In San Ysidro, California, a border town in Southern California near Tijuana, school administrators have been turned over to the San Diego County District Attorney for investigation. Former Superintendent Julio Fonseca and former Deputy Superintendent Arturo Sanchez-Macias were found to have likely conspired to misappropriate funds during the 2015-2016 school year. At issue is the allegation that these “leaders” illegally gave themselves $300,000 in funding meant for students in schools with over 60% English Learners and 80% in poverty. The two reportedly pocketed money deemed for English Learner programs and other special projects.
We hear a lot of rhetoric about the fact that Public Charter Schools (PCS) are a breeding ground for administrative shenanigans like this. I think it is important to address this large elephant in the room. Obviously, Traditional Public Schools (TPS) are just as capable of producing administrative thieves as anyone else. The problem is that we don’t typically have special audits in any given district. Such an audit requires a vote by a majority of the Board of Education. Often, the board and Administrators are too closely jelled and don’t go against one another. Thus, we do not have equitable accountability established for all public schools.
In fairness, this type of fraud is rampant anywhere where there are large pots of money on the table and little accountability. It’s pretty easy to syphon a few thousand here and a few thousand there, especially when one can be relatively certain that a forensic audit is not likely.
It’s a shame that with all of the ways children in America are being exploited, neglected, and abused that this has to also be a more carefully looked at issue in all districts throughout California and nationally.
Shame on these guys.
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