Employees of the San Diego Unified School District have been improperly dipping into student funds for personal food money, says a June 1 report to superintendent Cindy Marten from Gamy Rayburn, the district’s interim chief financial officer, on behalf of the internal audit office. “We identified that three schools executed prohibited transactions during our review period,” according to the audit of the district’s Associated Student Body funding. “Two schools purchased breakfast, lunch, and snack items for the school’s staff. Other prohibited purchases included maintenance items, equipment, gift cards, and tee-shirts for the local community. We identified $2,897 of prohibited purchases in our examination of the disbursements.”
Keeping track of fundraising was also problematic. “In nine of the ten schools we found that the schools did not retain the approved fundraising forms.
The fundraising form provides the documentation supporting the principal’s approval. It provides a level of transparency as to the group(s) conducting the fundraising and the potential uses of the funds, and whether the fundraiser is school run or conducted by an external organization.” In all, says the document, “Our review of the receipts identified 182 transactions with a value of $62,396 that did not comply with the District’s [administrative procedure] or best practices. The cash disbursements we tested in seven of ten schools were not consistently cancelled or marked paid, increasing the potential for double payments to vendors.” Causes of the discrepancies, according to auditors “included the turnover of principals and [elementary school assistants], absence of training targeted to the operation of the ASB Fund at elementary school level, and the absence of guides and reference materials to carry out specific transactions.”