Three Years of the State Cutting Its Support Can’t Be Helping
The number of school districts in financial jeopardy increased by 33 to 143 over the past three months, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced June 17.
That’s almost 14 percent of the state’s 1,032 districts and county offices of education.
“These numbers underscore how urgently school districts across California need a balanced state budget in place that provides a full year of stable funding for education,” Torlakson said in press release announcing the increased numbers.
“After three successive years of unprecedented and harmful cuts, students, teachers, parents, and administrators need certainty now to prepare for the new school year. Deeper cuts, adding to the billions of dollars in already deferred payments to schools, or delaying a final budget only will risk adding more districts to the growing list of school systems in financial jeopardy.”
The new list of fiscally shaky districts was compiled from the fiscal year’s second round of certifications by Local Educational Agencies — school districts, county offices of education and joint powers agencies – as to their ability to meet financial obligations.
These certifications show actual expenditures through the end of January 2011 and provide projections of costs through the end of the current fiscal year which ends June 30 as well as the next two fiscal years.
There are 13 local education agencies on the list that cannot meet their obligations, down one from a year ago. Among them is Inglewood Unified in Los Angeles County which has a $128 million budget and Vallejo Unified in Solano County with a $142 million budget.
Those districts and county offices of education the state determines might not be able to cover their costs rose from 97 during the last quarter to 130.
That’s down from 160 a year ago, however.
Among those districts in jeopardy are Oakland Unified in Alameda County which has a $437 million budget, Santa Ana Unified in Orange County with a $517 million budget, Sacramento City Unified with a $427 million budget and Stockton Unified in San Joaquin County with a budget of $336 million.
Los Angeles Unified, the second largest school district in the nation with a budget of almost $6.4 billion, is also on what’s called the “qualified” list.
The remaining local education agencies received a positive rating, meaning they are expected to meet their financial obligations for the current and two subsequent fiscal years.
Filed under: Budget and Economy
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