Soon after this audit of La Jolla High’s Associated Student Body fund was released, I informed Voice of San Diego, U-T San Diego and La Jolla Light that I asked our staff to contact the district attorney’s office and request they open a criminal investigation. Most audits I have reviewed while on the San Diego Unified school board have found mostly mis-categorization of funds or sloppy paperwork and poor oversight. But the amount of missing funds at La Jolla High is so great and the number of egregious violations of proper practice so numerous, it requires a criminal investigation.

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In addition, the audit committee (which I sit on) called (many, many, many months ago) for proper training of both staff and ASB officers to ensure they not only know how to do their jobs properly, but are made fully aware of the fiduciary responsibility they have when being elected as ASB officers. Sadly, like so many structural dysfunctions at San Diego Unified, nothing has yet occurred. I am confident that our new superintendent will ensure that those who undertake these functions receive proper training and those responsible for ignoring procedures are held accountable. Our auditors spend an inordinate amount of time of investigating ASB accounts (total of about $6 million?) and not enough time reviewing $1 billion of district expenditures.

Dana Shelburne’s reassignment is unrelated to the La Jolla High audit, and is separate from the ongoing investigation of financial misappropriation of ASB funds. His new position will allow the district to take advantage of his two decades of knowledge and expertise as a principal, and add value to our upcoming discussions on school re-construction issues. Community meetings to discuss high school cluster facility and reconfiguration issues will initiate in September.

Barnett commentary has been edited for clarity. See anything in there we should fact check? Tell us here. Want to respond? Submit a commentary.

Scott Barnett

Scott Barnett is a San Diego Unified School District board trustee.

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