Natomas USD Budget Update

This Budget Update is being provided to our staff and community in my ongoing effort to keep you informed about the fiscal crisis facing California and its impact on the Natomas Unified School District (NUSD). Please also visit our website at for more budget material.

— Superintendent Steve M. Farrar

The latest budget highlights for our school district

  • Key budget decisions remain including whether H. Allen Hight Middle School will open for 2009-10.
  • The Board of Trustees encourages staff and community to attend two budget public hearings on Monday, March 2 at Bannon Creek Elementary, 2775 Millcreek Drive: 6 p.m., H. Allen Hight Middle budget issue only; 7 p.m., other items including flexible use of categorical funds for other budget purposes.
  • The district continues to conserve cash and use reserves and one-time savings to avoid layoffs.
  • An updated budget information packet is posted on the district website at showing that the district is facing an estimated $27 million in budget reductions over the next three years because of the state budget crisis. Now that a state budget has been adopted and signed, new budget projections have been developed for the NUSD.

Will H. Allen Hight Middle School be affected by budget cuts?

  • Delaying the opening of the new middle school scheduled for August 2009 could save the district $1 million.
  • Trustees had a discussion at their Feb. 24 budget workshop of the pros and cons of delaying the opening.
  • They are weighing the merits of saving $1 million with the desire to have a new middle school that would allow the district to downsize Leroy F. Greene Middle and Natomas Middle schools from about 900 students to 650 students.
  • A decision on whether to delay the opening is scheduled for the March 11 meeting of the Board of Trustees, which meets at 6:30 p.m. in the Education Center at 1901 Arena Blvd. A public hearing on whether to delay the opening is set for Monday, March 2, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Bannon Creek Elementary.
  • This is a public hearing only, with no action being taken until March 11.

Budget strategies under review

  • Minimally increasing class sizes by 1-2 students at all grade levels in phases is under consideration, with staff reductions absorbed through attrition and not layoffs.
  • New state flexibility provisions potentially may allow the district to reallocate some categorical grants to instead fund weekly collaboration time for teachers and instructional coaches at each school.
  • Potential budget reductions which are subject to negotiations with the employee groups include a freeze in step-and-column increases, any salary reductions and any furlough days.
  • Elimination of athletics has been removed from consideration.

What’s ahead?

  • At its March 11 meeting, trustees are set to approve a package of budget reductions for the 2009-10 school year as part of a mandated financial report due to the Sacramento County Office of Education.
  • Another round of much larger budget reductions is expected to be made by June when the 2009-10 budget is adopted.


  1. I am all for finding ways to avoid laying off teachers and school staff, but I think that spending the money to open H. Allen Hight middle school might be worth it in order to reduce middle school sizes in our district. I think that reducing pressure on Leroy F. Greene and Natomas Middle in terms of student-body size could give them (especially in the case of LFG) a chance to redefine themselves. LFG is a mess and needs a reboot, and I think that this might help.

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