told an Assembly budget subcommittee today that the number of districts in distress is half what it was a few years ago, when the state was routinely "deferring" billions of dollars in aid to local districts because of its own
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Voter approval of [Proposition 30] has reduced financial pressure on California's nearly 1,000 school districts..."The impact... has been positive," Montero said during his annual update on school financial problems.
At one time, nearly 200 districts were listed as "qualified" or "negative" in their financial conditions, but the list has now dropped to under 100... However, the number of negative districts has risen in the last year from seven to nine, five of which are new to the list.
The most distressed district is Inglewood Unified, with nearly 12,000 students...
"The negative certifications are more negative than they have been in the past," Montero said, adding that "cash management" continues to plague many local districts, adding, "half of the districts in the state are deficit spending."
Among the potential problems looming...are the prospects of being hit with much-higher bills for retiree pensions, both from the California State Teachers Retirement System and the California Public Employees Retirement System, which covers non-teaching school employees.
CalSTRS says it needs $4.5 billion more a year to cover unfunded liabilities while CalPERS has already approved a phased-in contribution increase that will eventually total 50 percent.