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San Rafael Schools to Pass Budgets Tonight

Temporary cuts are planned to fill in budget gaps at San Rafael City Schools and Dixie School districts.

The San Rafael City Schools and Dixie School districts will pass their 2011-2012 budgets tonight, before the state has determined final budget cuts.

Each district has had to do a significant amount of guess work, although recent budget predictions have not seen additional cuts to education funding.

Although the San Rafael High School and Dixie School districts get most of their funding from local property tax revenue, they will be in their third year of budget reductions from the state. These cuts aim to take equally from such districts and others that get most of their funding per-student from the state. The San Rafael Elementary School District is on the latter system.

In light of the state and national budget crises, officials expect these cuts to continue for the foreseeable future.

In the San Rafael High School District, this means an expected $275,000 in additional cuts while the Dixie School District may see $50,000 in cuts. This is added to the more than $1 million already predicted to be cut from both districts for fair share budget reductions.

In response the Dixie School District is relying on one-time cuts to balance the budget for the coming fiscal year.

“It’s not sustainable,” said Robert Marical, business manager for the district. “We’re going to have to go back and look over a lot of this next year.

The San Rafael High School and Elementary School districts are following the same model, using federal funding to fill budget gaps for the year. According to their proposed budget, they will have to again address cuts in the 2012-2013 school year, as federal funding will likely not be available to keep teachers and staff at current levels.

The budgets will be reviewed at tonight's school board meetings. The San Rafael City Schools District will hold it's meeting at 6 p.m. at their district office at 310 Nova Albion Way and the Dixie School District will hold it's meeting at 7 p.m. at their district office at 380 Noa Albion Way.

The budgets will be revised again over the summer after the state budget is passed.

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