MOORLACH UPDATE — School District Rankings – Top 94 — September 20, 2019

Born to Serve

The September/October 2019 edition of the Old Towne Orange Plaza Review has a “Know the Neighbors” segment that includes Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer, former Orange County Supervisor and Ambassador to the Vatican Gaddi Vasquez, and me. It’s the first piece below.

School Districts — Numbers One to Ninety-Four

We’ve patiently waited for the annual audited financial statements for California’s school districts for the year ended June 30, 2018. It is normally anticipated that the audits be completed in six months, no later than December, so being more than eight months later is a matter of concern.

This massive delay could be due to so many of our state’s school districts serving very small populations, there may not be enough Certified Public Accountancy auditing firms to complete this annual workload in a timely manner in certain areas, or the balance sheets took a bigger hit than expected this year, thanks to the inclusion of retiree medical liabilities and the required actuarial reports.

The cumulative Unrestricted Net Deficit for California’s school districts for the year ended June 30, 2017 was $50.6 billion. A year later, for the year ended June 30, 2018, it is $70.8 billion. The requirement of including Other Post-Employment Benefits is the main reason the total deficit has grown by $20 billion, or 40 percent, in the last year!

There is also plenty of movement among the 940 audited districts. Those below with major ranking changes are districts in smaller communities. It would be interesting to learn the actual stories behind their movement.

Since there are so many districts, I’m releasing the details over 10 UPDATEs, providing 94 in each issue. I did this for last year’s rankings, with 14 editions of some 67 districts each. The second piece below is Group 1, the 94 school districts with the best Unrestricted Net Assets per capita. They are provided in numerical order, with the district’s name, population, unrestricted net position per capita, prior rank and the movement from last year’s position in the rankings.

For last year’s full study on California’s educational fiscal rankings, please go to https://moorlach.cssrc.us/sites/default/files/181002_CASchoolCAFRReport.pdf.

BORN TO SERVE

John Moorlach

California history is a passion for state Sen. John Moorlach.

There are more than 1,060 California Historical Landmarks, and Moorlach has visited them all —except for 100 or so. At his Costa Mesa home, he has what he calls a “massive” library of books about the Golden State with subsections on each of its 58 counties and many of its 482 municipalities.

“I never would have thought that I would be a state legislator, but it actually fits right in, because I’ve been traveling throughout California for 40 years,” says Moorlach, a Republican who represents the 37th district, which includes most of Orange.

A certified public accountant and financial planner, Moorlach’s original career plans didn’t involve public service. However, in 1994 he accurately predicted that Orange County’s risky investment practices would lead to bankruptcy. After the county’s then-treasurer resigned late that year, Moorlach was appointed to the post, where he served for nearly 12 years.

In 2006, he was elected to the first of two terms as Second District supervisor, helping the county emerge from bankruptcy and improve its financial standing. And as a state senator since March 2015, Moorlach has continued to champion fiscal responsibility.

To that end, Moorlach sponsored SB 598, the Open Financial Statements Act, which will help modernize California’s municipal financial reporting practices. It has the support of Treasurer Fiona Ma, a Democrat, and was recently being considered by the Assembly’s Appropriations Committee.

“John is well-received across the board, with Republicans and Democrats,” says Janice Swift, a fellow CPA who has known Moorlach since his first campaign for treasurer. “He is a conservative and a strong Christian and family man. All of that comes across for a lot of people, regardless of their party.”

Moorlach, the only CPA in the 120-seat state Legislature, has five additional bills working their way through the Assembly, including one that addresses the retirement system for judges and another that offers protections against the financial abuse of elders and dependent adults.

“I’m here to make sure that government is doing what it’s supposed to be doing,” he says. “And that’s why I ran for the state Senate—to get things done.”

While the legislature was on summer break, Moorlach was planning to visit a couple more landmarks that are still outstanding on his list. Every stop includes photographing the plaque that identifies the landmark and explains its historical significance.

“They’re really boring photos,” he admits. “I’m an accountant, not a photographer.”

John M.W. Moorlach district office 940 South Coast Dr., Suite 185, Costa Mesa / 714-662-6050

