Mesa residents, taxpayers and parents can learn more about how the school district's budget works during a set of community meetings in the next month.
The district has scheduled four meetings at two high schools and two junior highs. Officials will give a presentation on how money comes from the state budget and then how it can be used in school districts. In addition, the presentation will include a general overview of possible budget cuts that may take place for next school year.
"Many of the slides include information that we shared with all our employees: Where does the state gets its money? How much does the state spend on education? How much do we spend on education?" said Gerrick Monroe, assistant superintendent for business and support services.
The meeting will cover general budget cuts that have been identified, he said.
The district predicts it will lose 2,000 students next school year. That comes on top of the 2,000-student enrollment drop this year. The district expects to lose $10 million in funding because of the loss. In addition, state lawmakers are still working out how to make up for a possible $3.3 billion budget shortfall next year. The district may lose as much as $70 million.
The district is still awaiting news on the federal stimulus package and how that money can be used and when it will be distributed.
School leaders will also ask parents to get more involved in children's education, Monroe said.
"It's a high level budget overview as well as a request for help and involvement in your kids' schools and your kids' work," Monroe said.
State lawmakers last year finalized the budget in the last week of the fiscal year. School districts are required by law to inform certified personnel of potential job loss by April 15. Mesa district officials said they may have to cut more than 400 certified positions in light of the budget loss.