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By Collin Breaux

The Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD) Board of Trustees approved the first interim financial report for the district during a regular meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 11.

The report essentially says the district can meet its financial obligations for the remainder of the fiscal year and beyond.

The first interim reporting period is based upon activity from July 1 through Oct. 31, according to an explanation in the meeting agenda.

School districts are also mandated to demonstrate multiyear fiscal solvency through interim reports and annual budgets, the interim report said. Unknown factors as the district goes forward include revenue for special education preschool students, which is still classified as one-time pending a resolution from the legislature.

“This money could be reallocated to other purposes by the state in future years,” the first interim report said.

Another unknown factor is the Later Start Bill, which Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law in October. The bill allows later start times for middle and high schools for the 2022-23 school year. Calculations on what those changes will look like for CUSD will “take time,” the report said.

“Bus schedules will have a big impact on this change because of staggered starts,” the report said.

As for multiyear salary projections, the report said negotiations have not been settled for all bargaining units for the current year.

A second interim report is scheduled to be brought up in March 2020. The second report could include updates from collective bargaining and information from the governor’s proposed budget in January.

In other CUSD Board of Trustees news, there was an annual board reorganization. Trustee Jim Reardon became the new president, Trustee Gila Jones, who most previously held the role of president, became the new clerk and Trustee Martha McNicholas remained the vice president.

“It’s a real joy to work with this board,” Jones said. “They are an extremely wise group. They all bring something different to the table. They all make me think. They all challenge me. They all bring up new ideas every time we are together. It is an honor to be among them and have led them for this year.”

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