From “Positive Certification” to the Sky Is Falling: Mismanagement at SCUSD
Criticism about the District’s new administration grows after Sacramento County of Education (SCOE) had “disapproved” the Sac City three-year budget. The District was notified by letter August 22nd, but withheld the information nearly two weeks.
In addition, the District has failed to provide any details regarding the reasons behind the disapproval. The board did not explain how the District’s budget went from a “positive certification”– a rating given by SCOE — to disapproval virtually overnight. The primary reason, according to the new District Chief Business Officer, was the District would not have enough in its reserves in 2019-20 and 2020-21. But the District’s own 3-year budget, submitted in June, suggested its reserves would be more than double the $10 million required by the state.
Interestingly, the numbers that the SCOE bases its analyses upon are provided by the District. If the District submitted a budget that met the state requirements on its reserve, where did SCOE obtain numbers that contradict this? How could the District be so far off?
Maybe it isn’t. The District has a dismal track record of providing accurate budget forecasts.
Regardless, the major contradiction is that the District submitted a budget that meets the state minimum reserve fund balance requirements. However SCOE rejected that same budget because it says it did not meet the requirement. Sounds like a mess.
We have offered to meet with the new Chief Business Officer. In the meantime, we will continue to suggest that whether there is a budget crisis or not, the District’s making a priority of hiring more administrators has to end. Since 2014-15, the District has increased the number of administrators by 42%.
If equity really is the the new operating principle, it’s time to put students, rather than administrators, first.