February 13, 2017
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces Funding Relief for Schools Closed Because of Lake Oroville Flood Danger
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today directed the California Department of Education (CDE) to work with public schools closed because of evacuations and flood dangers from overflows at Lake Oroville.
Schools can qualify for relief from the loss of Average Daily Attendance (ADA) funding, the main revenue source for local school districts, Torlakson said.
Counties and cities near Lake Oroville and the surrounding area issued evacuation orders for nearly 190,000 residents in Butte, Sutter and Yuba counties.
“Any schools forced to close as a result of the evacuations may be able to recoup these important ADA funds,” Torlakson said. “I’ve directed my staff to help affected school administrators through the process of applying for waivers due to school closures. Schools in California should not suffer financially for putting the safety of our students first based on these unprecedented flood dangers.”
Lake Oroville has the tallest dam in the nation and provides flood control for the region. The dam has two spillways to release water and prevent overflow, but both have severe problems, including erosion that caused a hole almost the size of a football field and at least 40 feet deep in the lower part of the main spillway channel.
Rainstorms have pushed Lake Oroville to near-capacity. Based on potential flood risks, government officials started ordering evacuations during the weekend. Torlakson has been in regular telephone contact with Superintendent Tim Taylor at the Butte County Office of Education, were most evacuations are in effect and 13 of 15 school districts were closed. Butte County has about 31,000 total public school students.
Approval of school closures may be requested by submitting three copies of Form J-13A (DOC). For more guidance on ADA relief, see the CDE’s Management Advisory 90-01 on ADA Credit During Periods of Emergency.
Additionally, the CDE Early Education and Support Division is providing information to agencies that are dealing with emergencies that have closed centers, preschools, and providers. In these instances, the EESD provides the following information:Contractors are to refer to the Management Bulletin (MB) 10-09 Web page for specific guidance and funding direction.
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Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100