Guiding principles for SD Unified budgeting

Prior to beginning the budget process for the next year we need to declare our guiding principles, so that we don’t have to start each year at Square One.

First the top focus needs to be on those expenditures that lead to greater student achievement.  Second, we need to be fiscally responsible.  The key is to integrate these two items.  Bottom line: we need to live within our means.

How have we been doing the past few years?  Student achievement, broad curriculum and meaningful graduation have all gone up.  What about the fiscal health of the district? The structural deficit has been mostly eliminated.

There is a narrative out there that the district has continued to increase the staff while the student enrollment has gradually gone down.  FALSE.  Here are the facts:


2012-2013**      10,899

2017-2018           9,936

Net loss:        963 positions (8.8%)

*Number of employees is higher than number of full time equivalent positions,because some are part time employees

**Year before Cindy Marten became Superintendent

Certificated positions: From 6632 to 6054 = Net loss of 578 (8.7%)

Classified positions: From 3758 to 3425 = Net loss of 333 (8.9%)

Management positions: From 510 to 456 = Net loss of 54 (10.6%)


2012-2013       113,279

2017-2018      105,793

Net loss:          7,486 students  (6.6%)

We must continue to adjust staff upwards or downwards each year depending on student enrollment.  This is living within our means, because the state pays us according to the number of students attending.

Focused on student success while living within our means