Next Wednesday, on December 13, OUSD’s Board is expected to vote on extremely painful midyear budget cuts. In the midst of that pain, and in response to a recent report by the state’s Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT), the staff is supposed to present an “action plan'” to strengthen the district’s fiscal management.
If we ever want to end the cycle of budget crises, this FCMAT action plan and, more importantly, its actual implementation, are critical.
Continuing our #OUSDBudget series, we’ll be posting a few blogs this week on FCMAT’s findings on OUSD’s fiscal management to provide context, share a glimmer of good news, lay out the bad news, and consider implications for the future of Oakland public education. Each one will be a relatively 1-2 page quick read versus the 40-page report.
Our goal with this is for the educational leadership of Oakland across all sectors to share a common understanding of the problems so that we can be the generation that breaks the decades-long cycle of budget crises.
Who or what is FCMAT?
The Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team (FCMAT, pronounced “Fick-Matt”) is a non-profit organization created by state law (AB 1200
) in 1991 to help local education agencies manage their finances.
OUSD and FCMAT have had a decades-long, on-again, off-again relationship. FCMAT first looked at OUSD’s finances in 1999. During State Receivership in 2003-2008, they were brought in regularly; this 350 page report
from 2007 reveals just how deep some of OUSD’s fiscal problems go. In a subsequent 2008 report, as part of its analysis to justify returning the district fully to local control, FCMAT gave OUSD as score of on 6.23 out of 10 rating on Fiscal Management – a solid D-minus
(but it was a huge increase from up from 0.73 in 2003!).
The Most Recent FCMAT Report
The OUSD Board requested FCMAT’s help again earlier this year in April 2017 (coincidentally, the same month back in 1999 – 18 years ago – when the Board first voted to request FCMAT support). At the August 23 OUSD Board meeting, FCMAT presented its “Fiscal Health Risk Analysis