County schools drowning in deficits

May 23, 2012

Five San Luis Obispo County school districts have made the state’s list of most fiscally endangered, and California Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson said those districts, and more than 180 others in this state, face bankruptcy — a record number.

Saddled with the biggest deficit weight is Paso Robles Joint Unified, which this year earned the dubious distinction of joining 11 California districts facing a “negative declaration” — meaning it will not meet its financial obligations during the coming fiscal year. The district’s current fiscal requirement is $56.2 million, according to district officials.

SLO County districts wearing a “qualified certification” include Atascadero Unified, Lucia Mar Unified, San Miguel Joint Union (Elementary), and Shandon Joint Unified. Such a designation is assigned to a local educational agency when it may not meet its financial obligations during the next three fiscal years.

Nearly one-fifth of California school districts and county offices of education are risking bankruptcy, Torlakson said Tuesday following release of a report from the California Department of Education.  The report looks at all California’s 1,037 school systems.  A record-high 188 of California’s 1,050 districts and county offices did not receive a clean rating in a mid-year financial report required by the state. That means that within three years, projected revenues will not be able to cover expenses.

“This is the kind of record no one wants to set,” Torlakson said. He blamed the schools’ uncertainty on the state budget crisis.

The educational fate of 2.6 million children in this state will worsen if Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative, or a competing tax measure, are turned down by voters in November, according to his administration. Currently, the state is shaving 20 percent in overall funding, and deferring payment of millions of dollars, to schools. This in turn is forcing schools to increase class sizes, eliminate services, shorten calendars, furlough teachers and students to save on payroll, and seek parcel tax relief.

Paso Robles schools are on three-day schedules now, due to teacher furloughs.

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What kind of a state would do this to a student?

Texas Honor Student With Two Jobs Jailed for Missing Too Much School

Most anagement positions are listed on a salary schedule. In some districts the positions are on a separate salary schedule and in others they may be listed on the same schedule as the management type. For instance, there are certificated managers and classified managers. In general, certificated managers must have credentials such as an administrative credential just as teachers have single subject or multiple subject credentials and there are other types of credentials.

Some districts post their salary schedules accessible to the public on the district website. In the Human Resources or Personnel Department. Others do not have schedules posted. A phone call or letter to the Human Resources department requesting a copy should get you the information.

Note that the Superintendent’s salary is often on a separate contract and not on a salary schedule so you may have to ask if it is listed on the management schedules.

Do those “administrative credential” include training in economics? God help any credentialing program that does not. God help any school district which employs any administrator who does not know this.


5. General Education and Economics

Replying to the main article, and not side issues….

I am sick and tired of teachers being a convenient scapegoat for whatever excuses limited thinkers try to foist.

The reason the complainers resort to these tactics is that teachers are a surrogate for UNIONS. They go after NECESSARY public service employees, but concentrate their anti-civilization wrath and rhetoric on teachers; instead of other visible public service occupations as police and firemen.

Why ? I reason that it is because most of these belly-achers are old geezers that don’t see a direct benefit to THEM from the education system, while they silently recognize that they might have to utilize police and fire protection, at least theoretically.

In other words, their attitude is all based on selfishness. The reactionary notion of ” I got mine, so get lost ! “.

Public schools are integral to democracy. One can only reach the conclusion that those that oppose public education are also against democracy.

I totally disagree. What is “integral to democracy” is the free market. Free markets=free men.

So tell me…Where is a “free market” ? Give an example of one, ANY ONE, in existence today.

Give an example of a so-called, totally “free market” EVER in the history of known human cultures and societies.

I dare ya !

Hold on there, you have the cart before the horse. Do you agree that Free markets=free men, or not? BTW, Why are you so hostile toward free markets?

Once we have settled that issue, then I’ll get into the other one.



You tell me. I issued a challenge. One that you, or no one else, can answer with honesty.

There has NEVER been a ‘free market’ system EVER in recorded history.

SOMEONE always finds an advantage, ..a way to profit, a way to CHEAT, a way to operate as criminals, a black market.

Those touting a “free market” are often those that want a cover for dishonesty.

Hmmm… SILENCE ! Chirp, chirp…CRICKETS ! Where is the BRAVE MAGIC HAND of Supernatural Capitalism ?

And if Laissez Faire apathetic economics ever WORKED ( as the advocates repeatedly claim ) …why, WHY, has it not been implemented by the advanced nations on an over-riding wave of optimistic protocol ?

