Calif. district reveals nearly $2 million budget deficit

January 4, 2019 | The Press-Democrat

Declining enrollment and increased special education costs led to a newly discovered $1.9 million deficit in the Cotati- Rohnert Park Unified School District’s budget this school year.

“It was a huge surprise,” school board President Leffler Brown said in an interview. “We should have known the enrollment in August.”

California public school districts draft annual budgets based on enrollment, but receive funding connected to average daily attendance. The Cotati-Rohnert Park district budgeted for an increase of 83 students in the 2018-19 school year. However, recent enrollment numbers show a decrease of 57 students from the previous school year, resulting in 140 fewer students than projected. The district has 5,775 students and a budget of about $67 million.

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