Friday, September 17, 2021

What is the financial status of your Orange County school district?


It is September and the students in California are back to school. Due to the governor’s lockdown response to the COVID-19 virus, they endured more than a year to leave the campus.

How does the pandemic affect the finances of the Orange County School District? Audited financial statements for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020 are now available.

Reviewing the “net position statement” and obtaining an “unrestricted net position”, the cumulative net deficit of the 27 school districts increased by $331 million-from $4.57 billion to $4.9 billion. This is approximately a 7.25% change in the wrong direction, or an increase of $90 in debt per person who lives in the area.

The Coronavirus Asylum-in-Place Order begins a few months before the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2020. But it had a significant impact because this negative trend only increased by 5% in the previous year.

Determining the amount of CARES Act funding and other federal relief program funding received by regions before June 30, 2020 is another study. This may be better seen when the audited financial statements for June 30, 2021 are released next year or earlier. Now, let’s check if there are any abnormalities in the chart below. There’s some left.

Epoch Times Photos

Overall, the changes between school districts are very small, except for Brea-Olinda, which has risen by 13 places, which is unbelievable. Irvine Unified rose 9 places and Buena Park Elementary 4 places. The details of this change can be as simple as modifying the restricted fund balance. But these three districts accounted for only half of the districts that improved their financial situation last year.

Los Alamitos dropped 6 places after dropping 12 places in the previous fiscal year. Garden Grove Unified dropped 7 places and Cypress Elementary dropped 4 places.

Many Orange County residents live in more than one school district, including an elementary school and high school. Therefore, when using the population served by each district, the total population will exceed the county due to overlap.

The per capita amount provides a range. It would be nice to have a black school district. Only Yuanquan Valley Elementary School has maintained this status. It sold school land and deposited the proceeds in a savings account.

The other 26 regions are at a loss due to the actuarial accrued liabilities of unfunded funds arising from the defined benefit pension plan and other post-employment benefits (such as retirees’ health care plans).

Every person is a thermometer. Ideally, you want your school district to be closer to the top positions. Those near the bottom need to be scrutinized more closely by residents.

For Santa Ana, the net deficit per resident is four times that of a quarter of the county. Its unrestricted net deficit accounts for 13.5% of the cumulative deficit in all regions, and it only serves about 8.5% of the county’s population. This should sound the alarm and encourage better review of its annual budget and long-term strategic financial plan. This may also mean paying closer attention to school board elections and selecting candidates with strong financial backgrounds.

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There is a major historic first to note-the state transferred a school district from one county to another, which was done through the most recent voting measures. The Lowell Unified School District straddles the Los Angeles/Orange County border in La Habra and changed its jurisdiction by moving to the Orange County Department of Education, which even saved the area nearly $250,000 per year.

In March 2020, the O measure was approved by more than 70% of voters in the region. The target of this measure is July 1, 2021, as the transition date. Therefore, Lowell Joint will not be listed this year, but will be listed next year. If included, it would rank third among the current 28 school districts, with a per capita minus $465.

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La Habra is a unique border city and the only city in Orange County that outsources its fire department to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. All in all, the Orange-Los Angeles County border has some weird and unique problems.

A community in two counties causes awkward school district attendance problems, and the neighbors next door may go to different schools. While serving as the county-level supervisor of the second district, I tried to correct some of these nuances. Those areas west of Coyote Creek in Los Angeles County expressed a strong desire to be included in Orange County. Therefore, you can appreciate the strong voting results on Measure O.

When negotiating with Don Knabe, the then director of Los Angeles County, he agreed that the land issue could only be resolved if there were no voters living. After years of long process, we were able to make some changes and modify the boundary line, which is also a historical event.

Welcome to Orange County, Lowell Unified School District, and thank you for bringing a strong balance sheet. I am very happy that residents have participated in your governance decisions. The school district deserves this attention because it is an integral part of taxpayer/resident responsibility. For homeowners, a good school district will translate into good property value, especially when the economy finds that you are in a buyer’s market.

John Morak

John Moorlach is a former Orange County Supervisor and most recently served as a state senator. Prior to this, he served as the Secretary of the Treasury and Tax Officer of Orange County for 12 years, leading the county out of bankruptcy.


This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

What is the financial status of your Orange County school district?
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