Paso Robles school district accused of mismanagement, corruption

September 25, 2019

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District explained its recent fiscal woes, which it largely attributes to prior mismanagement, and possibly corruption, in a memo it recently released.

In response to questions and concerns raised by the public,the memo says it has yet to be determined whether district funds or assets were stolen or misappropriated, according to the memo authored by new Superintendent Curt Dubost, school board president Joel Peterson and board member Chris Arend. The memo refutes allegations of nepotism.

Accounting errors largely explain the district’s reserves shrinking by a few million dollars or more over the past several years. Errors that could have been avoided if adequate protocols had been in place, according to the memo.

The memo also attributes shrinking reserves and district fiscal woes to rising salary and pension costs and the hiring of additional district administrators.

Other issues addressed in the memo include the district’s planned aquatics center and its $113,000 settlement agreement with former superintendent Chris Williams, who headed the agency as its reserves depleted. The memo defends the severance pay as a prudent legal move.

Despite a voter-approved bond measure that partially funds the planned facility, the district still lacks the funds to build the aquatics center that many students and parents want.


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slocorruptionhater

I often like to sound the corruption alarm, but I wonder if we are just dealing with garden variety incompetence here.


womanwhohasbeenthere

So many school districts are mismanaged across California. Board members run for the office thinking they can do something for the students and their education. However, they end up making decisions about budgets, construction, transportation issues, etc. that they know little to nothing about, and thus are at the mercy of the administrators who may or may not be telling the full truth. It’s a lot like city government in that regard. Staff controls the flow of information and the debates, and no one controls the staff. But taxpayers, especially property owners, get soaked for the bill.


And don’t forget, the grand jury found many districts (who sadly remained unnamed) had squandered the developer fees that were supposed to go for building new schools. So sad, such a mess.


ottersavers

When I taught special education for a district in SLO county ( hint hint), I was told not to suggest expensive adaptive equipment ( a modified mouse) at the IEP meeting for my special needs student.I was under the impression that as his teacher I was to advocate for his needs ( so naive of me, my worst fault). I was told privately by another member of the IEP team better not to mention this expense as an untenured teacher!!! After an eight year investment in my education to become a Ed.S., this was one of the deciding factors for leaving education. There are other stories of nepotism, illegal workloads, extreme backstabbing and overall repugnant behavior by the people ‘in charge’, one in particular who sits on a local city council. Thank God I don’t have to work with/ for “them” anymore. But hey, I work in the best restaurant in SLO county so no bigs, I am free. Prater if you’re in the area, come say hello!


jimmy_me

Look at any academic institution close enough and you’ll find the same thing. Look at any government organization long enough and you’ll see the same thing there as well. Administrators have the power to give themselves pay increases and the power expand their numbers. It’s not the teachers and ditch diggers causing the problems; this is pure corruption by administrators.


citizensoldier

“…this is pure corruption by administrators.”

pre·cise·ly




Jim i wore a tie today-the highwaymen


ottersavers

Ahhh, the joys of waitressing. No administration!!!


Cmonnow

Hiring additional supervisors… Of course. Maybe the hiring of such should have a prerequisite that they have to explain in a public forum why these high salary positions are needed. Government is so top heavy as It is. It is after all our money and our kids. And why I would love for Paso Robles high school to have all first class athletic facilities…It seems like for the money an aquatic center sort of caters to a narrow segment. Just seems like in the grand scheme of things during lean times financially maybe the money could be better spent. Finally I’m not sure who is supposed to be watching who but we need to hold their damn feet to the fire regarding the handling of the money. Corruption is stealing from the kids.


Paso_citizen

PRJUSD is corrupt and operating like someone that has something to hide. I, as a taxpayer, demand more transparency from organizations that are spending my tax dollars.


You can bet that soon (very soon) the PRJUSD board will ask for more revenue from us, because they have so many things that need to be fixed, etc,. etc,


Taxpayers – this is the time (more than ever) to demand detailed explanations of how our money is

being spent.


If all they can offer is some lame excuses about mismanagement, accounting errors, hiring of about 30 additional full time administrators, etc is where all the millions in reserve went – then maybe it is time to get rid of them.


panflash

“The memo also attributes shrinking reserves and district fiscal woes to rising salary and pension costs and the hiring of additional district administrators.”


Yeah- what a surprise, huh? The question is: does anybody truly have the courage to actually do anything about it?