District may not be able to meet all its obligations, state superintendent warns

 The Taft City School District may not be able to meet its financial obligations in the near future, California State Superintendent of Schools Jack O’Donnell announced Monday morning.

The TCSD is one of 114 schools California school districts placed on a watch list by the state office.

That is a dramatic increase from 2006-07, when only 19 districts were on the watch list

O’Donnell blamed the rise on the state’s depressed economy and all the budget cuts for public school system.

 “Massive state budget cuts are crippling our public school system’s ability to operate,” O’Connell said. “Public education in California received $17 billion less in state funding than anticipated over the last two budget years. School districts already have made draconian cuts to programs and services, eliminated summer school, increased class sizes, and cut art, music, libraries, school nurses, and sports.”

It may get worse, O’Donnell warned.

“The Governor has proposed cutting another $2.4 billion this year,” the superintendent continued. “Districts now are forced to lay off even more teachers and make deep cuts to educational programs to address projected budget shortfalls or face possible bankruptcy and state receivership.”

Those deep budget cuts have taken a toll on the TCSD and could lose $1 million or more in revenue in the current fiscal year and the next one.

Layoffs are being discussed, and cuts on both certificated and classified pay are also on the table.

Seventeen districts received negative certification, which means they won’t be able to meet their financial obligations either in the current fiscal year or in FY 2010-11.