Return to Headlines

Business Services - LAO Request for Information on Reserves

Legislative Analyst Office Request

The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) has been reaching out to various districts throughout the state requesting information about their level of reserves. 

Over the past few weeks the LAO has been asking a subset of districts around the state to tell them a little bit more about their fund balances in 2012-13. The LAO grouped their inquiries into categories based on size and then contacted a subset of about 50 districts that reported balances that were especially low or high compared with others in the same group. For example, the LAO contacted districts with 1,000-10,000 students if their balances were above 50 percent and districts with 10,000 or more students if their balances were above 25 percent.

The LAO has also called various county offices of education, including Marin, to gain an understanding about district reserve levels.  Additionally, members of the LAO's staff, Kenneth Kapphahn, Jennifer Kuhn and Edgar Cabral attended the August BASC meeting.  For over an hour, the Business and Administration Steering Committee (BASC) engaged the LAO in their inquiry and heard from COE's why district reserves are important and why there are a multitude of reasons reasons why district reserves should not be capped.

The LAO's statement to the BASC shared that that "the purpose of their survey was not to determine if any individual district is "too low" or "too high" (a survey would be of limited value for that purpose in any case), but to see if there are any commonalities among these districts. While we promised all districts individual anonymity, we may end up describing the general themes in our report."