Orland Unified falls deeper into debt

Orland Unified falls deeper into debt

ORLAND, Calif. - It was reported last December that the Orland Unified School District was $1.7 million in the red.

Since then that number has sky rocketed.

Glenn County school officials said OUSD is nearly $23 million in debt.

Last Friday, the district declared a fiscal emergency

In December of 2013, Orland teachers voted no confidence in then superintendent, Chris Von Kleist and Business Manager Laura Holderfield. The reason was for improper handling of the district's budget.

We learned Wednesday OUSD was dipping too far into its reserves.

"They dipped a little further than they should have which put them in the situation they are in," said Glenn County Superintendent Tracey Quarne.

Quarne said in a phone interview, Orland's school board was hit hard by the recession, and a bond voters approved six years ago worth $18 million has ran out.

That led to one round of job cuts: a nurse, a counselor and a teacher were let go. Now, they are bringing in professional help to tackle a much bigger problem.

"We very quickly secured permission from the state superintendent of schools to assign a fiscal expert to review their budget and their finances," Quarne said.

The OUSD said they have cut back on $1.2 million worth of spending since last December.

There will be a school board meeting Thursday night to provide more details about how OUSD plans to dig itself out of its budget hole. Their goal is to have the entire debt paid off by July.

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