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Message from Superintendent David Haglund

Message from Superintendent David Haglund

Dear PUSD Community,

I hope that each of you had a restful winter break and started the new year by connecting with those who mean the most to you. As with any year, 2024 will present both opportunities and challenges for our schools and community and we will weather them together.

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, our community will gather for the Make a Difference for Pleasanton festival this Saturday, Jan. 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pleasanton Senior Center. This is a wonderful opportunity for our families to learn about ways to be of service to our community and helpful to those in need.

Students can earn service hours by putting together blankets for the homeless, sorting recycled crayons to be remade and donated to children’s hospitals, and making cards for local men and women who are serving in the military. This is a great opportunity for students to learn about local service organizations and causes that might inspire them to make a difference and to make the world a better place, starting right here at home.

On Monday, Jan. 22, at 7:30 a.m., The Pleasanton Community of Character Coalition will host the annual MLK Breakfast. Learn more at pleasanton.org.
 
This week, we were faced with our first real challenge of the new year when Governor Newsom released his initial State budget for 2024-2025. There are a lot of numbers and projections that our team still needs to work through to better understand the local impact on funding for our schools.

Of note, was a substantial difference between the Governor’s projected deficit ($38.9B) as compared to that amount released in November by the Legislative Analyst Office ($68B). While the amount is less, it still represents a substantial issue for the State to manage. And, since 48% of the State’s revenues are committed to education via Prop 98, this means a serious gap in funding in the coming year.

One significant concern is the drastic drop in 24-25 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), which has again been adjusted downward from 3.94% to 0.76% - less than one percent. If you recall from our December meeting, our Fiscal Services team presented our First Interim Budget Report which conservatively anticipated a 2% COLA for 2024/25. This new projection reflects a further 1.24% reduction for the coming year.

The Governor’s proposed reduction in the 24-25 COLA from the projected 2% to 0.76% translates to an additional loss of ~$2.1M in expected revenues. This is on top of the $5.5M in reductions that were already anticipated when the projected COLA dropped from 3.94% to 2.0% in November.

Your Board and the District team continue to advocate at the State level for adequate school funding and we are grateful for our PTA leaders who are helping to raise that flag with our elected officials.

While the State legislature still needs to weigh in before a final State budget is adopted on July 1, we are legally required to make budgetary decisions in the Spring based on the available fiscal projections.

There will be difficult decisions ahead, and we know these kinds of decisions are made best when we talk openly and work collaboratively with our staff and the community. I, along with the members of the Board of Trustees, commit to transparent conversations with you, and we ask for your partnership in advocating with our elected officials at the State level on behalf of our students.

Sincerely,

David Haglund's e-signature

David Haglund, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools