School district must pay $1.2M | SierraSun.com

School district must pay $1.2M

Approval of charters for two area schools by the Nevada County Office of Education will obligate the Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District to pay an unexpected $1.2 million this year.

On Feb. 25, Tahoe-Truckee school officials were sent a letter notifying them of their financial obligation to the students who reside within the district but attend the charter schools. The schools are sponsored by the Nevada County Office of Education located in Nevada City.

Tahoe-Truckee Unified falls under the umbrella of the Placer County Office of Education.

Because the Tahoe-Truckee district collects much of its revenue from local property taxes, making it a Basic Aid District, it is responsible to fund students who live within its taxable boundaries but who do not attend its schools, according to a district release that cited the “obscure” California education code sections brought forward by the Nevada County Office of Education.

“The district is obligated to pay this sum even though it did not grant the charters,” Jo Lynn Wilson, Tahoe-Truckee’s interim superintendent, said in the release.

The “unforeseen” expenditure of more than $1 million comes at a time when the Tahoe-Truckee district and teachers are negotiating a new contract. When the Nevada County Office of Education’s demand was announced by district officials at Wednesday’s school board meeting, it was met with some skepticism by union members.

During public comment, teacher Gina Stephens cited comments made by past board members, superintendents and current trustees about supporting equitable pay for teachers.

“Now we will be told that this was the year that the charter thing came through,” she said.

She was greeted with a standing ovation.

The school district, meanwhile, has contacted its legal and financial services experts to explore its options, Wilson said.

The Nevada County Office of Education approved charters for two schools that had previously been chartered by the Twin Ridges Elementary School District.

” Andrew Cristancho

Sierra Sun