Meanwhile, it should also be noted that IUSD continues to operate with a significant structural deficit, meaning we're spending more dollars than we're receiving and bridging the gaps with onetime carryover funds. This represents an intentional strategy to weather the storm as long as we can, ensuring current students won't be denied a quality K-12 education because they happen to grow up in an era of budget cuts. However, onetime funds - similar to dollars in your savings account - only last so long. Barring an imminent economic rebound in California, our district will ultimately have to make the necessary budget adjustments to produce a balanced and sustainable spending plan.
Irvine, of course, has already endured its share of cuts. Over a recent two-year span, we made approximately $38 million worth of onetime and ongoing reductions, resulting in larger class sizes and districtwide furlough days. Looking ahead, our Board of Education and staff will almost certainly need to consider additional reductions, but that's not the only way to bridge a gap. We are also in the process of exploring ways to generate new revenue for our schools.
On the latter front, our board recently directed members of our district's Finance Committee to recommend revenue enhancement options that might supplement state funding. A smaller subcommittee researched best practices around the country and ultimately came up with a number of possibilities, including naming rights for facilities, a tax on hotel rooms, mandated tuition for visiting foreign students, a parcel tax, use of district assets, alumni donations and student parking fees.
Again, these are merely options. But the board has directed staff to study the feasibility of each idea and present recommendations at a future meeting. Meanwhile, the Irvine Public Schools Foundation continues to work hard to raise funds for our schools as part of a dollar-for-dollar matching campaign with the City of Irvine. If you've ever considered making a donation, or if you'd simply like to learn more about IPSF, I urge you to visit www.ipsf.net.
It's hard to believe that we are still talking about the current budget crisis after so many years, and I know the Great Recession has taken a personal toll on many of our families. At the same time, we have so much to be grateful for in IUSD.
This year alone, two of our high schools were selected as semifinalists in the prestigious Grammy Signature School program, which annually recognizes campuses that provide exceptional music opportunities. Meanwhile, all five middle schools were lauded by The Orange County Register in its annual breakdown of the county's best middle schools. And all of our schools continue to move the needle on standards tests, earning our district a cumulative score of 921 on the state's Academic Performance Index, which measures achievement on a scale of 200 to 1,000. – less – More from ZoomInfo »