San Luis Obispo County Administrators Seeking Large Raises

After battling against giving line-level staffers raises of more than 3% a year, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors is set to approve raises of up to 23% for county administrators and management staff.

As part of the consent agenda, on Tuesday the Board of Supervisors is slated to approve modest raises for the 2,400 line-level employees represented by unions and larger pay increases for administrators, department heads and management staff. County administrators recommend awarding raises to higher level employees that greatly exceeds what they propose for the county’s line level staff.

Proposed raises for the county’s 2,400 represented employees is slated to cost the county $4,620,091 this year and $5,253,091 the following year.

The proposed raises for the county’s 500 administrators, officials and management staffers is slated to cost $5,199,000 this year and $9,796,000 next year.

On top of the modest raises all county employees are slated to receive this year, many county administrators, officials and managements staffers are also in line to receive equity raises.

In order to determine equity raises, the county conducts a survey of a selected group of government agencies and private businesses and determines if the management wages in SLO County reach the average rate of the compared entities. If not, county administrators propose equity raises to meet the average.

Proposed yearly and equity raises for the next 25 months include a 23% bump in pay for the library support services director and a 22.72% raise for the library director.

Click here to read the full article in Cal Coast News.com

Scofflaw School Districts Resisted Sharing Pay Details With State Controller

They are some of the largest and most prestigious public school districts in the county — and, indeed, in the entire state of California.

But just try to figure out how much their workers actually make.

Six of Orange County’s K-12 districts (there are 28) have not sent detailed pay data to the state controller’s office for its easy-access, apples-to-apples publicpay.ca.gov database, as they were asked to do back in … drum roll please … 2014.

The holdouts were the esteemed Irvine Unified, Saddleback Valley Unified, Orange Unified, La Habra City, Westminster and Lowell Joint school districts. Two more — Anaheim Elementary and Huntington Beach City — were also missing from the 2020 database.

We asked why.

Irvine Unified “continues to provide the public information about district salaries through the Orange County Department of Education, Transparent California and on IUSD’s website,” said spokeswoman Annie Brown.

Good luck trying to decipher anything meaningful out of the mind-numbing salary schedules listed on the official sites! And kudos to Transparent California — a private organization that arduously maintains a public pay database via a gazillion public records requests — but then, why not give the controller’s office what it asked for eight years ago, so all school districts could be easily compared side-by-side on an official, public site?

“In the interest of further transparency, (Irvine Unified) is also in the process of working on the technology to provide data to the State Controller’s voluntary system, which has specific reporting and formatting requirements that do not always align with individual school district systems,” Brown said.

Eight years, hopefully, has been enough to accomplish that. A bill is pending in the Legislature would make K-12 reporting to the controller’s centralized database mandatory.

Saddleback Valley’s Robert Craven, assistant superintendent of business services, said his district has been working to complete its data file for the controller and it should be uploaded by the time this story publishes (though it will take the controller’s office time to compile and publish the data for all the districts).

Huntington Beach City School District’s spokeswoman said it has provided data to the controller every year except last year, due to staff transitions in the administrative department. This year’s report has been successfully submitted.

Anaheim Elementary said that it has submitted data each year, but a glitch apparently kept it out of the controller’s most recent update. It’s working to fix that.

The other districts didn’t respond to requests for explanation, but, shortly after the controller asked for this data back in 2014, a teacher’s union rep told us that the request was insulting, intrusive and sends the message that teachers are overpaid.

“I don’t see anything to gain by people knowing if a teacher is on the top of the salary scale or a beginning teacher,” the union rep said. “If that person is a good teacher, what difference does it make? We don’t go to the dentist and say, ‘Can I see how much you make? Can I see your W2 before you open your mouth?’ “

We’ll note here that it’s administrators, not teachers, who seem to require the closest supervision.

Sobering factoid: O.C. districts have been far better at reporting pay data than have others across California. In O.C., only 28 % failed to submit the data last year. Statewide, it was an outrageous 74%.

Sunlight

The controller’s reporting allows us Public Citizen types to see how much each worker really, truly costs — by including not only the (often-modest) base pay public workers get, which you see in those nebulous salary schedules districts post — but everything else as well.

