Second, the deficit is not a function of fiscal mismanagement. Thanks to the transparency that schools CEO Sonja Santelises has brought to budgeting, we now understand better why this happens every year. A structural deficit has been building for years, and each year, our leaders have cobbled together one-time fixes. The structural nature of this deficit has to do with rising costs resulting from needed investments, such as the modernization of our aging school facilities, and conscious decisions, such as the landmark teacher contract signed years ago. Meanwhile, funding has remained flat or declined and general operating expenses have risen (anyone who works in human resources understands the rising cost of benefits). Proposed 2018 per pupil funding from the state is actually the same as it was in 2009.