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Orange County Focus

TUSTIN : School District OKs $51.3-Million Budget

August 31, 1994|BERT ELJERA

The Tustin Unified School District has adopted a $51.3-million budget for fiscal year 1994-95 with reserves more than two times larger than required by state law.

"We're in pretty good status than in the last two to three years," said Paul Fisher, the assistant superintendent for business services, at Monday's school board meeting. "We have no deficit and we have much more in reserves."

He said that the school district will have $3.4 million, or 6.6%, of the budget designated for economic uncertainties. The state requires 3%, or about $1.8 million, he said.

In addition, $480,000 has been set aside to be used either as a onetime bonus for school district employees, who have not received a pay raise over the past two years, or as part of a modest salary increase, Fisher said.

The school district is anticipating about $1.7 million more in income than last school year because of increased enrollment. For the school year opening in September, the district is expecting more than 12,800 students, an increase of more than 500 from school year 1993-94.

A large portion of the school district's income comes from the average daily attendance, or the amount the state pays to educate each enrolled child. The school district also receives federal and state grants and money for school programs, such as special and vocational education.

Employee salaries and benefits constitute the school district's biggest expense. But over the past two years, Fisher said, the costs have gone down from 85% of total expenses to about 83%.

The other major expense, about 15%, is for materials and services, including hiring consultants for special programs, he said.

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