State education finances in dire straits

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Eleven school districts in San Diego County, including
some of the region's largest, were among 188 in California — an all-time
high — reporting perilous financial situations, the state Department of
Education announced Monday.

School districts are required by the state to report three times
annually on their financial condition for the current and next two fiscal
years. They must give certifications on their status — positive means they can
meet their financial obligations; qualified means they might have problems
paying their bills; or negative, meaning they will not be able to make their
payments.

No districts in San Diego County issued negative certifications in the
second interim report to the state, but 11 gave a qualified certification,
including Borrego Springs Unified, Carlsbad Unified, Fallbrook Union High,
Grossmont Union High, Jamul-Dulzura Union Elementary, La Mesa-Spring Valley,
Ramona City Unified, San Diego Unified, San Marcos Unified, San Ysidro
Elementary and Vista Unified.

“Across California, parents, teachers and administrators are
increasingly wondering how to keep their schools' lights on, their bills paid
and their doors open,” state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom
Torlakson said. “The deep cuts this budget crisis has forced — and the
uncertainties about what lies ahead — are taking an unprecedented and
unacceptable toll on our schools.”

Torlakson said 2.6 million children are educated by school districts
around the state that are in financial difficulty. The total of 188 districts
is 61 more than listed in the first interim report, he said.

A dozen school districts, the largest being Vallejo City Unified in
Northern California, issued negative certifications.

Categories: KUSI