Education

Disaster impacts Cold Spring School funding

Dire need identified by officials immediately

Cold Spring School in Montecito could be out thousands of dollars due to property tax losses from the recent mudflow damage to homes. (KEYT photo)

MONTECITO, Calif. - The January mudflow disaster in Montecito will have a significant impact on taxes normally allocated for the Cold Spring School funding.

A request for an early calculation by the district has shown a sizeable setback is about to hit.

Principal Amy Alzina said, "We just met with the Santa Barbara County tax assessor yesterday and we were told we can project a nine percent decrease in revenue to our school. You combine that with the increase in the state retirement benefits and you would be looking at a decrease of about a half a million dollars to our school. That would be $485,000 next year."

A fundraising effort is underway.

"So my hope is the community will hear our cry and support the school and most importantly our students," said Alzina.

The goal is to get community donations by May 1.

"If everybody gives a little bit then we can make great things happen but if we turn our backs, the people that suffer the most is our children and right now our children are hurting," says Alzina.

Keeping the school operating at full capacity will also have benefits for those traumatized by the recent events.

"They missed 12 days of school which is a lot and they can't lose those programs that are so vital to keeping them engaged and happy in school and for their healing," said Alzina. "As we know it takes two years to heal and part of that healing process is through music and art and connecting with wonderful teachers. "

The Governor's proposed budget is up for a vote in the coming months. In it is financial help to backfill property tax losses in counties with a calamity such as the area of the northern California wine country fire, the Ventura County Thomas Fire zone, and the Montecito mudflow disaster.

If that money is approved it is still unclear how the pie will be cut and how the allocations will take place which makes school officials unsettled.

A donation site has been set up for the Cold Spring School fund. It can be found at www.parentsquare.com/fundraisers/219.


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