CUSD Budget

It is crucial that school administrators and policymakers work collaboratively with educators to develop school budgets that reflect the needs of the entire school community.

ACE believes educators provide a deeper level of insight in determining a school district’s spending priorities, as they are in direct contact with students and see firsthand what works and doesn’t in the classroom. ACE, with the support of school finance professionals from the California Teachers Association, is training educators to read and understand how state and local budgets function to address our students’ needs. School finances can be an intimidating topic for many people. Still, once educators learn the terminology, spending rules, and various revenue sources, we start to understand that, like any budget, it is all about priorities. By deepening our understanding of the budget, we are better equipped to advocate for spending that prioritizes our students’ educational success.

School Budgets 101

How can we find out about the district’s budget and finance?

School budgets aren’t a mystery! As a government agency, Clovis Unified School District is required to report its finances in compliance with state and other requirements. You can find their public financial documents on their website here: . Of course, they might not be easy to understand without a little knowledge about how school budgets work in California. Fortunately, teachers and other educators around the state have come together as the California Teachers Association to hold school districts and state agencies accountable by learning how to understand and monitor school budgets.

Where do CUSD’s funds come from?

In California, the largest source of most school districts’ funding is a state program called the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) that provides state tax dollars and local property taxes to school districts based on their size and need. In Clovis, for example, the LCFF funding makes up around 50-60% of their total revenue. (learn more about the LCFF here) As the name implies, LCFF funds are controlled locally and aren’t required to be spent in any specific way. One requirement, however, is that the district set a plan for supporting the goals of the LCFF through the regular Local Control Additionally, there are other state funds for specific programs as well as national and local sources of funding that may be designated for specific district costs. In the budget, these are known as “restricted” dollars, while those of the LCFF and other funds that don’t have pre-determined purposes are called “unrestricted,” and can be spent on any district costs.

How is the budget set?

Restricted funds are used for their designated purpose and unrestricted are controlled locally.
Budget is set locally – the district bargains with employee groups about wages, benefits, and working conditions – but the district otherwise has full control of the budget

What are the reserves?

After the district receives funds from all the sources and spends the money on all of its costs, if revenue exceeds expenditures, the dollars that remain are known as the surplus and are added to the district’s reserves. If the expenditures exceed the revenue for any given year, the district can draw on reserves to cover the difference, known as a budget deficit.

Is Clovis unfairly underfunded compared to other districts?

Each district receives the largest portion of its funding, by far, from the LCFF Base Grant, which is the same number per pupil across the state.In addition to

  • Base Grant, districts also receive Supplemental funding
  • Per pupil funding

Higher per-pupil funding doesn’t mean higher salaries

How does CUSD prioritize their budget?

Reserves over educator salaries and class sizes Clovis Reserves

Has Clovis used the reserves to avoid employee layoffs?
What is different about Clovis vs. other districts?
Clovis teachers don’t have a real seat at the table


Related FAQs

Why are Clovis Educators unionizing?

Clovis unified educators are unionizing to ensure a strong voice in decisions that impact our students, schools, and professions. By establishing the Association of Clovis Educators, we can negotiate a union contract that can ensure that Clovis educators have a meaningful say in decisions that impact our classrooms, improve pay and benefits, help cut down on turnover, address work/life balance and establish job security. Having a strong voice in decisions is critical when decisions are being made about the health and welfare of our students, colleagues and school communities. Together, we can ensure Clovis Unified prioritizes people over programs.