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At a recent meeting, the Byron Union School District (BUSD) board welcomed incoming board members, said goodbye to the outgoing and gave an update on the state of the budget.

Joshua McMurray, Eva Pahl and Melissa Ortiz-Gray will replace seats vacated by Tania Salinas, Jill Sprenkel and Diane Stewart for terms that ended Dec. 1.

“I have considered my time serving on the board the past 12 years to be an honor and privilege to represent my friends, neighbors and fellow community members providing oversight and direction for our schools,” said Sprenkel. “It was an incredibly awesome responsibility – nothing will ever be more important than ensuring the care and proper education for all of our children.”

Sprenkel further noted despite previous financial hardships within the district, she believes the board will continue to work with administration to best align funds with all programs and support systems for students. Kathy Bell, BUSD chief financial officer, later covered the current state of the district’s budget. After identifying the budget cuts, the first interim has qualified as positive.

“I’m happy to announce that Byron School District has a positive qualified budget,” said BUSD Superintendent Dr. Debbie Gold. “The district is now in a good position.”

BUSD Board President David Turner said through gaining this positive certification for the first interim financial report, the difficult and early action by the board, school community and district personnel has been recognized.

“Now we have to ensure that we meet our program needs as well as our budget constraints,” Turner said. “This will be very difficult, but we have to live within our means. For California schools to meet the expectations of our citizens, we need a change in financing for local districts. High expectations on a shoestring will not work.”

Terry Koehne, Contra Costa County Office of Education chief communications officer, touched on the status of the district.

“The district is making good strides toward a healthier fiscal situation, and we will continue to work with them to make that happen,” Koehne said.

The next board meeting will take place Dec. 20. For more information, visit www.byronunionschooldistrict.us.

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