OUSD Budget Update

i am ousdBudget UpdateAugust 17, 2020
This message is available in other languages using the links located above the blue headerDear Oakland Community,

When we adopted our 2020-21 budget, there was a lot of budgetary uncertainty – including the possibility of major cuts to education. The budget we adopted reflected that reality and uncertainty. We prepared for, but ultimately did not actually move forward with budget reductions. We decided that we would wait and learn more in the coming months.

Last week, we presented a 45 day budget revision to the OUSD Board of Education. This is a standard practice and an opportunity for the public to review any of OUSD’s revisions to our revenues and expenditures. (See below for the presentation and Click here for the Board memo with lots of details)

The good news is that we did not have to make the reductions for which we prepared in June.

The quick takeaway is that the state budget largely kept our funding consistentent from last year. It added some one-time funds – which have to be spent quickly – to support learning loss from the spring, but is delaying giving us our funding. This means we have to carefully monitor our cash on hand.

Cash Flow: First, we have to be careful with our cash flow (that is, making sure we have enough money to meet our payroll). The state is using something called deferrals which means they are giving us the same amount of funding, but they are delaying when we actually receive it.

Learning Loss Mitigation Funds:  After OUSD adopted its budget, the state provided  more details about the Learning Loss Mitigation Funds (LLMF) to support students during COVID. These funds must be used for specific purposes. OUSD must develop a plan for the funds by September 2020 and report on how we spend the money. (Click here to learn more). In short, these funds are one-time, can be used for specific expenses, and have to be spent soon. There are three sources of this one-time funding.
Governors Emergency Education Relief Funds: Oakland received $2.6 million to support special education. This money needs to be spent by September 30, 2022.Coronavirus Relief Fund: Oakland received $33.2 million ($8.5 for Special Education). This money needs to be spent by December 30, 2020.State’s General Fund: Oakland received $3.2 million. This money needs to be spent by December 30, 2020. CARES Act: 
The District’s adopted budget included the CARES Act funding. This federal funding has now been allocated to support various efforts including employee safety and professional development, technology, and personal protective equipment (PPE). These funds must be used for specific purposes to respond to the pandemic (click here for more details). Our allocation is $14.5 million. As required by new federal regulations, the District is currently reserving $2.0 million for private school allocations per current allocation recommendations.

Next year and beyond:
While we are thankful that the budget picture looks better than we had expected, however, we may be facing difficult budgets in the near future. The economic downturn that has accompanied the COVID health crisis will not truly impact the state budget until next year. Additionally, the state took some extraordinary measures to support schools this year. Those measures may not be available in the future. We have to be thoughtful about how we use our resources in the face of this uncertainty.Please share your thoughtsIn Community,

Lisa Grant-Dawson
Chief Financial Officer
What do you think?

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