Claremont Insider: State Delays Payments to Local Schools

Saturday, July 11, 2009

State Delays Payments to Local Schools

The state of California delayed $4 billion in Prop. 98 payments to California school districts, the Daily Bulletin reports.

The Bulletin article says the payments were supposed to go out last Friday but have been pushed back 20 days. The article explained the ramifications for our area:

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell and state Controller John Chiang announced Friday that $4 billion scheduled to be distributed Friday - the last payment for the 2008-09 fiscal year - will instead be issued on July 30.

"The delay of this school funding payment is a consequence of California's economic crisis and our very serious cash shortage. Public education continues to bear a disproportionate share of the cuts needed to solve our state budget shortfall. And delays in funding as a result of the state's cash flow problems transfer those problems to our local schools," O'Connell said.

The payment, known as the Principal Apportionment, is the largest annual distribution of state funds to the public education system through Proposition 98, which constitutionally requires minimum-funding for K-12 schools and community colleges.

For San Bernardino County schools, the IOU amounts to $348 million. In Los Angeles County, the figure is $1.33 billion.

For districts counting on that money, the delay could cause a cash flow problem. The Bulletin piece also says that federal stimulus money has eased some of the fiscal pain.

Stimulus money or no, the pain continues to trickle down. The Bulletin also reported that Claremont Unified School District has had to make additional cuts in its 2009-10 budget. The cuts include the elimination of three non-teaching positions at Claremont High and San Antonio High, as well as reductions through attrition and reductions in school transportation.