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San Ysidro School District bonds downgraded

State takeover likely, says Fitch

Indicted San Ysidro schools superintendent Manuel Paul
Indicted San Ysidro schools superintendent Manuel Paul

Fitch Ratings yesterday (Nov. 18) downgraded San Ysidro School District bonds: $82 million of general obligation bonds were dropped to BB+ from BBB+ and $29.1 million of certificates of participation were downgraded to BB- from BBB-.

In the absence of a state loan, the district will deplete its cash balances in May of next year, says Fitch, noting "the increasing likelihood that the state will appoint an outside administrator to manage the district's finances and operations."

Adds Fitch, "The district faces added challenges from a corruption scandal that has led to the indictment of a school-board member and its former superintendent."

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Indicted San Ysidro schools superintendent Manuel Paul
Indicted San Ysidro schools superintendent Manuel Paul

Fitch Ratings yesterday (Nov. 18) downgraded San Ysidro School District bonds: $82 million of general obligation bonds were dropped to BB+ from BBB+ and $29.1 million of certificates of participation were downgraded to BB- from BBB-.

In the absence of a state loan, the district will deplete its cash balances in May of next year, says Fitch, noting "the increasing likelihood that the state will appoint an outside administrator to manage the district's finances and operations."

Adds Fitch, "The district faces added challenges from a corruption scandal that has led to the indictment of a school-board member and its former superintendent."

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2

San Ysidro was the school district that several years ago managed to pass a half-billion dollar bond measure, far in excess of its immediate need or plans. And my recollection is that it passed it when the 2/3 super-majority rule still applied. To pass that measure, it took rounding up masses of low-information, brain-dead or near brain-dead voters, most of whom, if they knew anything about the measure, figured that they would never have to pay for it. (The landlords would, you see. Uh, huh.)

What such a state takeover would look like isn't clear to me, and for what sort of duration. It sure seems as if the normal stuff of school district politics doesn't happen in So County, and is replaced by graft, bad financial management, and a host of other things that detract from the mission of educating kids.

This former supe is a study. His Ricardo Montalban-style Latin good looks are striking. Too bad that what's on the inside doesn't match the exterior.

Nov. 20, 2013

Visduh: South County's school district political tumult makes news, but doesn't make people feel confident. I, too, wonder about a possible state takeover in San Ysidro. Would it be like the state takeovers in Michigan? Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 20, 2013

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