Inglewood Unified State Trustee Dr. Don Brann announced Tuesday that the District’s 2015-16 fiscal year budget will eliminate a structural deficit that has plagued the school system for many years.
The budget proposal that will be presented to Dr. Brann at a board meeting later this month wipes out the deficit ahead of schedule – leaving Inglewood Unified on firmer financial footing as the District works to improve under state receivership.
“While few held hope that this day would come – especially so soon – my team found a path to follow and balanced the budget,” Dr. Brann said. “We have remained focused not on past practices, but on making improvements today and building a better tomorrow.”
Dr. Brann announced the news to Inglewood Unified staff and community members in an email on Tuesday, writing that in 2015-16, the District will spend less than it receives in new revenues.
“Many measures were taken to reduce labor costs and to ‘right size’ personnel, programs and services. Expenditures were further controlled through implementation of best practices and the clean-up of corrupt practices,” he explained. “Primarily, however, balance was achieved through the State’s new revenue distribution system, the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which connects dollars with pupil needs.”
IUSD sought a loan from the State in the fall of 2012 to avoid bankruptcy. A $55 million line of credit was set up and the state Department of Education took control, making IUSD the ninth California School District to enter receivership. Whenever that occurs, the elected Board loses its governing powers and becomes Advisory as the California Department of Education appoints a State Trustee to lead the District back to local control. Dr. Brann came on board in July 2013.
Dr. Brann noted in his message that a balanced budget is the first big step in the return of local control. But even still, there remains an unpaid loan balance of $28.5 million, and local control will not occur until the money is repaid.
“Now that the annual budget works, attention will turn to addressing the options available to retire that debt,” he said. “Also, importantly, the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team’s (FCMAT) rankings of key district functions must be improved considerably and sustained prior to return to local control.”
More information is available at www.iusd.net.
Caption: Volunteers painted murals at Kelso Elementary during beautification event.