By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
A look at the financial books topped Tuesday’s meeting of the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education. Everything was in order, but the school system’s continuing money woes didn’t go unnoticed.
The audit, conducted by an outside firm, was accepted by the board.
It covers all financial records and accounts in the district, all the funds for the district, student body, cafeteria accounts and all the other funds that are under the control or the jurisdiction of the GGUSD.
The audit also reports an examination of compliance with laws, rules and regulations for specific program areas.
Board Vice President George West commented that, “This is probably the most important document that we review as school board members . . . it examines the scarce resources that the tax payers provide us are well managed . . .the only troubling fact is that we are spending more than we are bringing in.”
The GGUSD’s budget, like that of many public school systems, is being balanced by the use of reserves.
West also mentioned that the future should be interesting, given that there is now a new governor and a new state government, which may mean an eventual change for the state’s budget woes.
The next item on the agenda was a resolution to approve authorization for Superintendent Laura Schwalm to work with Orange County Department of Education, other Orange County school districts and the Orange County Special Education Alliance to ensure that there are adequate mental health services for special education students.
The resolution is relation to Assembly Bill 3632 that mandates that the county mental health agency provide mental health services to special education students.
In previous years, the Governor vetoed the funds and as such, the mental health agency has not provided it’s services.
Now, $76 million has been appropriated to support the mental health services for the 2010-11 fiscal year. Orange County will receive approximately $12 million and there will be services available through the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHC) and the OCDE through June 30, 2011.
The OCHC has said that they will only provide services if the school districts provide additional funding to OCHCA beyond the funds received by the state.
Giving the superintendent the permission to work in such a situation will help ensure that services are rendered or that the correct course of legal action can be followed if necessary.