March 21, 2019
There are several ways to analysis local governments including school districts. State Senator John Moorlach had his staff prepare a report on the financial soundness for California’s nearly one thousand Public School Districts entitled “Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports” (CAFR).
Culver City ranked 831 out of 940 K-12 school districts in the state, the UPN racking was 740 with a population of 40,345. Its UPN was negative $55,973,000 with a per capita UPN of negative $1,387.
Nearly 2/3 of the school districts are running negative.
By comparison Los Angeles Unified School District had a negative UPN of $10.9 billion.
Here’s how to analyze a CAFR: divide the UNP by the municipality’s population. Use this
A. In each CAFR, specifically look at the “Basic Financial Statements” for “Statement of
B. Find “Governmental Activities” in the top row.
C. Then look down the column to where it says, “Net Position,” then “Unrestricted.”
D. That’s the number you want: the Unrestricted Net Position, or UNP, for governmental
E. It either will be a positive number, or, if there are brackets around it, a negative
number. (Also notice if it says at the top “in thousands”; then you should add three more
zeroes to the number.) This number is the key because it is about purely governmental
activities. It does not include, for example, concessions from what are called “business-type activities,” such as operating a service where fees are charged to external users.
F. Next, divide the UNP by the district’s population, giving us the UNP per capita. That
shows how much you, as a resident, are affected by district finances. If it is a positive
number, especially a high one, then that is good. If it is a negative number, then there
may be problems.
6. District’s population
7. District’s UNP from its most current available audited Comprehensive Annual Financial
Report (the higher, the better; negative numbers are in parentheses)
8. District’s per capita amount (UNP divided by population – the higher, the better; negative
numbers are in parentheses)
District City County UNP
Rank Pop UNP (,000s) UNP Per
For a full copy of the report go to: https://moorlach.cssrc.us/sites/default/files/181002_CASchoolCAFRReport.pdf