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MDUSD budget update: 2017-18 budget allows MDUSD to advance priorities and expand strategic initiatives to support schools with zero certificated layoffs
Posted 6/22/17


Contact:  Ursula Kroemer Leimbach / / Mobile: (760) 705-6919



Mt. Diablo Unified budget update:

2017-18 budget allows MDUSD to advance priorities and expand strategic initiatives to support schools with zero certificated layoffs


New budget promotes financial stability; allows for expansion of music, arts, and after school program, more student support services, and increased investments in classroom technology and teacher professional development


(CONCORD – June 23, 2017) – The Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) proposed budget for 2017-2018 continues to show a positive ending fund balance for the upcoming fiscal year, as well as the two subsequent years, and provides financial stability that allows for the expansion of valued programs and services students will need to achieve continued academic success.


“We are pleased to once again have a balanced budget that allows us to advance our priorities while also living within our means and planning well for future years,” said Dr. Nellie Meyer, Superintendent of MDUSD.  “While we believe funding for education is not where it should be in California, we are relieved to know that the Governor’s 2017-18 May Budget Revision includes approximately $642 million more for education funding than the proposed January budget.”


“This sends a strong message to schools and families throughout the state that the state is beginning to return some equity into education funding and the preparation of our students for college, career, and a California workforce that demands high skills and technical proficiency,” she added.


California’s K-12 funding supports approximately 6.2 million students in 963 school districts; funding is received from three sources – state funding (57%), property taxes and other local sources (29%) and federal funding (14%). The state recession and a slow economic recovery have led to declining state revenue and a corresponding reduction in the state’s funding of K-12 schools.  Much of it is based on California Proposition 98, the “Classroom Instructional Improvement and Accountability Act” which requires a minimum percentage of the state budget to be spent on K-12 education.


Despite this, the Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) has received three consecutive years of “positive” certifications, meaning the State Controller has determined the district will meet its financial obligations for the current and two subsequent fiscal years. Additionally, and unlike dozens of California school districts planning layoffs due to anticipated budget deficits, despite a statewide teacher shortage, MDUSD has not issued a certificated staff layoff notice since 2013.  California school districts are expected to issue a high number of teacher layoff notices going into the next fiscal year.


As a state, California is projected to continue experiencing slight decreases in total K-12 public school enrollment.  Over the next ten years, a decline in total enrollment (163,000 students) is projected if current trends in population, aging population, and migration hold.  As students leave California school districts, revenues are lost and expenditures do not decline proportionately to revenues.


In addition to the revenue changes related to State budget, the proposed Federal budget under the new administration contains reductions of approximately 13% beginning in 2017-18. It has not been determined specifically how these reductions will impact the Mount Diablo Unified School District and other districts in California.


Mt. Diablo Unified has been fortunate to have had large ending fund balances over the past several years, due in large part to the State’s appropriation of one-time funds, which are not used to support on-going expenditures since their continuation is uncertain.


“We have been able to effectively maximize the impact of one-time funds received, making investments in classroom technology, and additional professional development.  We’ve also provided a 6% salary increase to our hard-working and dedicated staff, restored student support services cut during the state’s previous budget crisis, and expanded innovative programs that help us provide a rich and responsive learning environment for each and every student,” noted Meyer.


Like many districts in California in 2016-17, the District began spending down its fund balance. With the uncertainty of future State revenues, and the nearly full implementation of funding augmentations under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), MDUSD will continue to adjust its spending and align ongoing revenue and expenditures.  Based on the projections available at this time, and through ongoing three-year analysis windows, the 2017-18 Adopted Budget contains proposed budgeted reductions of $9 million in 2017-18; $11 million in 2018-19; and $5 million in 2019-20.   These target dollar reduction amounts have been identified for each year as a starting point. Multi-year reduction targets will adapt to be responsive to evolving factors beyond the District’s control, such as changes in State and Federal revenue, student enrollment, retirement costs, and benefit rate increases. 


