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Legal Resources | Education Code |  EC  42127.6  

Budget Review Committee   

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(a) (1) A school district shall provide the county superintendent of schools with a copy of a study, report, evaluation, or audit that was commissioned by the school district, the county superintendent, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and state control agencies and that contains evidence that the school district is showing fiscal distress under the standards and criteria adopted in Section 33127, or a report on the school district by the County Office Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team or any regional team created pursuant to subdivision (i) of Section 42127.8. The county superintendent shall review and consider studies, reports, evaluations, or audits of the school district that contain evidence that the school district is demonstrating fiscal distress under the standards and criteria adopted in Section 33127 or that contain a finding by an external reviewer that more than three of the 15 most common predictors of a school district needing intervention, as determined by the County Office Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, are present. If these findings are made, the county superintendent shall investigate the financial condition of the school district and determine if the school district may be unable to meet its financial obligations for the current or two subsequent fiscal years, or should receive a qualified or negative interim financial certification pursuant to Section 42131. If at any time during the fiscal year the county superintendent of schools determines that a school district may be unable to meet its financial obligations for the current or two subsequent fiscal years or if a school district has a qualified or negative certification pursuant to Section 42131, he or she shall notify the governing board of the school district and the Superintendent of Public Instruction in writing of that determination and the basis for the determination. The notification shall include the assumptions used in making the determination and shall be available to the public. The county superintendent of schools shall report to the Superintendent of Public Instruction on the financial condition of the school district and his or her proposed remedial actions and shall do at least one of the following and all actions that are necessary to ensure that the school district meets its financial obligations:

(A) Assign a fiscal expert, paid for by the county superintendent, to advise the school district on its financial problems.

(B) Conduct a study of the financial and budgetary conditions of the school district that includes, but is 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 school 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.

(C) 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.

(D) Require the district to encumber all contracts and other obligations, to prepare appropriate cashflow analyses and monthly or quarterly budget revisions, and to appropriately record all receivables and payables.

(E) Direct the school district to submit a proposal for addressing the fiscal conditions that resulted in the determination that the school district may not be able to meet its financial obligations.

(F) Withhold compensation of the members of the governing board of the school district and the school district superintendent for failure to provide requested financial information. This action may be appealed to the Superintendent of Public Instruction pursuant to subdivision (b).

(G) Assign the County Office Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team 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 and provide the school 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 school district shall follow the recommendations of the team, unless the school district shows good cause for failure to do so. The County Office Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team may not recommend an action that would abrogate a contract that governs employment.

(2) Any contract entered into by a county superintendent of schools for the purposes of this subdivision is subject to the approval of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

(3) An employee of a school district who provides information regarding improper governmental activity, as defined in Section 44112, is entitled to the protection provided pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 44110) of Chapter 1 of Part 25.

(b) Within five days of the county superintendent making the determination specified in subdivision (a), a school district may appeal the basis of the determination and any of the proposed actions that the county superintendent has indicated that he or she will take to further examine the financial condition of the school district. The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall sustain or deny any or all parts of the appeal within 10 days.

(c) If, after taking the actions identified in subdivision (a), the county superintendent determines that a school district will be unable to meet its financial obligations for the current or subsequent fiscal year, he or she shall notify the governing board of the school district, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the president of the state board or the president's designee in writing of that determination and the basis for that determination. The notification shall include the assumptions used in making the determination and shall be provided to the superintendent of the school district and parent and teacher organization of the school district.

(d) Within five days of the county superintendent making the determination specified in subdivision (c), a school district may appeal that determination to the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The Superintendent shall sustain or deny the appeal within 10 days. If the governing board of the school district appeals the determination, the county superintendent of schools may stay any action of the governing board of the school district that he or she determines is inconsistent with the ability of the school district to meet its financial obligations for the current or subsequent fiscal year until resolution of the appeal by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

(e) If the appeal described in subdivision (d) is denied or not filed, or if the school district has a negative certification pursuant to Section 42131, the county superintendent, in consultation with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, shall take at least one of the actions described in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, and all actions that are necessary to ensure that the school district meets its financial obligations and shall make a report to the Superintendent and the president of the state board or the president's designee about the financial condition of the school district and remedial actions proposed by the county superintendent.

(1) Develop and impose, in consultation with the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the governing board of the school district, a budget revision that will enable the school district to meet its financial obligations in the current fiscal year.

(2) Stay or rescind any action that is determined to be inconsistent with the ability of the school district to meet its obligations for the current or subsequent fiscal year. This includes any actions up to the point that the subsequent year's budget is approved by the county superintendent of schools. The county superintendent of schools shall inform the governing board of the school district in writing of his or her justification for any exercise of authority under this paragraph.

(3) Assist in developing, in consultation with the governing board of the school district, a financial plan that will enable the school district to meet its future obligations.

(4) Assist in developing, in consultation with the governing board of the school district, a budget for the subsequent fiscal year. If necessary, the county superintendent of schools shall continue to work with the governing board of the school district until the budget for the subsequent year is adopted.

(5) As necessary, appoint a fiscal adviser to perform any or all of the duties prescribed by this section on his or her behalf.

(f) Any action taken by the county superintendent of schools pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (e) shall be accompanied by a notification that shall include the actions to be taken, the reasons for the actions, and the assumptions used to support the necessity for these actions.

(g) This section does not authorize the county superintendent to abrogate any provision of a collective bargaining agreement that was entered into by a school district before the date that the county superintendent of schools assumed authority pursuant to subdivision (e).

(h) The school district shall pay 75 percent and the county office of education shall pay 25 percent of the administrative expenses incurred pursuant to subdivision (e) or costs associated with improving the school district's financial management practices. The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall develop and distribute to affected school districts and county offices of education advisory guidelines regarding the appropriate amount of administrative expenses charged pursuant to this subdivision.

(i) Notwithstanding Section 42647 or 42650 or any other law, a county treasurer shall not honor any warrant if, pursuant to Sections 42127 to 42127.5, inclusive, or pursuant to this section, the county superintendent or the Superintendent of Public Instruction, as appropriate, has disapproved that warrant or the order on school district funds for which a warrant was prepared.

(j) Effective upon the certification of the election results for a newly organized school district pursuant to Section 35763, the county superintendent of schools may exercise any of the powers and duties of this section regarding the reorganized school district and the other affected school districts until the reorganized school district becomes effective for all purposes in accordance with Article 4 (commencing with Section 35530) of Chapter 3 of Part 21.

(k) The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall monitor the efforts of a county office of education in exercising its authority under this section and may exercise any of that authority if he or she finds that the actions of the county superintendent of schools are not effective in resolving the financial problems of the school district. Upon a decision to exercise the powers of the county superintendent of schools, the county superintendent of schools is relieved of those powers assumed by the Superintendent, and shall provide support and assistance to the Superintendent in the exercise of those powers. The Superintendent shall also request that the County Office Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team identify the circumstances that led to the ineffectiveness of the county superintendent of schools in resolving the financial problems of the school district, and shall require the county office of education to demonstrate, in a manner determined by the Superintendent, remediation of those deficiencies. In addition to the actions taken by the county superintendent, the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall take further actions to ensure the long-term fiscal stability of the school district. The county office of education shall reimburse the Superintendent of Public Instruction for all of his or her costs in exercising his or her authority under this subdivision. The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall promptly notify the county superintendent of schools, the county board of education, the superintendent of the school district, the governing board of the school district, the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of each house of the Legislature, and the Department of Finance of his or her decision to exercise the authority of the county superintendent of schools.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 426, Sec. 14.)