Outside auditors found this spring that schools in San Diego Unified lack documents to justify how they are collecting and spending money meant for student government.

The preliminary findings, shared with a school district committee yesterday, echo a recent county grand jury report based largely on internal school district audits that highlighted similar problems.

Student government money is supposed to go towards extra activities for kids, not the basics that schools are supposed to supply. But Miramar Ranch Elementary, for example, used some of the money to fix a copier, auditors from Nigro, Nigro & White found. Mission Bay High did not have proof that students had approved some expenses, as they are supposed to.

And Loma Portal Elementary spent some of the money on razor blades at Home Depot, which “does not appear to be appropriate,” the auditors wrote.

Auditors also looked at other issues across the school district. Other problems they found included:

• Schools and school district offices sometimes made purchases without a purchase order, a weakness that could allow unapproved spending to happen. The biggest such purchase was $384,000.

• Each school has a timekeeper who is supposed to submit records of how much time employees have worked. But there is nothing to stop the timekeepers for entering unapproved overtime for themselves or other workers.


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