BOARD BRIEF: June 21, 2022

BOARD BRIEF: Top things to know from the June 21, 2022 San Marcos Unified Governing Board Meeting
Posted on 06/24/2022

BOARD BRIEF: Top things to know from the San Marcos Unified Governing Board Meeting

June 24, 2022

The commitment from our Governing Board is to provide our staff, families, and community with clear, open and transparent communication. This Board Brief has been created to share key decisions and outcomes from the Board after each meeting. The Board Brief will be distributed by the end of the week after each Regular Meeting.

The following Board Brief highlights important items from the June 21, 2022 San Marcos Unified School District Governing Board meeting:

1. Superintendent, Dr. Andy Johnsen, provided an update to the Board and community.

Dr. Johnsen began his presentation by sharing about the three recent high school commencement ceremonies for the class of 2022 at Mission Hills High School, San Marcos High School and Twin Oaks High School. 

Portrait of a Graduate

Dr. Johnsen shared an update on the final Portrait of a Graduate, which was also approved by the Board during the meeting, and the coming Strategic Plan which will serve as the plan to implement the Portrait of a Graduate throughout the District. 

The Portrait of a Graduate clearly outlines the skills, mindsets, and competencies SMUSD students will have upon graduation, or what a Future Ready student looks like, and what a Future Ready school district looks like. 

“Our Portrait of a Graduate is the North Star, but what it is really going to do is help inform our decisions as a Board. They will be based on this process that was community and stakeholder led, and is really exciting and important work,” said Board President, Stacy Carlson. 

“I’m so proud of our kids, and throughout this year I kept thinking about how we can improve their experience, and this is why I am so excited about the Portrait of a Graduate. I am so glad we are ending this year in a forward facing momentum,” said Board Member, Sarah Ahmad. 

Budget Update

Dr. Johnsen also shared a brief update regarding the District’s 2022-23 Budget. Dr. Johnsen shared that the District will be filing a positive budget by this December, which is the highest level of budget certification that can be achieved and signifies a District is in good financial standing. “As you know we have done a lot of work this year around the budget, and we are now better positioned fiscally going into the next year,” said Dr. Johnsen. He also encouraged thoughtfulness with fiscal decisions going forward, in light of the predicted economic downturn and potential declining enrollment impacts on SMUSD budgets.


2. Public hearing for the Local Control Accountability Plan. Director of Special Projects, Spencer Wavra, provided a presentation and update to the Board, which also serves as the public hearing, regarding the specific actions and expenditures proposed in the Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP. 

School districts receive funding from different sources from the State under the Local Control Funding Formula, or LCFF, which provides school districts flexibility, or local control, on how to best spend these funds. As a result, school districts must work with parents, educators, students, and the community to develop the LCAP, which shows how they will use these funds to serve students. The plan must outline goals to improve students’ overall achievement as well as how they will serve specific student populations including foster youth, homeless youth, English learners, and low-income students.

The LCAP has four main goals: High-quality teaching and academics, providing supports to students to address opportunity gaps and improve outcomes for all students, facilitate parent and family engagement, and providing safe, welcoming and inclusive school climates for all students and their families. 

Feedback on the LCAP is still being accepted and can be submitted on our website by clicking here.  


3. Public hearing for the District’s 2022-23 Adopted Budget. Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, Erin Garcia, shared a presentation and update to the Board, which also served as the introduction to the public hearing for the District's 2022-23 Adopted Budget & 2021-22 Estimated Actuals Budget Report.  

Due to the State Budget not yet begin finalized, Garcia outlined the budget assumptions used to create the District’s 2022-23 budget, including the Governor's May Revise, projected COLA, or cost of living adjustment percentages, special education estimates, and did not include any projected one-time funds the District may receive from the State. Garcia also outlined the current differences between the Legislature's current proposed budget and the Governor’s current proposed budget. The Legislature approved its proposed budget on June 13, 2022, and the Governor has 12 days to either sign or veto the proposed State Budget once he receives it.

Garcia also detailed how declining enrollment in the district is impacting Budget revenues. Although the district will receive an increase to the per student LCFF funding allocation next year, because funding is based on enrollment and student attendance, if enrollment declines, it will dramatically affect the amount of dollars the District actually receives.

Additionally, Garcia shared several items impacting the Budget expenditures, including a 12% increase from last year in the STRS & PERS retirement system contributions, and the purchase of four school buses and school bus cameras. Salary increases were not included in the District’s Budget as negotiations for the next year have not yet begun. Garcia also shared Multi-Year Projections which will require planning and a fiscally conservative approach to keep the District stable in the long run.

Garcia presented an overall positive budget and recommended the Governing Board approve the budget at the next Governing Board meeting to take place on June 28, 2022, to meet the statutory deadlines.  If there are significant differences in the final enacted State budget and the district’s Adopted budget, an update will be presented at the August Board meeting.


4. Second Reading & Adoption of Community Facilities District 14. Community Facilities Districts or CFDs, are special tax districts that enable local government entities and special districts to access certain public funding opportunities and financing for school facilities.

The San Marcos Unified School District previously formed Community Facilities District No. 14 in 2020 as a “core-annexable” community facilities district into which additional property could be annexed. SMUSD has received a request from Beazer Homes to annex the Solitaire development of 103 townhomes located in the City of Vista. Annexation into CFD No. 14 will provide additional special tax revenues to provide financing for needed school facilities. 

The final step in the process is the Second Reading of the Ordinance which came to the Board during the June 21st meeting, and was approved.

5. Governing Board Meetings date changes beginning July 2022. Several changes were made to update existing Board bylaws, including updating the Governing Board meeting days to the first or second Thursday of the month, beginning in July 2022.The Governing Board meeting time will remain at 6:30pm. Click here for the updated meeting dates. 

6. Personnel Update. Several personnel updates were also shared during the meeting, including:
A new Principal for Knob Hill Elementary School, Amy Sannella, was approved by the Board. 
A new Principal for Carrillo Elementary School, Amanda Keeton, was approved by the Board. 
A new Principal for Paloma Elementary School, Todd Marquet, was approved by the Board. 
A new Assistant Principal for San Marcos High School, Jesse Mindlin, was approved by the Board. 
Finally, the Board approved  Nick Brizeno, as the new Director of Purchasing.

7. Enrollment Report. The Enrollment Report, shared by Assistant Superintendent Erin Garcia, is brought to the Board on a monthly basis as staff monitors the ongoing declining enrollment situation. Garcia explained the latest report illustrates current enrollment at 19,555 students, a slight decrease, which are normal declines that take place at this time of the year. 

8. Gifts to San Marcos Unified School District. The Board also approved multiple gifts donated to the District from parents, business and community partners. Gifts include donations from our generous school PTO organizations, Lusardi Construction, Hansen Surfboards, Mission Federal Credit Union and others, for supplies, printing, enrichment and more. 

For a complete and detailed overview of any of the items above, please see the full Board Meeting Agenda by clicking here.

For a link to the Board Briefs on the SMUSD website, please click here.

To watch a video of the Board meeting, please click here

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