Superintendent

Kristy Treewater | Assistant Superintendent