Once Bankrupt Calif. District Now Debt-free

ANGELA PASCOPELLA's picture
Tuesday, June 5, 2012

An eight million dollar payment made on Friday means an end to more than decades of debt for a California school district. The lump sum was the last of about $47 million West Contra Costa Unified School District paid to California for a loan taken out more than two decades ago.

School officials admit that financial mismanagement led to bankruptcy 21 years ago. "We did not budget properly. We have more obligations than we could afford and the state cut revenue," school board president Charles Ramsey said.

The district, then known as the Richmond School District, threatened to close six weeks before the end of the 1991 school year. A lawsuit filed by Richmond parents forced the state to loan the district $29 million and kept the schools open.

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