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California Department of Education News Release
Release: #11-45
June 17, 2011
Contact: Tina Jung
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson
Finds More Districts in Financial Jeopardy

SACRAMENTO—Re-emphasizing the urgency of addressing the financial emergency facing California's schools, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that 33 more school districts face severe budget problems, bringing the total number of districts in financial jeopardy to 143.

"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. "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 troubled districts is a compilation of the certifications of second Interim Status Reports by Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), incorporating actual expenditures through the end of January 2011 and projections through the end of the fiscal year plus the next two fiscal years. The certifications reflect whether an LEA is able to meet its financial obligations. 

The number of LEAs on the negative certification list remained at 13 from March, down one from a year ago. The number of LEAs on the qualified certification list rose to 130 from 97 in March, though down from 160 a year ago.  

The California Department of Education semiannually receives Interim Status Reports on the financial status of the state's 1,032 LEAs, comprised of school districts, county offices of education, and joint powers agencies.

The certifications are classified as positive, qualified, or negative. A positive certification is assigned when the district will meet its financial obligations for the current and two subsequent fiscal years.

A qualified certification is assigned when the district may not meet its financial obligations for the current or two subsequent fiscal years. This certification allows the LEA's county office of education to provide assistance to the LEA.

A negative certification—the most serious of the classifications—is assigned when a district will be unable to meet its financial obligations for the remainder of the current year or for the subsequent fiscal year. This certification means the LEA's county office of education may intervene in the LEA's finances.

For more information and a list of LEAs on the Interim Status Report, please visit the CDE Second Interim Status Report, FY 2010-11 Web page.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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