Santa Barbara

A:

Santa Barbara County school districts will have to shed an estimated $85 million when the first dollar goes into Proposition 2's School Account. Almost half of this will be parcel and property tax collected by its community-funded basic aid districts. These districts will not be receive any more property tax until December of the year, presumably forcing them to borrow.

The cap will force the reduction of Santa Barbara County school districts' local carryover funds from an average of 23% now, to just 6%. The smallest districts (under 1000 students) will be allowed to carry 8-10%.

Compare these allowed carryovers with California Department of Education and Government Finance Officers Association recommendations of 15-17% in reserves -- and the state's late payments to schools in all recent fiscal years. Santa Barbara County schools will be allowed to carry just $33 million forward.

When the next downturn hits, Santa Barbara County districts will have almost no local cushion. In this last downturn, note that the State had not paid Santa Barbara districts $66 million it owed them in June 2012, $33 million in June 2013, and $37 million just this June 30th -- two fiscal years after Prop 30 passed.

Had the $33 million limit been in place, districts would have been unable to fund these internally; instead they would have had to borrow or slash instruction.

Note that Los Olivos Elementary is shown in red because the California Department of Education "qualified" its certification of Los Olivos Elementary's financial condition during some or all of the 2012-2014 period. Despite questions about its financial state, Los Olivos would have to pay down almost $400,000 of its ongoing operating funds, were the school 'rainy day fund' to receive any deposits.

Santa Barbara data table

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