Deficits ahead: Preliminary forecast says schools will face shortfalls

Andra Belknap, Ojai Valley News reporter

The Ojai Unified School District's (OUSD) School Board looked at a preliminary, three-year budget picture last week that showed a balanced budget for the 2016-2017 school year, but large projected deficits for 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years.

For the 2017-2018 school year, OUSD assistant superintendent Andy Cantwell projected the district will take in approximately $26 million in revenue, while preliminary budget figures show $27 million in expenditures — in short, a million dollar deficit. Cantwell also projected “roughly a $1 million deficit in 18-19.”

Declining enrollment is the largest factor contributing to the deficit, said Cantwell, who also cited a decline in state funding.

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