County Office of Education Says Pasadena Unified at Risk of Insolvency, Requires Fiscal Stabilization Plan by February 26 (Pasadena Now link): Saying it is very concerned by the Pasadena Unified School District’s level of deficit spending and the District’s fiscal solvency, the Los Angeles County Office of Education put District on notice it has until February 26 to submit and get Board approval of a Fiscal Stabilization Plan. In a six-page letter to School Board President Roy Boulghourjian dated January 19, Dr. Candi Clark, the County Office of Education Chief Financial Officer, said that Pasadena Unified has placed itself “in immediate risk of becoming insolvent.”
Clark said the District’s spending has so exceeded plans that the District no longer meets the state-required minimum reserve funds level for the current school year.
As a result of that “negative certification,” Clark wrote, “the district must take immediate steps to restore the current year REU [Reserve for Economic Uncertainties] to the state required minimum level.” Clark said the Los Angeles County Office of Education will be placing a fiscal expert at the District, at the expense of the County office, to assist in the development and implementation of the Fiscal Stabilization Plan.
The County Office of Education, Clark wrote, is prepared to elevate the fiscal expert to an advisor with stay and rescind authority if the District does not make satisfactory progress.
Here is a portion of that letter:
|For the entire thing click here.|
"Spending has so exceeded plans." I think that is the nicest way possible of saying PUSD administrators have been doing things like shoveling your kids' education money to the employee unions who funded the winning election campaigns of certain recent Board of Education candidates. Near legendary educators such as Larry Torres, Pat Cahalan and Roy "Boogie Boy" Boulghourjian easily come to mind.
No cuts, no financial restraint, just quietly run the place into the ground while keeping campaign donors fat and happy. Just like we said they would.
If you are unfamiliar with the term "stay and rescind authority," it means that either Los Angeles County or Sacramento would take control of the PUSD, neuter the Board of Ed and its hired administrative staff, and run the place themselves. Here is how that quite possible event is described on the state's Legislative Analyst's Office website (link).
I'm sure the PUSD Board of Education isn't all that upset about any state takeover. It would certainly mean a lot less work for them to do. Just as long as they get to keep their free health care.
So where exactly is Low Energy Larry these days? You'd think the prospect of the PUSD rapidly careening into a state of financial collapse would cause him to saddle up his unicorn and warn the good people of Sierra Madre that their kids might not have any schools to go to soon. Right?
Will Larry be speaking to the City Council soon about this matter? Hosting a Lunch & Learn at the Hart Park House? Going door to door to speak personally with concerned parents? That doesn't appear to be the case.
Has anybody seen this topic on any meeting agendas? Nothing I've seen would indicate that Larry has said a single word about this crisis to anyone. He has chosen to remain silent.
But look, it's not like you weren't told this could happen.
|Click here for the warning you ignored.|
My guess is Larry, along with the rest of the PUSD Board of Ed, is patiently waiting for someone in Sacramento to step in and bail them out. I'm sure the part about a state requirement to issue bonds probably appeals to them in a special way. My bet is they're already filling out the paperwork.
But what if the state doesn't go for that? Rather they decide to just fold the entire mess into the LAUSD? That would make sense. Why pay millions of extra dollars in administrative PUSD salaries and pensions when you don't have to? Why sustain so ineffectual a Board of Education? Just fire the whole bunch for rank incompetence and use the money to do something radical.
Like buy school books.