To remain fiscally solvent, California requires all public school districts to maintain a rainy day, reserve fund of about three percent of their unrestricted funds.
Those reserve funds are becoming a bone of contention at some school districts as teachers unions oppose contract concessions, asking why district reserve funds can’t be used.
One such district, the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District in the San Gabriel Valley, appears to be an oasis in the desert of education funding.
“We have no furloughs. We still have 20-1 for kindergarten through third grade. And we’ve basically had no cutbacks,” said teachers union president Dani Tucker. She thanks the district’s hefty reserve funds. It’s come at a cost, she says: low teacher salaries, cuts in supply budgets, and increased class sizes.