Nearly one-fifth of California school districts and county offices of education, including four in Santa Clara County and two in San Mateo County, face the risk of bankruptcy, state Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson has warned.

A record-high 188 of California's 1,050 districts and county offices did not receive a clean rating in a mid-year financial report required by the state. That means that within three years, projected revenues will not be able to cover expenses.

The Portola Valley School District was given a "negative" rating, meaning it may not be able to meet its financial obligations in the current or next school year. The Ravenswood City district, the Alum Rock Union district, the Berryessa Union district, the Evergreen Elementary district and the Gilroy Unified district were given "qualified" ratings, meaning they may not be able to meet fiscal obligations in the current, next or following school years.

"This is the kind of record no one wants to set," Torlakson said in prepared remarks. He blamed the schools' uncertainty on the state budget crisis.



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