More California school districts face potential financial problems, according to a report released Monday by the state Department of Education.

The department prepares semiannual financial status reports on the state’s 1,077 local education agencies, primarily school districts.

The latest status report, released this week, placed 174 such agencies on its watch list, up from 126 in the previous report earlier this year.

“We are seeing an alarming spike in the number of school districts that are having trouble meeting their financial obligations,” state superintendent of public instruction Jack O’Connell said in a news release.

“I have grave concerns that more and more school districts will face financial crisis unless state lawmakers find solutions to the state budget crisis and provide adequate funding for our schools,” he said.

The report assigns a “qualified certification” to districts with the potential to not meet their financial obligations for the current or two subsequent fiscal years. In this week’s report, 160 districts received a qualified certification.

A negative certification is assigned when a district will be unable to meet its financial obligations for the remainder of the current year or for the subsequent fiscal year without any changes.

The report assigns a negative certification to 14 California school districts.

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