SM School Board Approves Budget

Perhaps eager to expedite the July break, the San Marino Unified School District Board of Education hustled through its meeting agenda on Monday, June 26, and gave a last goodbye to two district employees who have been staples at meetings.
The board approved the $40 million budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year and also the accompanying long-range projections for the following two fiscal years. The budget takes effect on Saturday but will be modified accordingly when the state budget is released out of Sacramento.
Superintendent Alex Cherniss announced at the meeting that the state budget will come with a treat: a one-time allocation of $500,000 for SMUSD.
“Rarely do you hear ‘good news’ and ‘state budget’ in the same sentence,” Cherniss said.
“That being said,” Cherniss added, “it is one-time money.”
Expenditures for the upcoming year include nearly $17 million in certificated salaries, more than $8 million in classified salaries and more than $1.8 million to be paid toward the district’s unfunded pension liabilities, an increase of $450,000 from the previous year’s payment.
This meeting served as the last in a full-time capacity for Gary McGuigan, the assistant superintendent of instructional services, and also for Judy Mellick, the assistant to the superintendent. Both are retiring with the end of this school year.
McGuigan, who has worked for SMUSD for 21 years, will continue on a part-time contract basis to handle a portion of the duties he leaves behind, as his position will formally be eliminated with his retirement.
“I’m looking forward to serving the board in a different way,” McGuigan said.
Mellick said she will repurpose her free time to spending time with her family.
“Nowhere is there what we have here,” she said of her time at SMUSD. “The family atmosphere and the support of the board are unbelievable.”
The board also unanimously approved its Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP, for the upcoming school year, as well as the elimination of two elementary music-specialist positions and two change orders totaling $27,304 for the demolition of the Huntington Middle School gym.
Early in the meeting, each board member notably took a moment to announce they will not endorse any of the current and future candidates for three seats on the City Council, which are up for election in November.
The board will next meet on Aug. 8.

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