The Palo Alto school district will hold a town hall to solicit community input about how to manage a $3.3 million budget shortfall, the result of overestimated property-tax revenue, tonight, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 7-8:30 p.m.
Wednesday’s meeting will be the first of two public town halls on the budget. The second is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 15.
"Following a short presentation on the impact of the less-than-anticipated tax increase and some ideas we have for managing it the next two years, we will be eager to answer questions and listen to ideas," Superintendent Max McGee wrote in a weekly memo about this week’s town hall.
Staff will alternate taking questions from the public in person and online.
The school board has been grappling with how to address the shortfall since the district discovered in July that property-tax revenue had come in far lower than budgeted for.
At its most recent meeting, the board supported using much more conservative budget projections over the next five years, but disagreement between trustees over the urgency of the problem persisted.
District staff have made several proposals so far for how to make up for the budget shortfall this year and next, including tapping reserves, reallocating professional-development funding and unused dollars left over from not needing to hire elementary teachers due to lower-than-anticipated enrollment growth.
The board will again discuss the budget at its regular meeting on Sept. 13, and is set to adopt the 2016-17 budget on Sept. 27.
Both of the in-person town halls will also be streamed live online on a platform where viewers can submit questions and/or comments. To participate, go to pausd.org.
There will also be a budget workshop focused on the 2017-18 budget on Oct. 18.
All of the scheduled meetings will take place at the district office, 25 Churchill Ave., Palo Alto.