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By Rick Monroe
Special to the Village News 

FUESD's $55.6 million budget has 'planned' deficit of 1.6 million


Last updated 6/17/2021 at 12:54pm

When is it OK to have a $1.6 million deficit in your budget? For the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District, it’s not a bad thing, said Cindi Martin, Associate Superintendent of Educational Services. In fact, it’s good.

Martin presented the 2021-2022 budget to the school board on Monday, June 7 at a public hearing. The first reading was unanimously approved by the board. It will come back to the board on June 21 for the final reading. Martin urged residents to read the document at the district office and to contact her with any questions.

Regarding the deficit spending, she explained the budget doesn’t include state funds (more than $1 million estimated) not yet approved because the state budget hasn’t been finalized.

Additional funds promised by President Biden may also be on the way. Without these additions, the revenue stands at $54 million. However, Martin said the 8% planned deficit shows expenditures at $55.6 million.

“The money will come in,” she explained, “and this allows us to not handle the timing like other districts that have to give layoff notices, but then bring back their employees.”

The district has a reserve in its budget of $5.8 million, Martin said. She also said the planned deficit doesn’t consider the district’s savings account, which this year allowed Fallbrook schools to reopen early and safely for in-person instruction when 80% of other schools could not.

“We are proud of this budget!” Martin wrote in the report. “By maximizing our revenues to address the effects of the pandemic, our students and families win with the 2021-22 budget.”

The budget will be modified as the district has more information on revenue, with the final figures not really identified until August, she said. Teacher and classified staff salary increases are not factored in the budget.

Martin said state funding is established on Average Daily Attendance. The budget is based on the 2019-20 funded ADA of 5,066 students, and if that number was to decrease in the fall, it would likewise reduce the state funds.

Significant changes outlined in the budget report included:

• Return to the pre-pandemic schedule of full school day, 5 days a week

• Return of regular educational transportation

• Reinstating the De Luz Ecology Center

• New LCAP and implementation of a 3-year Learning Recovery Program

• Literacy coach, innovation lab teacher and intervention teacher at schools

• Project-based learning teachers

• Behavior technicians at sites

• New language academy program at Fallbrook STEM Academy

• English language arts textbook adoption

• After school program at Mary Fay Pendleton

• Additional P.E. support

A portion of the expanded revenue will be used to fund multiple new positions, some identified above, both full-time and part-time. Positions include eight literacy coaches, seven intervention teachers, intervention program technicians, two project-based learning coaches, P.E. teachers (1.5), eight reserve teachers, playground supervisors, night custodian, social worker, behavior technicians, migrant education teacher, migrant community support services assistants, occupational therapist, lead groundskeeper and groundskeeper, cafeteria assistants, and part-time bilingual school/community support services assistants.

The LCAP mentioned in the bullet points above refers to the district’s Local Control and Accountability Plan, required by the state to set goals, plan actions, and leverage resources to meet those goals to improve student outcomes.

Julie Norby, associate superintendent of educational services also presented the district’s new LCAP plan at the June 7 board meeting. She noted that because of the “pandemic year,” the three-year revision of the report is actually a four-year plan this year because many of the end of year metrics did not occur last year.

The LCAP plan describes the goals, actions, services, and expenditures to support positive student outcomes that address state and local priorities. The new report identified three goals:

1. Programs and Academic Achievement – Provide access to relevant, coherent and rigorous standards-based instructional programs to improve student learning and increase student achievement. These factors include:

• High quality staff

• Literacy coaches

• Intervention teachers

• Innovation lab teachers

• Lower class size

• New ELA curriculum

• Enhanced environmental education opportunities

• Math Olympiad, robotics and coding

• 1:1 devices

• Expanded fine arts

• Project based learning

2. School Climate and Social Emotional – Ensure and nurture a safe climate that promotes the social, emotional and physical well-being of students, their families and staff. Factors:

• Social worker

• Counselors

• Behavior techs

• Leader in Me

• Districtwide wellness committee

• Safe, clean, inspiring facilities

• Positive behavioral interventions and support

• Trauma informed practices

• Cultural proficiency

3. Family and Community Engagement – Enhance strong family and community relationships that promote engagement, collaboration, and authentic partnerships to increase student outcomes.

• Bilingual community support assistants

• Increased parent leadership opportunities

• Parent education

• 7 habits of successful families

• Timely and varied forms of communication

• Access to technology

• Expanded community partnerships

The LCAP document is available to view at the district office and on the FUESD web page,, and there is a two-week period for public comments. There will be edits to the plan if needed before the school board will vote at its June 21 meeting.


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