Rank School District Population Per Cap 2017 Chg
1 McKittrick Elementary 177 $48,698 2 1
2 Spencer Valley Elementary 484 $13,842 1 -1
3 Maple Creek Elementary 49 $6,877 5 2
4 Gorman Joint 154 $6,270 4 0
5 Oro Grande Elementary 1,170 $5,320 701 696
6 Ravendale-Termo Elementary 148 $4,566 8 2
7 Santa Clara Elementary 174 $4,146 6 -1
8 Desert Center Unified 268 $3,054 11 3
9 Little Shasta Elementary 324 $3,024 10 1
10 Alpine County Unified 1,120 $2,942 9 -1
11 Baker Valley Unified 1,031 $2,870 17 6
12 Bitterwater-Tully Elementary 134 $2,825 12 0
13 Panoche Elementary 135 $2,710 16 3
14 Cienega Union Elementary 182 $2,704 15 1
15 Saucelito Elementary 187 $2,638 7 -8
16 Winship-Robbins 616 $2,056 32 16
17 Silver Fork Elementary 255 $1,967 24 7
18 Hornbrook Elementary 695 $1,943 22 4
19 Mountain House Elementary 380 $1,914 26 7
20 Lincoln Elementary 218 $1,827 14 -6
21 Mendota Unified 13,075 $1,796 29 8
22 Orick Elementary 386 $1,652 21 -1
23 Junction Elementary 147 $1,551 28 5
24 Forks of Salmon Elementary 206 $1,489 30 6
25 Cucamonga Elementary 28,817 $1,461 23 -2
26 San Lucas Union Elementary 414 $1,445 104 78
27 Lost Hills Union Elementary 2,922 $1,417 39 12
28 Meridian Elementary 666 $1,374 36 8
29 Blochman Union Elementary 774 $1,328 42 13
30 Twin Ridges Elementary 2,572 $1,309 31 1
31 Plainsburg Union Elementary 473 $1,280 20 -11
32 Shiloh Elementary 798 $1,192 38 6
33 Camptonville Elementary 788 $1,188 33 0
34 Seiad Elementary 320 $1,175 27 -7
35 Outside Creek Elementary 758 $1,091 50 15
36 Hot Springs Elementary 332 $959 43 7
37 Island Union Elementary 1,455 $888 45 8
38 Blake Elementary 180 $879 44 6
39 Lakeside Union Elementary 2,542 $860 41 2
40 French Gulch-Whiskeytown Elem 446 $834 25 -15
41 Gravenstein Union Elementary 5,710 $825 37 -4
42 Richmond Elementary 1,031 $800 48 6
43 Montecito Union Elementary 6,529 $785 46 3
44 Laguna Joint Elementary 364 $780 34 -10
45 Richgrove Elementary 3,413 $737 60 15
46 Fort Ross Elementary 645 $731 47 1
47 Douglas City Elementary 826 $724 73 26
48 Lagunita Elementary 306 $690 57 9
49 Willow Grove Union Elementary 289 $666 51 2
50 Mountain Union Elementary 1,302 $646 56 6
51 Kirkwood Elementary 299 $613 40 -11
52 Fort Sage Unified 2,969 $607 55 3
53 Laton Joint Unified 3,958 $501 49 -4
54 Big Creek Elementary 472 $499 58 4
55 Vista del Mar Union 527 $492 19 -36
56 Bogus Elementary 360 $488 75 19
57 Trinity Center Elementary 421 $481 78 21
58 Alexander Valley Union Elementary 915 $475 53 -5
59 Linns Valley-Poso Flat Union 649 $473 120 61
60 Mark West Union Elementary 14,892 $426 70 10
61 Mupu Elementary 1,005 $412 54 -7
62 Montgomery Elementary 886 $411 68 6
63 Belleview Elementary 1,725 $395 66 3
64 Coffee Creek Elementary 220 $362 59 -5
65 Raisin City Elementary 2,150 $362 105 40
66 Kenwood 4,286 $357 80 14
67 Elkins Elementary 273 $354 74 7
68 General Shafter Elementary 1,142 $350 940 872
69 Gazelle Union Elementary 292 $329 79 10
70 Dunsmuir Joint Union High 2,454 $315 64 -6
71 Dehesa Elementary 2,374 $301 289 218
72 Harmony Union Elementary 4,490 $279 62 -10
73 Klamath River Union Elementary 473 $275 92 19
74 Waukena Joint Union Elementary 1,030 $240 85 11
75 Indian Diggings Elementary 167 $230 84 9
76 Imperial Unified 22,298 $208 478 402
77 Jefferson Elementary 206 $206 77 0
78 Stone Corral Elementary 751 $194 86 8
79 Happy Camp Union Elementary 1,312 $174 88 9
80 Fountain Valley Elementary 57,140 $170 102 22
81 Hart-Ransom Union Elementary 4,505 $168 69 -12
82 San Pasqual Valley Unified 3,629 $129 635 553
83 Flournoy Union Elementary 270 $111 82 -1
84 Merced River Union Elementary 858 $84 187 103
85 Indian Springs Elementary 220 $73 103 18
86 Big Springs Union Elementary 1,762 $57 136 50
87 North County Joint Union Elem 3,717 $46 107 20
88 Kneeland Elementary 335 $43 101 13
89 Monte Rio Union Elementary 2,298 $26 113 24
90 Bonny Doon Union Elementary 3,084 $23 111 21
91 Cuddeback Union Elementary 898 $14 83 -8
92 Armona Union Elementary 6,546 $11 125 33
93 Kit Carson Union Elementary 2,408 $10 146 53
94 Junction City Elementary 692 $6 97 3

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