2011-2012 Odyssey Charter School Budget Updates

This page will be used to provide regular updates to our community on the current budget situation. I will use this forum as one way of communicating the happenings which are directly affecting our funding at Odyssey.

All my best,

Lauren O'Neill, Executive Director
Odyssey Charter School


June 1, 2011 Update

The Governor’s May Revise proposal is a relatively minor shift from his January proposal, with a few interesting twists. He estimates that the state’s budget gap has shrunk from $25 to $5 billion.  He also continues to propose extending “temporary” tax increases that are currently slated to expire, including personal income tax, sales tax, vehicle license fees, and a reduced dependent exemption credit.  The Governor continues to propose seeking voter approval of the temporary tax extensions on statewide ballot, but with a delay on the personal income tax component.

Although the Governor’s proposals, the modest economic recovery, and shrinking state budget gap are all welcome news, whether schools can budget on the proposed funding rates remains unclear.

Given these unknowns, Odyssey Charter School’s Governing Board in conjunction with the recommendation from ExEd is planning a budget based on a $350.00 per student buget cut for the upcoming year.

What does this mean for Odyssey for the 11/12 school year?
All K-4 classrooms will remain 24:1 with a part time teacher assistant. Computers and PE will remain intact. Much of this is due to the generous donations of our parents, OPPG fundraisers, and the Annual Giving Campaign.

Thank you for your continuous support of our students.


Lauren O'Neill


May 3, 2011 Update

Dear OCS Community--

As we move into the spring trimester and start the budgetary planning process for the 2011-2012 school year, I want to make sure I am providing everyone with as much information as possible regarding the budgetary crisis we are facing. It is without saying that the past three years have been ones of major cuts in many areas across the campus, which have led to some very challenging decisions on our part. Despite, these we have continued providing a strong educational program to all our families.

In March, the State Legislature responded to the Governor's budget proposal by implementing half of his budget plan, $11.2 billion in cuts, but failed to get the support needed for a June ballot initiative to extend the taxes for the other half of the budget deficit. As of now, we are being advised to plan for a conservative scenario of $650 PER STUDENT funding cut for the upcoming year; a worse-case scenario estimates funding cuts could be as much as $1,000 per student.

What does this mean for Odyssey?

As a result, our Governing Board is preparing for a minimal cut of $100,000 for the 2011/2012 school year. The devastating effects of the prior cuts continue to be felt all across campus, and an additional cut will translate into even harder decisions. We continue to stay abreast of the on-going budget crisis as it unfolds and commit to providing our entire community with as much information as possible. Additionally, we encourage parents to attend Odyssey Governing Board meetings and speak with your OCS Governing Board Parent Representatives (Rhonda Graham; kimikog@msn.com and Elizabeth Rainey; erainey@sbcglobal.net) and voice your concerns since budget updates are continually changing.
What can you do?
Write a litter, place a phone call, or send an e-mail to your State Representative and to Governor Jerry Brown to express your concerns and opinions. Ask they make education a priority in the state budget, do not cut education spending in favor of corporate tax breaks, and hold the special election for education funding/temporary extension to certain taxes in June/November.

Just this past week, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson published an 11 page document to all California School leaders. I am taking the liberty of making that document available to all to read at your leisure. It provides a very clear outline of the severity of the budget crisis and the ways in which it will directly affect public education all across the state. Click here to read this letter.

I am committed to ensuring I provide all our stakeholders with as much information as I have available, and look forward to working with everyone to identify creative solutions to these very challenging times.

Best regards,

Lauren O’Neill, Executive Director
Odyssey Charter School