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Inglewood Unified faces $17.7 million deficit; State Officials to address shortfall, again

A student boards a bus maintained by the Inglewood Unified School District on February 28, 2012.
A student boards a bus maintained by the Inglewood Unified School District on February 28, 2012.
Grant Slater/KPCC

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The financially plagued Inglewood Unified School District will hold a press briefing and public meeting today to discuss the district's ongoing money problems. The struggling district, which was taken over by the state last fall, is facing another deficit. This one is $17.7 million.

Currently, the school doesn't have enough money for the 2014-2015 school year.

In December, the state-appointed former leader of the district Kent Taylor resigned after the state discovered Taylor had signed financial agreements with the teachers union and a food company without consulting  state officials. All of this took place before a major financial audit. He was replaced with La Tanya Kirk-Carter, who serving as interim administrator.

The school district has been in trouble for years. After cost-cutting, loans and L.A. County oversight, Inglewood Unified finally requested a state bailout last year.  California lawmakers approved a bailout loan that kept the district from insolvency last summer -- and stripped the 12,000-student district of local control.

It was only the ninth district in the state to request state takeover and an emergency loan in more than a dozen years.

A new state report found that California school districts are faring better this year: fewer than half are in jeopardy compared to the same time last year. Still, the state found troubling finances at 92 out of more than a thousand districts in California.

"We must continue our work to get them on solid fiscal ground. Thankfully, voter approval of Proposition 30—and the budget proposal that reflects it—keeps us firmly on that path,"  State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a statement released today.

KPCC education reporter Mary Plummer will be live tweeting the media briefing, which starts at 3 p.m. She'll also be tweeting from the public meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. at Morningside High School Auditorium, 10500 S. Yukon Ave., Inglewood. 

View Mary Plummer's live updates from Tuesday's meeting: