The Los Angeles Unified School District is confronting an estimated $200 million in emergency coronavirus costs — after swiftly moving to provide computers for all students and food for their families — but it’s not clear from where crucial additional funding might ultimately come, Supt. Austin Beutner told The Times.
The mounting expenses will not immediately push the district’s $7.87-billion general fund into insolvency, but the unbudgeted spending probably violates state law requiring school systems to maintain a three-year balanced budget. Although state officials may relax those rules in the current crisis, they have not committed to covering the costs incurred by L.A. Unified — especially with state tax revenue plummeting.
“We know the crisis is having a big impact on the students and families we serve and it’s having a big impact on school budgets as well,” Beutner said.
The priority, he said, has been to address a community crisis — and sort out who pays the bills later, Beutner said.