Shortly before midnight on Wednesday, Woodland Hills School Board members decided they weren't ready to vote on a final budget for next school year.
The decision came after a roughly four-hour meeting that included a vote to keep Edgewood Elementary school open and another to continue 7th and 8th grade programs at the Woodland Hills Academy. The board expects to vote on a budget during a special meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20.
As of Wednesday night, the budget stood at roughly $80.7 million. Unless the board raises taxes, it will go into next year with just $239,000 in its reserves.
The board last raised taxes during the 2009-2010 school year.
"We've made as many cuts as we reasonably can," said Subsitute Superintendent Alan Johnson.
Johnson suggested raising taxes by .56 mill, bringing that tax rate to 26.21 mills, or $2,621 for a person whose home is valued at $100,000. Doing so would put the district's reserve fund slightly over $1 million.
"It's been a difficult budgeting process," Johnson said. "I don't think this is where anybody wants to be."
While the budget has yet to be approved, it includes a number of cuts and reductions. The College Now program, IN Woodland Hills magazine, and Boyce Campus Middle College all had funding cut. Security funding is reduced by about $73,000, and transportation funding is down by $500,000. Several support staff positions have also been eliminated.
Besides considering further cuts, the board wanted to wait for a state budget to be approved. Changes resulting from Wednesday's votes need to be rigorously accounted for, too, said Colleen Filiak—especially considering the small amount in reserves.
"There is no place for a margin of error," Filiak said.
The board has a June 30 deadline to pass a budget.