El Rancho Unified School District (ERUSD)

Gloria Rubio-Cort´es
El Rancho Unified School District (ERUSD) -- serving the city of Pico Rivera in Los Angeles County-- has made good interim leadership choices that have righted the ship temporarily. It has engaged the unions in a productive and flexible process of budget cuts that can restore the district’s financial credibility and take it off the state’s financial jeopardy list. The City of Pico Rivera and ERUSD have a good collaborative relationship that works well, as one person said, because they serve the same constituency. The passage of the State of California’s Proposition 30 may restore sorely needed funds to education, helping to reverse the dangerous trend of cutting education resources while needs grow. Luck and hope may be on ERUSD’s side these days, although many challenges lie ahead. One of the most important and difficult may be finding and retaining the right superintendent and senior managers. To retain fiscal stability and community trust, the district will likely need to continue and increase its communications about financial successes and challenges to keep informed constituents inside and outside of the school. It may be effective to employ a broad collaborative community budget team again. An elected official recently reminisced about it. As affirmed by a district insider, ERUSD is an example of the many fiscally challenged school districts in the region. Yet by sharing its story, its challenges, and the actions it is taking, it can also be helpful to others.
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