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Comments made by Emily Richards

San Diego Unified School District Considering 900 Layoffs To Balance Budget

As I mentioned on my call, I'm a CPA and know very well how school accounting works. Schools have different 'funds' they use to account for different departments. It is true, you cannot transfer restricted 'funds' from one department to another. But, the School can increase its overall financial health by retiring old bonds, thus reducing its overall debt and expenditures.

For example, SDUSD is currently spending $30M to build a new school (Jonas Salk Elementary), and millions on environmental reports and mitigation to build that new school on protected land that is home to several endangered species. How? Using old voter approved Bond Funds = more debt when issued. They have a 'use it or lose it' policy. But this unwise.

For example, if you have a $10k home equity line of credit, is it wise to spend the $10k, and incur new debt, on building a new guesthouse -- when you can't afford to buy school supplies or clothing for your child? Wouldn't it be wiser to retire the home equity line and avoid going further into the debt? This way, you aren't thinking myopically, but working toward your overall financial health and priority.

Just because a State Bond (debt) is available for spending on expensive developers and environmental mitigation, doesn't mean the school has to spend it. They could simply retire the bonds, save the debt, and increase the overall financial viability of the school district itself.

While retiring bonds may not DIRECTLY save teachers jobs or help fund what happens inside our classrooms (instead of brick and mortar), it will directly increase the financial health of the school district and the state.

Why isn't the school district exploring this option? Why is Richard Barrera saying the construction program 'fund' of the schools is healthy, when everything else is failing? Don't let his tricky talk fool you. :)

March 9, 2011 at 9:55 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Horn And Gronke Debate Over District 5 Seat - Join The Live Chat At 9 A.M.

I agree with Steve Gronke, in all of my recent investigations of the San Diego's government, from the County Supervisors to the School Board, from the mayor's office to town councils, financial negligence and lack of arms length transactions seems rampant.

I was an auditor for PricewaterhouseCoopers for over 11 years. I am appalled at the amount of corruption, and unbelievable amounts of funneling of taxpayer monies to private developers.

October 27, 2010 at 9:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal )