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Community Digest

Compton : School District Revises Spending Plan, Averts Crisis

August 27, 1992

The school system has averted a potential budget crisis by revising this year's spending plan, officials said.

Compton Unified had to approve a revised 1992-93 budget last week after the county rejected the spending plan recently adopted by the school board. County budget analysts had sent back the budget because the district failed to account for about $1.5 million in potential debts and omitted required attendance and financial reports, among other things.

The new $123-million budget accounts for the debts, adds the missing information and corrects technical errors, officials said last week. Supt. J. L. Handy would not discuss specific problems cited by the county but said his staff has demonstrated that the school district is fiscally healthy.

Compton Unified is one of 17 Los Angeles-area school districts that had to correct potentially serious budget errors, said Max Carrigan, assistant director of financial management services for the Los Angeles County Department of Education.

Outside auditors can take over budgetary decisions in districts that cannot produce budgets that satisfy state and county officials, said Maureen Saul, a financial consultant for the county education office. "It's unlikely we will reach a point where Compton will not have control of its own budget," Saul said. She cautioned, however, that she could not judge the financial health of the school system until she examined the revised budget.

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