Gov. Brown approves bailout, state takeover of Inglewood schools
Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday approved a $55-million emergency bailout and state-takeover plan for the nearly-bankrupt Inglewood Unified School District.
The governor signed a bill that provides emergency loans to the Inglewood district while also having state Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson assume the duties of the Inglewood school board. Torlakson will work with the county schools superintendent to appoint an administrator for day-to-day operations.
Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) introduced the bill after being warned by school officials that a significant decline in enrollment, cuts in state funding and poor financial decisions by the district’s management could result in the system running out of money in December.
“The students in Inglewood deserve an education and we have a constitutional obligation to provide it,'' Wright said. "This loan will close a painful chapter in the Inglewood Unified School District’s recent history and allow staff to get back to the business of educating the next generation of community leaders.”
Wright’s SB 533 was one of 22 bills signed by the governor Friday, but he also vetoed two bills, including one introduced in response to controversy in the Anaheim Union High School District.
The schools issued ID cards and planners that were color-coded based on the student’s performance on standardized tests. It was to recognize high achievers, but Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana) proposed to ban the practice because it was "embarrassing and demoralizing’’ for students who did not do well.
In his veto message on AB 1166, Brown said the bill was unnecessary because there are already privacy laws protecting students and Anaheim has addressed concerns by changing its policy. He also objected to the bill telling a school district how to operate.
"The principal of subsidiarity suggests limits to state intervention in school district matters,’’ Brown wrote in the veto message. "Sacramento should not easily or too quickly pre-empt local decisions.’’
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: California Gov. Jerry Brown, shown at a press conference last month, on Friday approved a state takeover and bailout for the Inglewood Unified School District. Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images