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Groups Say Schools Don't Have to Close

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Karen Swett is a former teacher who says she's crunched the district's budget numbers from the past eight years.  She says the District routinely has money left over from year to year.  This year, she says, there is at least $10 million of unspent money left over from last year.  "Most of the money we don't lose.  Most of the money gets rolled over and the kids who, the school sites that didn't spend it get it back -get it again the next year.  But that doesn't help the kid last year who needed the services."

Swett says this is not a one-time occurence,"$10.2 million.  And it was the same for the year before that.  The year before that it was $28 million. One year we had $21 million.  I have these back for seven years."
Gabe Ross with the District says there may be money in certain parts of the budget, but the money is unavailable,  "They are our restrictive funds or categorical funds.  Categorical funds are much more complicated.   They come from a different funding sources that have a specific purpose  -that can only be used for specific purposes and that cannot under any circumstances be used to balance our budget."
Ross says some funds can be legally rolled over,"Sometimes school sites will carry some money over in order to save up for a big purchase of technology etcetera.  But in no circumstance can these monies be used to balance our budget and prevent the awful kinds of cuts that we've experienced here over the last decade."

The District had originally considered closing eleven schools.  It has now lowered that number to seven.
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