In Partnership with The 74

After repeatedly warning of deficits, CFO Megan Reilly leaves LAUSD for Santa Clara County

Sarah Favot | January 30, 2017



meganreillychieffinancialofficer-e1481837017138-copyLA Unified Chief Financial Officer Megan Reilly, who is widely credited with steering the district through the Great Recession but has repeatedly warned of coming deficits, has resigned to take a similar position at the Santa Clara County Office of Education.

Reilly was hired by LA Unified in 2007. On Monday, Superintendent Michelle King thanked Reilly for her years of service.

On behalf of the entire LA Unified family, I would like to express our deep appreciation to Chief Financial Officer Megan Reilly for her contributions and unwavering commitment to the stability of this district and the success of our students. With her steady hand and level head, Megan helped us navigate difficult financial times and maximize opportunities to bring positive change to our schools. Thanks to her strong leadership over the last nine years, Megan leaves behind a highly capable finance team that will allow us to make a smooth transition,” King said in a statement. “We are all grateful to Megan for her integrity, dedication and friendship. We wish her the very best in the future.”

Reilly was previously the executive director of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

“Throughout my career, I have been committed to providing students and our schools with the necessary resources to learn and grow,” Reilly said in a statement. “This commitment is evident in my work with the governor’s office, state Department of Finance and community groups to maximize the benefit to K-12 education and to leverage positive change and accountability through the new funding formula framework.”

Reilly, who earned $280,405 in salary and benefits in 2015, leaves the district just before King is expected to outline in February her plans for dealing with next year’s deficit, which Reilly first reported last month.

In December, Reilly warned there will be reductions when she reported to the board that the district notified the county and the state that it may not be able to meet its financial obligations in subsequent years because it faces a cumulative deficit of $1.46 billion through the 2018-19 school year.

“We have to identify programs to bring down the deficits,” Reilly said in December. “We will have some reductions in the upcoming year.”

She had also previously said that increasing student enrollment alone would not solve the district’s deficit projections.

In March she had told the board, “This is the healthiest year in the past decade. For the first time since 2008, this is the first budget without a need for a fiscal plan.” But she also urged immediate action for the coming years and warned that the one-time payout from the state that had shored up that budget year could not be counted on in the future.

Her new position is chief business officer of the Santa Clara County Office of Education. That office is led by Superintendent Jon R. Gundry, who was hired in 2014. Gundry was previously superintendent of the Pasadena Unified School District.

“I am confident that Ms. Reilly’s wide range of experience will increase and expand our business services for school districts in our county,” Gundry said in a statement. “Her leadership and the work of her team is a critical piece of supporting our schools in their efforts to raise student achievement through the effective use of business and fiscal resources.”

She will begin her new position on April 17.

Reilly, who graduated from an all-girls’ high school in Baltimore, earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Loyola University, a master’s degree of science in management from Naval Postgraduate School and a law degree from Monterey College of Law.

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