Could it be that “free market” paradise is a made up MYTH ? A fantasy to dupe the gullible ?

Here is a typical example of a ‘free market’ transaction:

Two fellows are talking . One sees that the other has something in his hand. He asks, “What you got there ?”. The other says, “Oh these ? These are smart pills ! “.

“Smart pills ? I never heard of those ! ”

“Oh yeah, they make you smarter.”

” Really ? Give me one ! ”

“Give me a dollar first .”

” OK, Here ya go. ONE DOLLAR US ! ”

” OK, Here’s your Smart pill ! ”

“YUKKK ! It tastes like a rabbit turd ! ”

” SEE ! You’re getting smarter already ! “

I agree that government is out of hand; but it is only part of the problem. Any unfunded mandates (California Propositions) that are voted in by the public come out of state government funds. They cannot generally be cut, so other programs, ie education, are. The Proposition rules need to be changed so they cannot be put on the ballot without a sound funding mechanism.

Agreed, but the “soundest funding mechanism” is the human mind. If people are so dumned down that they cannot reason anymore, we are lost.

And the sheep ain’t gonna increase the size of their brains in the public schools, either! They are part of the problem!

After the human mind the “soundest funding mechanism” is the free market.

Do you mean deregulated by free market? If so, look at the state of our banking and real estate markets after deregulation.

That’s because of “crony collectivism,” not because of the “market.”

A market is just a mechanism for making life better. The issue of criminality in the banking and real estate sectors has nothing to do with the market, it has to do with corruption and the breakdown of the rule of law.

Reestablish the rule of law, and the market will flourish. It doesn’t flourish now because of too much government intervention, and most of this intervention is for CRIMINAL PURPOSES!

What alternative is there, a collectivist, warfare/welfare state where NO ONE IS FREE to act as he please, to buy or sell as he pleases???

No thank you!

Free markets, if they are allowed to operate, will flush out the crooks as people find out what is going on and are able to exercise their right to buy and sell as they see fit within the parameters of lawful behavior. Obviously, not all human behaviors are lawful. That goes without saying.

The markets will punish the bad guys by putting them out of business if the damned goverment doesn’t interfere too much.

What about the “bailouts”? Isn’t that just legalized plunder? What could be more criminal than that?

What about the warfare/welfare state? Doesn’t that constrict markets, causing us to lose our freedoms and pay higher prices?

We are the most overregulated society on earth, with the possible exception of Communist China! What do we have to show for all this regulation? A collapsing economy, devaluation of our currency, mass unemployment, public/private corruption on a scale unimaginable in our past, endless wars, everybody on the dole (46 million on food stamps), and so on.

We need only two things: a restoration of the rule of law and truly free markets. The rest will fall into line once that happens.

But it may take another revolution to make it happen

Back to the original issue. If propositions had to have their own funding mechanism, they would not pull from the general fund, thus depleting funds available for education. I am not seeing your “free market” principle. You claim free markets need to be restored. Please provide an example, past or present, of your interpretation of this principle in place and providing for a well funded and effective education system.

Since you won’t listen to me, maybe Hans F. Sennholz can get through to you:

Competition and Higher Education

Mises Daily: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 by Hans F. Sennholz

During WW2 herr Hans F. fought for liberty with the FASCIST Luftwaffe! nevermind.

“He was an adjunct scholar of the Mises Institute and in October, 2004, was awarded the Gary G. Schlarbaum Prize for lifetime defense of liberty.” interesting

emphasis mine

So what! So did a lot of other people! MILLIONS of Germans were snookered by the fascist Hitler and his candy-coated promises!

Quite a few Americans and British were bamboozled by Hitler, too, right up to the outbreak of the war.

You think you are any better, smarter, wiser, than they were? Hardly! The German people were deceived by the fascists in the same way that Americans like you are being deceived by the fascist Obama. Germans were constantly lied to by their warfare/welfare state.

You can’t paint all Germans from that era as evil, twisted, maniacs unless you want to paint yourself and your neighbors THE SAME WAY.

Readers should take a look at Ron Paul’s obituary,, for Dr. Sennholz before jumping to any conclusions based on defamation or inuuendo, which your squawking clearly consists of.

BTW, you don’t know squat about Austrian economics. Pity.

Hans F. Sennholz, RIP


An opinion by an economist covering a variety scenarios. What is the example of your interpretation of the free market principle functioning in a society with a well funded and effective education system (original question)?

Read Murray Rothbard’s “Education: Free and Compulsory” for free