In Imperial County, at least $30,055,912 was taken out of school-allocated property taxes to pay State obligations in 2010-2011. $26,315,313 or more was redirected to satisfy the State's VLF backfill obligation. $3,740,599 was redirected to pay for the State's 2004 Economic Recovery Bonds. (Incomplete information is on file in Sacramento from Imperial County receiving entities.) In 2011-12, the amount of school-allocated funding taken increased to $33,184,400.
Source: State Controller's Office, Local Government Reporting Section. (City and county detail shown in the reports, totals upon request from the SCO.)
More education-allocated property tax in Imperial County goes to satisfy the state’s debts than actually makes it to schools or community colleges – almost one property tax dollar in three and 55% of those allocated to education.
The county’s entire $18,000,000 Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund is redirected each year, along with 38% of the direct tax allocations to school districts and community colleges for a total, in 2011-12, of $33,184,400.
Are Imperial County’s schoolchildren wealthy enough to serve as the state’s piggybank? No.
84% of them qualify as Low-Income/English-Learners/Foster-Children for LCFF purposes.
Are Imperial County schools well-funded enough to serve as the state’s piggybank? No.
Imperial ranks 57th (out of 58 counties) in terms of 2013-14 LCFF funding adequacy.
Yet, over $33,000,000 a year of property tax is taken from Imperial County education to satisfy state obligations. Is it repaid on time? No.
In 2011-12, Imperial County K-12 schools were not paid over $70,000,000 until after the school year had ended -- $56,000,000 in official deferrals. In 2012-13, they were paid $49,000,000 after the school year had ended – over $37,000,000 in official deferrals. This year, already $27,103,280 in deferrals has been announced for Imperial K-12 districts, with up to 50% more on the statute books (to be announced with the Second Principal Apportionment later in the school year.) So the promise that Proposition 98 would hold schools harmless from this diversion is a very hollow one for Imperial County schoolchildren.
Can Imperial County’s kids really wait for an education, while the state uses their most reliable, stable source of school funding to satisfy its own debts?