February 17, 2020

Governor joins those wanting to hold school districts more accountable for spending

In an audit last fall of three districts’ spending, CA State Auditor Elaine Howle called on the State Board of Education and the Legislature to hold districts more accountable for how they spend money they receive from the Local Control Funding Formula. In the state budget that he presented this month, Gov. Gavin Newsom included two proposals that respond to the audit, setting the stage for negotiations with legislators who have introduced bills that mirror two of Howle’s key recommendations.

The audit of San Diego Unified, Clovis Unified, and Oakland Unified found that it was often impossible to track the spending for English learners, foster and homeless youth and low-income children. Districts receive extra money under the funding formula for these children, based on their proportions of enrollment, and in return are required to provide them with improved and increased services and programs. Along with a lack of transparency, the audit said that some expenditures appeared to be misspent on all students without clearly benefiting the targeted student groups.

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