Is LAUSD Broke? According to Budget Reports, the District is Headed for Insolvency

LAUSD filed a “qualified” certification in its First Interim Budget Report on December 11, 2018.  A qualified certification means that the District, based on current projections and trajectory, may not be able to meet its financial obligations for the current or two subsequent fiscal years.  There are three types of certifications, positive, qualified and negative.

A revised budget will be submitted by December 17, 2018, showing how exactly the district plans to address some of the structural deficit that LAUSD has encumbered and will submit the districts plan to drastically reduce staff to address the impending possible insolvency of the district.

LAUSD is proposing a plan to eliminate 15% of central office resources, which would save the district about $86 million dollars over the next two years. Other cuts will also be made, but the bulk of the savings will come from cutting back at the central office.

The school board will need to vote on the revised budget and the cost-savings plans, which includes a list of specific central office positions recommended for cutting. The following positions and their expected savings, which represent the total annual cost of the position, including salary and benefits, include:

• chief of police, $317,000

• 13 police officers, saving $1.3 million

• a Korean translator, $100,000

• a coordinator of counseling, $160,000

• a deputy budget director, over $200,000

• two directors of special education, who make nearly $200,000 each

• an executive director of special education, nearly $210,000

• a television producer-director, nearly $160,000

The next board meeting should be interesting. Also interesting is the fact that UTLA not only shut down Tuesday’s meeting but continues to accuse the district of basically fudging the numbers and claiming to be worse off than it really is, an act that is illegal. The board was unable to pass two needed resolutions addressing the fiscal crisis due to UTLA protestors. It should be noted that districts cannot submit fraudulent budgets to the County Board of Education. Nevertheless, UTLA continues to make demands on the district, which could spiral the district deeper into debt. We really hope that the students and families of LAUSD are the fore of everyone’s minds as decisions are made.

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