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California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #16-47
July 5, 2016
Contact: Communications
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson Restores Powers to School Board of the South Monterey County Joint Union High School District

SACRAMENTO – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has restored the governing powers of the South Monterey County Joint Union High School District Board, which operated under state oversight since 2009.

The District (formerly the King City Joint Union High School District) neared bankruptcy seven years ago, but the district's finances have recovered and the Board resumed all of its legal rights and duties effective July 1, 2016, Torlakson said.

Torlakson thanked Dr. Daniel Moirao, who served as State Administrator for the District.

"Working with the Board, staff and community, he has successfully returned the district to fiscal solvency and improved academic achievement," Torlakson said.

The Legislature seven years ago approved an emergency loan for the District, where a legal settlement and other issues had placed schools in fiscal jeopardy.

California law authorizes the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to appoint a State Administrator and assume the School Board's powers to restore a district's finances, increase student performance, and make other improvements. An elected School Board's authority is temporarily suspended during that period.

The South Monterey District serves about 2,000 students at three high schools in Greenfield and King City.

During state oversight, the District restored its finances and established a sufficient budget reserve. All labor union contracts are settled. Graduation rates increased from a rate of 72 percent to 95 percent with the 2015 graduating class.

Torlakson also announced that Linda Grundhoffer will act as a State Trustee for the District. A State Trustee will remain for at least three years while the District completes the final phases of ending state oversight. Grundhoffer served as the District's chief business official and was a State Trustee for the West Contra Costa Unified School District.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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