Monday, April 3, 2017

Is LAUSD _Really_ Going Bust? – redqueeninla

Is LAUSD _Really_ Going Bust? – redqueeninla:

Is LAUSD _Really_ Going Bust?

All of the recent years for which final (“actual”) budget data are published show every single annual budget has finished in the black. This graph tracks the inflow of revenues (sum of dark and light grey bars), which have outpaced the outflow of expenditures (blue bar) in the LAUSD General Fund (GF) over the last eight years. While the entirety of the LAUSD budget includes various capital and internal funds, for the purposes of tracking the actual operating budget, these GF revenues and expenditures are of most importance. The amount unspent every year is represented by the green bar, and labeled in green. “▲” green figures indicate that the net (what’s left after expenditures come out of revenues) is ‘positive’; the GF was operating without a loss. Both “restricted” (e.g., Federal Title 1 (low income) funds) and “unrestricted” (e.g., discretionary funds available to address school-site-specific priorities) funds are included here. Prior to 2007 GF expenditures were reported a little differently so the trend isn’t comparable, but those budgets were also balanced.
So recent school board candidate’s statements casting shade on LAUSD’s current solvency are just wrong.
But what about the future, is the District simply swirling that bankruptcy toilet, circling inevitably toward the abyss? Even if currently flush, how well can past financial performance predict the future?
The District’s Chief Financial Officer (who just resigned after 10 years of constitutional, if not justifiable, worry), publishes a projected budget for one and two years beyond the current operating year. That current operating year’s budget is finalized in June prior to the start of the upcoming schoolyear. And there’s a big accounting midyear to check up on things.
So that means there are four forecasts for any given year, snapshots of how budget forecasts stack up against the fact of what actually come to pass: (i) at mid-year, (ii) right before the start of a new fiscal/school year, (iii) one year out from that year and (iv) two years out from that year.
Each one of these sets of guesses is expected to have different tendencies. They will vary by how far in the future the forecast projects, by what sorts of monies Is LAUSD _Really_ Going Bust? – redqueeninla:
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