Thank you for taking the time to study the 2014-15 budget for the Manhattan Beach Unified School District. We are moving into what I hope is a new budgetary era, where we will actually experience increases in state funding. It feels very different to be emerging from the difficult financial times that began in year 2007 and were characterized by massive decreases in state funding.
So instead of expressing pride in the fact that we avoided layoffs and furlough days, two difficult ways that many districts in California responded to the budget crisis that started in 2007, I get to write to you about increases in compensation for our employees and exciting new developments funded by our budget.
I am proud that our employees received a 3% pay increase in the 2011-12 school year and then a 5% increase in the 2013-14 school year. Even with this increase, we recently learned that when we closed last year’s books, we ended with a $1.1 million operational surplus for the year. Our projection is the spring was an operational deficit of $2.8 million. There are two main reasons for this operational surplus. First, our revenues were about $1.4 million more than expected. Second, due to a combination of cost consciousness, unfilled positions and unexpected savings in Special Education, our expenses were about $2.5 million less than anticipated.
Last year’s operational surplus will be helpful, because in this year’s budget, we are bringing back many services and programs that will positively impact our students. Some of these changes include:
- Bringing back elementary PE teachers to increase the quality of physical education in elementary schools (62% funded by MBEF)
- Reassuming responsibility for funding the stipends of coaches and teachers who support our activities and athletics beyond the school day
- Adding an additional vice principal at the high school (80% funded by MBX)
- Adding two teachers on special assignment (TOSAs) to assist teachers in implementing technology into the classrooms (81% funded by MBEF)
- Adding one TOSA to assist secondary math teachers in adjusting to the Common Core State Standards and improving secondary math instruction (47% funded by MBEF)
- Adding four professional development days for all teachers, paid at their daily rate.
- Adding a full-time custodian to support growing schools.
- Adding a Director of Fiscal Services to provide more support and oversight in our business office.
I continue to feel fortunate to work in an amazing community, where all stakeholder groups work together to provide our students with a first class education. Our extraordinary teachers, staff and administrators engage, support, mentor and inspire students each and every day. Our unparalleled community support from the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation (MBEF), the Manhattan Beach Extra Foundation (MBX) and the PTA helps us to provide exemplary programs for our students. We could not do what we do without their help. Our parents, families and our community have their priorities firmly on our schools, and they have collectively invested in our most precious resource: our students and their future.
If you want to see any of our budget documents, please click here. If you have any questions, I am happy to answer them.
Michael D. Matthews, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools