Oakland Unified returned to local governance July 2009, after six years under State control. The legacy of State control for our finances includes a $100 million loan, years of cash accounts not being reconciled, and years without financial audits, which impacts the District’s ability to sell bonds at the lowest interest rates.
Since Oakland returned to local governance, the District has worked hard to resolve these financial challenges. For the upcoming fiscal year, the District will eliminate the $40 million structural deficit that led it into State receivership in 2003. President London has supported the District’s work to regain financial integrity and institute regular fiscal controls and reporting. She has worked with staff to make the District’s budget easier to understand.
In California, most school districts receive over 80% of their budget from the State. The reasons for this are complex. The fact is that the ongoing State budget crisis is directly impacting California’s schools. Across the State, K-12 budgets have been slashed by more than $18 billion over the past several years. In Oakland, revenues have dropped by $120 million since President London took office in 2009. Against this backdrop, she has made responsible choices that prioritize children and recognize fiscal realities.