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
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|
|2||Spencer Valley Elementary||484||$13,842||1||-1|
|3||Maple Creek Elementary||49||$6,877||5||2|
|5||Oro Grande Elementary||1,170||$5,320||701||696|
|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|
|14||Cienega Union Elementary||182||$2,704||15||1|
|17||Silver Fork Elementary||255||$1,967||24||7|
|19||Mountain House Elementary||380||$1,914||26||7|
|24||Forks of Salmon Elementary||206||$1,489||30||6|
|26||San Lucas Union Elementary||414||$1,445||104||78|
|27||Lost Hills Union Elementary||2,922||$1,417||39||12|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|43||Montecito Union Elementary||6,529||$785||46||3|
|44||Laguna Joint Elementary||364||$780||34||-10|
|46||Fort Ross Elementary||645||$731||47||1|
|47||Douglas City Elementary||826||$724||73||26|
|49||Willow Grove Union Elementary||289||$666||51||2|
|50||Mountain Union Elementary||1,302||$646||56||6|
|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|
|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|
|64||Coffee Creek Elementary||220||$362||59||-5|
|65||Raisin City Elementary||2,150||$362||105||40|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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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