Part of the Bay Area News Group

Another state takeover

By Katy Murphy
Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 at 4:50 pm in finances, local control.

This time, in Monterey County.

King City Public Schools is getting a $13 million emergency loan from the state, according to The Californian.

Kind of makes you wonder how many others will fall into state receivership in the next two years, as California’s education funding continues to slide — and after the federal stimulus money dries up.

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  • Debora

    King City has similar socio-economic demographics as Oakland. The major difference is that the vast majority are native Spanish speakers. Their students perform similarly to those of Oakland, schools have similar issues of violence (both at home and school), the lack of parental activity in the schools is similar to the majority of Oakland schools and a large portion of the budget is spent on contractors to provide support and security services.

    It will be an interesting process to watch. I suspect, there will be similar issues with Oakland in terms of forced changes in curriculum, the School Board in an advisory or informational role only and an uncovering of long running inefficiency in terms of budget and meeting students’ needs.

  • Nextset

    Debora: Any info on how the King City public schools test scores math/verbal compare with OUSD overall? Are there significant variances between the ethnic groups in the two districts?

  • Debora

    It’s a small district with between 31% – 45% proficient in reading and math depending on the grade and the school. There are many migrant workers children who attend and there is a preschool for migrant workers as part of the district.

    On average over 90% of the students in public school are Spanish speaking.

    Teachers overall have been teaching fewer years than the state average and the spending per student is 72% or so of the state per pupil spending.

  • Former OUSD Parent

    According to today’s LA Times, 14 district in CA look like they are in a really bad spot (takeover’s looming) and another 70 are pretty bruised, with more cuts on the way from the GENIUSES in Sacrament who love to promote testing over TEACHING.

    Here is the link and the story:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-school-loan23-2009jul23,0,7586138.story

    California takes control of strapped Monterey County school district
    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger authorizes a $13-million loan to the King City Joint Union High School District. A state administrator will be named Thursday.
    By Seema Mehta
    July 23, 2009
    The state is taking over a Monterey County school district that was facing bankruptcy and lending it $13 million, state officials announced Wednesday.

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed emergency legislation authorizing the loan to the King City Joint Union High School District. A state takeover is required by law once such a loan is granted.

    Today, John Bernard will be named the state administrator to oversee the district, which has a nearly $24-million budget to serve 2,134 students in an agrarian community located 105 miles south of San Jose.

    State takeovers of school districts are rare, but last month, state education officials announced that the number of districts deemed to be at risk of fiscal insolvency had quadrupled as the state cut billions from school funding because of the budget crisis.

    The state budget plan announced earlier this week would cut an additional $6 billion from schools and community colleges.

    School districts must file reports showing their financial health to the state, and the latest reports showed that 19 districts, including King City, would not be able to meet their financial obligations for the school year that just ended, or the upcoming school year, without making drastic cuts.

    Eighty-nine districts, including big-city school systems in Los Angeles, Oakland, Santa Ana and Sacramento, are in jeopardy of not meeting their financial obligations in the school year that just ended or the next two years.

    seema.mehta@latimes.com

  • Debora

    While I agree that teaching over testing is absolutely important. If you spent time in King City you would know that the test scores illustrate an accurate picture of the way students read, speak and compute simple math. The vast majority are working at an incredibly low level.

    Also, just as in Oakland, there is a huge problem getting kids to school on time, ready to learn. There is also a huge crime problem which takes up resources for “security” as in Oakland.

    I would love to see if our School Board candidate from Pico Rivera could turnaround that district which faces many of the same issues as his own district had before he became Superintendent.