Board of Education | SPUSD Approves ‘Placeholder’ Budget

The district continues to work on solutions for South Pasadena schools, while trying to avoid potential layoffs

FILE PHOTO: Eric Fabbro | SouthPasadenan.com News | SPUSD Superintendent, Geoff Yantz

The South Pasadena Unified School District’s (SPUSD) Board of Education approved the district’s proposed budget as a placeholder Tuesday night at their monthly board meeting. Though the budget calls for $4.4 million in cuts, mostly in the form of staff layoffs, it is not expected to be implemented in its current form for the upcoming school year. 

The vote came one day after a statement released by Governor Gavin Newsom’s office said that public school cuts would be halted for the upcoming school year. Without any further information, however, the district needed to present a budget to the county before the upcoming deadline, and so voted to approve the previous budget as a placeholder.

“I just want to emphasize the need to be patient,” said Superintendent Geoff Yantz, who stressed that the budget might not take its final form until the school year begins in August. 

Newsom is expected to sign the state budget agreement on Saturday, by which point more information about the budget should be made public. As reported by the LA Times earlier this week, the proposed $8 billion in cuts to K-12 schools and community colleges will be halted by the newly revised budget, though trailer bills expected to be passed by the state legislature will further alter the district’s plans.

“It’s the same story we’ve been dealing with the last couple of months,” said Assistant Superintendent Dave Lubs. “There’s a lot of uncertainty still.” 

The state’s budget revision marks good news for the district, who just two weeks ago proposed laying off staff to cover an 8% budget shortfall for the upcoming school year. It is unclear how trailer bills might affect the budget in the following weeks, however, so the district will be working throughout the summer to hammer out a plan for the upcoming year. 

“We’ve been saying this is a year without a summer for our employees and staff,” said Yantz.

The board expects to meet weekly throughout July to further craft the budget. Typically, the board does not meet in July in observance of a summer recess.