Sunday, June 7, 2015

What is the Role of the County Office Regarding Qualified Certification Status?


“CUSD’s budget has been classified as “qualified” for the past three quarters, a condition that in school parlance means that a district cannot demonstrate it can pay its bills in what are referred to as “out years,” the two years beyond the current budget year. “ --Mike Taylor, Calaveras Enterprise, “CUSD Budget in Dire Straits” --June 27, 2014



WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE COUNTY OFFICE REGARDING QUALIFIED CERTIFICATION STATUS? 

The County Superintendent is empowered to take one or more of these actions:

  • Assign a fiscal expert, paid for by the County Superintendent, to advise the district on its financial problems. At the June 30th CUSD board meeting Ms. Terri Ryland was introduced by Calaveras County Superintendent of  Schools  Kathy Northington as an outside school finance expert hired by the county office to shadow CUSD officials as they outline their plan of action to slash spending and right the budgetary ship.
  • Conduct a study of the financial and budgetary conditions of the district that includes, but not limited to, a review of internal controls if in the course of this review the county superintendent determines that his or her office requires analytical assistance or expertise that is not available through the district; he or she may employ, on a short-term basis, with the approval of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, staff, including certified public accountants, to provide the assistance and expertise. The school district shall pay 75 percent and the county office of education shall pay 25 percent of these staff costs.
  • Direct the school district to submit a financial projection of all fund and cash balances of the district as of June 30 of the current year and subsequent fiscal years as he or she requires.
  • Require the district to encumber all contracts and other obligations to prepare appropriate cash flow analyses, and monthly or quarterly budget revisions, and to appropriately record all receivables and payables.
  • Direct the district to submit a proposal for addressing the fiscal conditions that resulted in the determination that the district may not be able to meet its financial obligations.
  • Withhold compensation of the members of the governing board and the district superintendent for failure to provide requested financial information. This action may be appealed to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
  • Assign the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) to review teacher hiring practices, teacher retention rate, percentage of provision of highly qualified teachers, and the extent of teacher misassignment in the school district. FCMAT could provide the district with recommendations to streamline and improve the teacher hiring process, teacher retention rate, extent of teacher misassignment, and provision of highly qualified teachers. If a review team is assigned to a school district, the district shall follow the recommendations of the team, unless the district shows good cause for failure to do so. The Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team may not recommend an action that would abrogate a contract that governs employment.

CSBA (California School Board Association)

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