District explains how per-student funding doubles, but LAUSD still faces financial crisis
How can the funding more than double per student, yet LA Unified still be facing a financial crisis? Chief Financial Officer Megan Reilly posed that question as she explained the intricacies of the budget and laid out new numbers at Tuesday’s special board meeting. For example, she pointed out that by the end of the recession in 2009,...
By Mike Szymanski | March 31, 2016
LAUSD expects ‘healthiest year’ in a decade for budget, but future deficit raises sharp concern
LA Unified expects this to be its best budget year in a decade, school officials said Tuesday, but board members urged immediate action to address a deficit in three years that could reach half a billion dollars. “This is the healthiest year in the past decade,” Chief Financial Officer Megan Reilly said in a report to...
By Mike Szymanski | March 8, 2016
Major school and kitchen upgrades could be approved Tuesday
The LA Unified school board will consider major upgrades at school sites throughout the district at their regular meeting Tuesday. The Facilities Services Division is asking the board to approve district bonds for projects including replacing a half-century-old canopy over a stairwell, replacing 60-year-old bleachers, upgrading walk-in freezers at 305 schools and replacing ovens, ice machines and...
By Mike Szymanski | March 7, 2016
LAUSD audit shows district debt outstrips assets by $4.2 billion
The latest independent audit of LA Unified shows that through the end of the last fiscal year, on June 30, the district had liabilities that surpassed assets by $4.2 billion. The previous year showed assets over liabilities by $1.7 billion, making for a 12-month swing of $5.9 billion, according to Melba W. Simpson, of Simpson &...
By Mike Szymanski | January 21, 2016
LAUSD going all charter? No, says Ratliff, just looking for information
Declaring that she has no intention of turning LA Unified into an all-charter school district, board member Mónica Ratliff chaired a board committee meeting yesterday that examined just what it is that makes charters different from traditional schools. For one thing, as she learned from a presentation to the committee, charter school teachers don’t have...
By Mike Szymanski | January 20, 2016
LA Unified losing $100s of millions in mandates unpaid by state, U.S.
A major contributor to LA Unified’s pending fiscal crisis is unfunded federal and state mandates that have deprived the district of hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years. The exact number is difficult to calculate because the total not only reflects the amount the district seeks in reimbursement but what percentage the governments return to...
By Michael Janofsky | November 24, 2015