SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Panic at the district tonight all over school funding. Sacramento City Unified School District met with teachers Friday night to figure out how to save more money. This comes after officials announced it could run out of money by November.
It’s a complex issue but the bottom line is the district needs to find $35 million dollars in budget cuts in less than a year. And if it can’t, it’s the students who could lose out on programs they see as priceless.
“It’s a championship winning team, so all I can hope for is that we win,” said 11-year-old Daisy Throckmorton.
A Friday night on the football field: it’s the only place this 5th grader wants to be.
“It’s really fun, I was super excited when I made the team!” she said.
But the reality is a strained school district budget could end the game altogether for this elementary flag football team.
“I think it would be a big loss for the Sacramento area if this was to go away,” said Daisy’s father, Scott Throckmorton.
Parents in the district got this alert Wednesday with the troubling news.
“We will run out of cash in 2019 if we don’t find immediate cost savings,” said District Spokesperson Alex Barrios.
He told CBS13 that means programs and jobs could be at risk. The worst-case scenario is that the district will be taken over by the state.
“I don’t think that’s in anyone’s best interest,” he said. “We know that we can we achieve the greatest savings by simply switching health plans to something more with comparable benefits.”
He says that would put $11 to $16 million back into the district’s piggy bank. But David Fischer with the Sacramento City Teachers Association (SCTA) says his group has a plan to save $60 million dollars.
“Redirecting resources out of the headquarters and into the classroom,” Fischer explained.
In this proposal, vacation buyouts are gone and pay for administrators is reduced. Fischer says the district wasn’t ready to hear the association’s plan on Friday night.
“Just disappointed that they wouldn’t even consider our proposal to save the money,” Fischer said.
Those dollars could make a difference for thousands of students.
SCTA met with the District Friday night to try to figure out a solution but the two parties haven’t reached an agreement just yet.