BHUSD Board Approves Expenditure Data Report, Services Contracts

The latest meeting of the Beverly Hills Unified School District (BHUSD) board of education, held Sept. 12, featured a presentation on the district’s unaudited expenditures for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. The board also reviewed expenditure projections for the current academic year.

The board approved a report on the district’s unaudited actuals for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, which the County Office of Education requires the board to review. Before its approval, though, Assistant Superintendent Raphael Guzman gave a presentation on unaudited actuals—specifically, a report of the district’s actual expenditures. 

The district’s per-student expenses have increased, from $26,954 in the 2021-2022 school year to $29,204 in the 2022-2023 academic year. The estimated per-student expenditures for the current school year, 2023-2024, is $30,407.

“You can attribute that to the increased expenses in salaries and also having more revenues to be able to spend,” Guzman said, addressing the five-member board along with Superintendent Dr. Michael Bregy.

The sources of the district’s spending dollars continue to be property taxes, other local revenue, state funds and federal funds. The majority comes from property taxes—69 cents for each dollar, to be exact—and the majority of the budget is allocated to teacher salaries and benefits, Guzman said.

Total revenue for the 2022-2023 school year was $97,901,101.

The first interim budget report will go before the school board on Dec. 5, and a financial audit of the previous fiscal year, 2022-2023, will go before the board by Dec. 15. Meanwhile, the district is continuing to monitor fluctuations in property tax revenue, Guzman said.

Additionally, the board approved contracts with several companies for maintenance and operations work at BHUSD campuses. The board approved a $166,135 agreement with Liftech Elevator Services for elevator repair services at the Beverly Hills High School’s STC building. Of the five-member board, only Board Vice President Amanda Stern voted against approving the contract, citing concern over the high cost of elevator repair.

“I just think it needs to be looked into,” Stern said.

Also, the board approved an agreement with the HVAC service provider, Air Conditioning Solutions, for miscellaneous unforeseen repair services on HVAC systems districtwide. According to the terms of the agreement, the fee for services is not to exceed $25,000.

During the segment devoted to public comment, Isabel Hacker urged the board to reconsider placing public comment back at the beginning of BHUSD board meetings. Hacker, a former school board president, said it would go a long way toward ensuring the school board’s activities remained open and transparent to the Beverly Hills community

Additional items during the latest board of education meeting included the recurring pre-recorded video segment, “Now Noah Knows,” featuring Board President Noah Margo giving a presentation on computer coding with BHUSD computer science teacher Jennifer Hegley. This was part of the ongoing “Teacher/Student Spotlight” segment of the meeting.

Meanwhile, the school board’s student representative, Sofia Lifson, provided an update on goings-on at Beverly Hills High School. She said the school recently had its first football game, and it was very well

attended. As a bonus for students and families, food trucks were on campus for the game.

Delivering his recurring Superintendent Report, Bregy spoke of the many activities that have been going on in the district. He highlighted the recent “Beverly Hills Reads!” program, calling it an “unbelievable

experience.” The program featured BHUSD educator Julie Goler interviewing bestselling author Bonnie Garmus about her debut novel, “Lessons in Chemistry.”

“It was on Zoom because the author was in London, but it felt like she was right there in front of you,” Bregy said. “This was a really good dialogue about a really good book.”