All public school districts in the Golden State have suffered budget cuts this year, but at Inglewood Unified School District administrators are considering some drastic measures to avoid bankruptcy.
The proposals on the school board agenda's Wednesday night include employee furlough days, closing down schools and cuts to employee benefits. Also on the chopping block are the district’s six police officers and police chief, although school board president Trina Williams assures residents the district won't compromise student safety.
The cuts are proposed by Inglewood Unified superintendent Gary McHenry.
"We’ve been suffering for three years now," said Chris Graeber with California Professional Employees Local Union #2345, the union that represents most non-teaching district employees. "We had furlough days. This’ll be the third year we’re in 12-13 with furlough days; last year, we had 20."
School district staff are recommending the school board cut nearly $14 million from this school year’s budget to stay solvent, a huge enough portion that the board has taken steps to declare bankruptcy in January.
The same board says it can avoid bankruptcy by budget cutting, raising money through bonds and selling school district land. California state education officials would take over school district administration if the state legislature issues the district a bail out loan.
Board president Williams said she and the other four board members can keep Inglewood Unified from bankruptcy.
"No one in town wants a state-run school district," said Willaims. "That just has so many implications for everybody within the city, the businessman, the small business owner, the large business owner, the homeowners and everybody else."
Inglewood Unified is the only Southland district on a list of school districts expected to run out of money this school year.