Friday, July 1, 2016

Dan Moirao to stay as superintendent of South Monterey County Joint Union High School District

Starting Friday, the South Monterey County Joint Union High School District has returned to local control.

But that does not mean the district will lose its state-appointed administrator. Dan Moirao, who has been at the helm of the district since 2012, will remain as superintendent for a year.

“It’s been a lot of work but we finally regained local control,” Moirao said. “We’re fiscally solvent, we graduated more students from our two comprehensive high schools than in the (previous) decade and we’re very pleased with that. More students have reclassified from English learners, the drop out rates are falling significantly. Those are good indicators. Maybe we've done something right.”

South Monterey County, formerly King City Union High, was placed under state receivership in 2009, after the district needed a $13 million loan to cover its future debts. The state appointed an administrator and it was supposed to remain under its control until the debt was fully paid.

Although the debt has not been fully repaid (there are still about $11 million outstanding), the district has a good repayment plan, Moirao said. The district will remain under trusteeship until the debt is paid, but the newly appointed state trustee will only have veto power over financial decisions. The local board will be able to make non-financial decision independently of the trustee.

Newly appointed Linda Grundhofher, who has been in King City before, “could rescind any decision the board makes that has the potential to put the district into financial trouble again,” Moirao said. “But just on the finances. As state administrators I was in complete controls of everything.”

Moirao said the local board will begin looking for a permanent superintendent within the next year.

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