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Rodolfo Linares had his first inside look at the San Ysidro School District when he noticed his son’s school computers were broken.

“I offered my services to fix computers, laptops that were broken at Sunset Elementary,” he said. “I offered my services, it’s something I’m good at.”

At first, his offer to help was refused. Linares said the new principal at Sunset, Efrain Burciaga, asked him to wait while he settled into the job. About four months later, in mid-2014, according to Linares, he got the OK, and he fixed 30 computers.

“I saw the need, I volunteered,” he said. “That’s when I started seeing things that were not right.”

What he saw was a district careening toward bankruptcy. Administrators, as well as fiscal advisers, warned that it faced imminent financial collapse.

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