In just two years, Team Brann has found a way to balance the IUSD budget and end the annual deficit that the District has experienced for many years. In 2015-16, the District will spend less than it receives in new revenues.
While few held hope that this day would come – especially so soon – Team Brann found a path to follow and balanced the budget. Others have initiated audits of past practices, but Team Brann has remained focused on today and building a better tomorrow.
To avoid bankruptcy, the IUSD sought a loan from the State in the fall of 2012. A $55 million line of credit was set up and the California Department of Education took control of the District as it became the ninth in California to enter receivership. Whenever that occurs, the elected Board loses its governing powers and becomes Advisory as the California Department of Education appoints a State Trustee to lead the District back to local control.
Under the “Brann Plan,” many measures were taken to reduce labor costs and to “right size” personnel, programs and services. Expenditures were further controlled through implementation of best practices and the clean-up of corrupt practices. Primarily, however, balance was achieved through the State’s new revenue distribution system, the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), which connects dollars with pupil needs. IUSD benefits from the LCFF due to its high percentage of qualified students.
A balanced budget is the first big step in the return of local control for IUSD. Even still, there remains an unpaid loan balance of $28.5 million, and local control will not occur until the money is repaid. Now that the annual budget works, attention will turn to addressing the options available to retire that debt. Also, importantly, the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team’s (FCMAT) rankings of key district functions must be improved considerably and sustained prior to return to local control.
Team Brann is led by Dr. Don Brann whose successful education career spans six decades and is replete with significant achievements. Brann was appointed as State Trustee in July 2013 by elected State Superintendent, Tom Torlakson. Brann previously turned around the Wiseburn School District, doubling its enrollment by creating a destination district.
Members of Dr. Brann’s team include Eugenio Villa, Chief Business Official; Joe Dominguez, Chief Deputy Superintendent; Tiffany Rudek, Chief Academic Officer; Dr. Mary Ring, Chief of Staff; and Nora Roque, Executive Director of Human Resources.