Five local school districts make state watch list
April 2, 2010
Five San Luis Obispo County school districts have been placed on California’s fiscal “watch list.” [California Watch]
Atascadero Unified, Lucia Mar Unified, Paso Robles Joint Unified, San Miguel Joint Union Elementary, and Shandon Joint Unified have all been given “Qualified Certification” by the Office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
A designation of “Qualified Certification” is assigned to a school district when it is determined, based on current projections, that the district may not meet its financial obligations for fiscal year 2009-10, 2010-11, or 2011-12.
Overall, the number of California school districts in financial trouble is on the rise. Jack O’Connell, Superintendent of Public Instruction, announced that 126 school districts are currently on the list–an increase of 17 percent from last June.
Nine school districts in the East Bay area alone, approximately 25 percent of schools in the area made the list because they will be unable to balance their budgets during the next three years without substantial budget cuts.
O’Connell, who lives in San Luis Obispo and is a former state senator, wants financial relief from the governor and the Legislature for public education.
“Massive state budget cuts are crippling our public school system’s ability to operate,” O’Connell said. “Districts are now forced to lay off even more teachers and make deep cuts to educational programs to address projected budget shortfalls or possible possible bankruptcy and state receivership.”