“The California state budget process involves a very prescriptive timeline with specific and complex steps,” said Debra Mason, president of the Board of Education for MDUSD. “Our budget is presented in a sliding three-year window to look at the upcoming fiscal year and each of the two subsequent years.  We never just look at what’s happening next year; we have to look much further ahead to anticipate changes in funding and plan accordingly to meet the goals we developed with our community for our Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).”


California Budget Timeline

July 1

Fiscal year begins

July 9 – September 15

Department directors and agency heads initiate detailed reviews and develop budget proposals for their programs for the next fiscal year. These requests for program changes are then sent to the Department of Finance for review.

October – January 10

The Governor evaluates the requests as reviewed by the Department of Finance and sends his or her proposed budget to the Legislature.

January – February

The budget committee chairs in each house introduce the Governor’s budget proposal in bill form. The Legislative Analyst’s Office prepares a detailed review of the budget bill.

March – May

Each house refers its budget bill to their respective budget committees. The bills are then broken down by subject and assigned to the appropriate subcommittees by subject areas. After completion of the hearings, each subcommittee votes and then sends its report to the full budget committee.

Late May – June 15

The budget committee of each house considers the subcommittees’ reports and sends a revised budget bill to the floor for evaluation by the full body. Each house discusses and then votes on its version of the budget bill. The differences between the Assembly and Senate versions of the budget bill are worked out in a conference committee made up of three members from each house. Upon completion of its review, the conference committee submits a single version of the budget bill to both houses. The Senate and Assembly each vote on this final version before it is sent to the Governor. The houses also vote on trailer bills if statutory changes are necessary to implement provisions of the budget bill.

June 15 – July 1

The bill becomes law as soon as it is signed by the Governor due to its status as an urgency measure.


“California’s move to the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) has given, appropriately, much greater discretion to school districts to tailor budgets to their unique needs, student demographics, and individual funding sources. It’s not a one-size-fits-all calculation,” added Meyer.  “For this reason, one cannot compare district to district unless the details of each district’s funding is included.”


As an example, some school districts raise funds through a parcel tax, which, unlike a traditional property tax, is assessed on the land itself, rather than the assessed value of the overall property and structures. Parcel taxes can be used to pay for employee salaries, projects, or other spending needs.  According to Ballotpedia, elections took place on 656 school district parcel tax requests between 1983 and November 2016.  Of the total, 385 – or about 58 percent – were approved, including eight in Contra Costa County: Acalanes Union High School District, Lafayette School District, Martinez Unified School District, Moraga School District, Pittsburg Unified School District, San Ramon Valley Unified School District, Walnut Creek School District, and West Contra Costa Unified School District.


Revenues can also be based on an “unduplicated pupil count” of students who are foster youth, English learners, or are eligible for free or reduced price meals – which allows districts to receive LCFF concentration funds and supplemental funds. MDUSD receives only LCFF supplemental funding, which is about 8% over the district’s base state funding; neighboring West Contra Costa County schools receive 17% more over base funding.


The district will present its final budget at its Board of Education meeting on Monday, June 26.  All regular board meetings are held at the district’s central office located at 1936 Carlotta Drive in Concord.  Public session begins at 7 p.m.



2017-2018 Proposed Budget Executive Summary – June 12, 2017

2017-2018 Proposed Budget Presentation – June 12, 2017

MDUSD Local Control Accountability Plan – English / Spanish

California Department of Education Local Control Funding Formula Overview



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Mt. Diablo Unified, located in Contra Costa County, is honored to serve approximately 32,000 students at more than 50 school sites in the cities of Clayton, Concord, and Pleasant Hill; portions of Martinez, Pittsburg and Walnut Creek; and the unincorporated communities of Bay Point, Lafayette, and Pacheco. As part of a richly diverse community, MDUSD families represent numerous ethnic groups, speaking nearly 50 different languages and dialects. We offer award-winning innovative programs in Career Technical Education; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); extensive visual and performing arts programs; and rich foreign language and dual immersion offerings. MDUSD is also pleased to have launched its first middle college program, College Now, and will open its first International Baccalaureate program and three new regional magnet programs in 2017.  Learn more at