Castaic school board to hear LCAP, budget reports 

Castaic Union School District Building. Dan Watson/The Signal
Castaic Union School District Building. Dan Watson/The Signal

The Castaic Union School District is scheduled Thursday to review its 2023-24 local control and accountability plan, or LCAP, and budget while also taking a look at the plans for the next school year. 

Public hearings for both the budget and the LCAP are scheduled to take place during Thursday’s 6 p.m. meeting. 

According to the presentation included in the meeting agenda, the district saw just under $22 million received in its 2023-24 local control funding formula, which is based on average daily attendance and is the primary source of ongoing funding. For the 2024-25 school year, that number is projected to jump to about $22.2 million. 

The projected budgets for the next three years show the district is looking at meeting its requirement to have at least a 5% reserve for economic uncertainties. The state requires a 3% reserve but the governing board voted in the 2018-19 school year to make it 5%. 

Current projections have the district with ending fund balances of $7.5 million after this school year, followed by nearly $4.8 million in 2024-25, $3.9 million in 2025-26 and nearly $5.1 million in 2026-27. Restricted funds take up more than half of those balances in the first three years, while the unrestricted ending fund balance is about $400,000 higher in 2026-27. 

Looking at the big picture, the increase in funds comes from projected increased enrollment in future years, as reported by Davis Demographics in February. However, the state is also no longer giving out COVID-19 funds and the cost-of-living adjustment is lower than previously expected at 1.07%. 

The COLA is also expected to be much lower for the two following years than the 8.22% that it was for this school year, projected at 2.93% for 2025-26 and 3.08% for 2026-27. 

The enrollment projections have the district jumping each year, starting with next year, by about 30 students. More than half of the projected student population each year is set to be in the unduplicated category, meaning at least half of the students fall into being one of the following categories: English learners; foster youth; low income; or homeless. 

Students can only be placed into one of those categories. The LCAP is meant to address how the district is planning to service those unduplicated students. For this school year, the district budgeted a little more than $2 million and spent about $20,000 less than that, according to the report. 

The report states that the district was able to provide the services that it said it would, but some expenses were paid for through grants and other one-time funds, while some contracts or services came in at lower-than-expected amounts. 

The budget report states that while the district has exceeded enrollment projections in recent years, “we will continue to budget conservatively.” 

The governing board is expected to vote on approving the LCAP and budget for the 2024-25 school year at its June 27 meeting following Thursday’s report and public hearings. 

Thursday’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the district’s administrative office located at 28131 Livingston Ave. 

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