The State Senate has approved a $100 million emergency loan to the financially troubled Oakland Unified School District. It´s the largest school bailout in California history. The loan bill would also require the appointment of a state administrator to run the district until it is clear the school system is on the road to financial stability.
The district´s budget problems showed up last summer. School officials had been budgeting on estimates. They assumed millions in savings from staff vacancies that weren´t vacant and failed to keep track of how fast enrollment was dropping, which reduced per-pupil funding from the state.
The bill´s author, Senator Don Perata of Oakland, blames the district´s problems on overzealous efforts to improve student achievement.
Today´s 27 to 5 vote sent the bill to the Assembly.