COTTONWOOD - Thanks to passage of Proposition 100, Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District has removed closing a campus as one of its worst-case budget options. Also removed as a budget option was the transfer of Oak Creek School junior high students to Cottonwood Middle School.
But even with Prop. 100, C-OC's preliminary budget is austere. The district lost $350,000 due to declining enrollment. Another $550,000 was lost when the state took away all-day kindergarten funding. An increase of 7.5 percent in insurance costs takes another $116,000 from the budget. In all, the district is losing a little more than $1.1 million from its maintenance and operation budget.
That makes money tight for a district with more than 2,200 students and five campuses.
Superintendent Barbara U'Ren and business manager David Snyder presented a preliminary budget Tuesday night to the governing board.
"This will allow us to put together a proposed budget for June 8," U'Ren said.
She and Snyder laid out the budget options for the board to consider. The board then gave the administration direction that will result in a proposed budget. After the June 8 meeting, the district will submit a final budget for adoption at the July 13 board meeting. The district must submit its final budget to the state by July 15.
The loss of M & O has already had an impact on the budget. Because of the declining enrollment, the district has lost seven teachers. Another six teachers will be lost because all-day kindergarten funds from the state have disappeared. Each department within the district, such as utilities and classroom supplies, will be cut by 10 percent.