SPESD adopts another qualified First Interim report

December 22, 2010
Santa Paula News

The Santa Paula Elementary School District board has approved a qualified First Interim Financial Report.


Interim reports on the district’s financial status are required at least twice a year. The process includes a requirement for the board to certify whether the district has the ability to meet its obligations for the current and two subsequent fiscal years.

There are three possible certifications. The first is a positive financial report. This means the district is projected to meet its obligations in all three years. Second is a qualified report, which means the district may not meet its obligations. Finally there is a negative report. This means the district will not meet its obligations. The SPESD filed two qualified reports last year.

Because Santa Paula has filed a qualified report, the County Office of Education must provide a report to the State Controller’s Office and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction within 30 days. The County Office is required to include in this report the actions proposed to ensure the district will be able to meet its obligations, based upon several options.

Cathy Bojorquez, assistant superintendent for Business Services, made a lengthy presentation to the board on budget issues facing the district. She said there are a lot of unanswered questions, especially with a State budget deficit of between 25 and 28 billion dollars.

There remains a possibility of mid-year budget cuts, she added. Although the district has made cuts, she projects that they could have a three million dollar deficit by the 2012-13 school year. She said the district will be facing more tough budget decisions.

Carolyn Ishida, president of the Santa Paula Teachers’ Association, reminded the board how both teachers and classified employees had accepted cuts and layoffs to help balance the budget. “The problem is then that there’s spending still going on,” she said.

“If we’re in the same place we were a year ago before furloughs, class sizes and layoffs, obviously somebody is spending too much. If you want to look for tough decisions it should have been tonight.”

She pointed to a contract with a law firm where their rates have more than doubled as one example. “So the spending hasn’t stopped,” she added. “If we’re all in the same place that we were a year ago, before the unions bargained with the district, the spending has to stop.”

When told the district wants to hire a director of business and finance, Ishida said no. “We still have eight teachers on the layoff list,” she told the board. “We have teachers getting sick by having 24 or 25 kids in the classroom. It is the toughest year the employees have ever faced. Please, for the record, stop the spending.”

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