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The financial challenges at California schools and Marin County's endless pay increases

Happy New Year!

It's time to get back to work after the holidays, and it's good to see more attention being paid recently to school funding crisis. It has taken a financial crisis in both the Sacramento Unified School District and the Los Angeles Unified School District to get the full focus it requires.

As a recent Sacramento Bee article notes:

Facing a $36 million deficit and a possible state takeover, the top budget officer at the Sacramento City Unified School District has a sober message for his counterparts around California.

Sacramento is “just one of the first dominoes,” said John Quinto, the district’s chief business officer.

By any measure, Sacramento City’s distress is worse than the vast majority of California school districts.

But Quinto’s warning hints at looming problems for many more: The costs of pensions, health care and special education outpace new revenue they’re receiving from the state and they put some schools on a trajectory for red ink.

Read the entire article HERE

Here in Marin we have seen our schools seek bond measures and parcel taxes to fill the gap, but at some point the root of the problem must be addressed.

On another topic

I hope you have all read today's editorial in the Marin IJ. The editorial staff rightfully called out the County government for approving salary increases for the "top brass" with no time for public input or discussion.

The only supervisor to request a delay was Katie Rice, but she was outvoted by her four colleagues.

Once again the County did a survey of management pay in other counties to arrive at their salary increases. The IJ referred to this - much to my delight - as a "sort of nuclear arms race".

To read the editorial:

The original article on this salary increase appeared on Dec. 14, 2018, and was largely overlooked because of the holidays. It's time for us to revisit their actions and to start making noise.

Here is a link to the 12/14/18 article by Richard Halstead:

Welcome to 2019. Depending on the findings of the CA Supreme Court, we could be in for a very busy year. About time.