Overtime. Incentive pay. Deferred compensation. Vacation time cash-outs. How much each employee’s health and retirement benefits cost. Whether public agencies pick up the worker’s share of pension contributions as well as their own. And which pension formula applies to each and every worker.

Why is it important that Regular Citizens have easy access to uniform information?

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register

2 Fallen El Monte Officers Honored As ‘Brave Men’ at Vigil

Hundreds of San Gabriel Valley residents joined Saturday evening with public servants to unite at a vigil with family members of two slain El Monte police officers, who were remembered for their bravery and commitment to the community.

The sudden, violent loss of the two respected officers, Cpl. Michael Domingo Paredes, 42, and Officer Joseph Anthony Santana, 31 — both killed when they encountered a gunman inside the Siesta Inn on Garvey Avenue on Tuesday, June 14 — has shaken the overwhelmingly Latino community in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley.

“It’s unfortunate it takes tragedy to bring the community together. However, I am grateful that we are here to mourn the lives of these two brave men,” Mayor Jessica Ancona told the mourners Saturday gathered at the city’s Civic Center.

“They pursued their dreams and they did it with you — the family and the community,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, speaking in Spanish and English. “The community is standing with you.”

The pair of beloved officers were responding to a call about a possible stabbing just before 5 p.m. the day they died, officials said. They immediately came under gunfire and were taken to LAC + USC Medical Center, where they died. The suspect they encountered, Justin Flores, 35, also died in a shootout with police.

Both officers, raised in El Monte, had a strong connection to the community, according to  mourners who added to a collection of flowers and messages of thanks at the police station this week.

Paredes had served as a full-time officer with the department since July 2000, working several specialized assignments before achieving the rank of corporal, officials said. He started his law enforcement career as a cadet with El Monte police.

Santana initially joined the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in September 2018 and worked at  the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, Sgt. M. Higgins, a SBCSD spokeswoman said. He was hired by the El Monte Police Department in 2021. He also previously worked with the city as a part-time public works employee prior to his law enforcement career.

He leaves behind his wife, a daughter and two twin boys.

Paredes also leaves behind his wife, a daughter and a son.

Olga Garcia, the mother of Santana, earlier this week described him as a reserved person who shared his relentless, cutting sense of dry humor with those he was close with. He liked to play basketball, was generous with his time when off-duty and always eager to help a friend in need.

While growing up, Santana looked up to his stepfather, who was also an El Monte police officer, his mother said. That relationship inspired him to pursue a career in law enforcement.

Like Santana, Paredes was also compelled to give back to the city that raised him, his uncle, Tony Paredes, said. He said that, as a child, the El Monte officer was kind,  attentive and respected his elders.

He recalled when his nephew approached him about joining the police academy in the late ’90s and asked him to write a letter recommending the then-aspiring officer to the department.

Mayor Ancona was teary Saturday night and earlier this week, as were many others throughout town, as she explained how the sudden, violent deaths of the city’s sons has left her community reeling.

“Heartbroken doesn’t begin to express the loss that we feel,” Ancona said Tuesday night. She noted both officers were “essentially ambushed while trying to keep a family safe.”

El Monte City Councilwoman Victoria Martinez Muela at the vigil offered condolences to the officers’ families.

When thinking about what she wanted to say Saturday, she started thinking about what provides comfort.

“A blanket,” said Martinez Muela. And like one beautiful tapestry, “all of us our own unique thread. But woven together we are so strong.”

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register

State’s Juvenile Prison Workers Score $50,000 Bonuses

Gov. Gavin Newsom and six labor unions have struck a deal to give up to $50,000 in bonuses to keep juvenile prison workers on the job, as first reported by CalMatters in March.

Between now and next year, California taxpayers will pay about $54.5 million for the incentive payments, according to estimates by the Department of Finance. 

The contracts represent one of the largest retention bonuses the state has ever offered to employees.

A finance department spokesperson said the agreements estimate that 1,019 direct care and 211 non-direct care employees will meet the criteria for some amount of bonus.

The Division of Juvenile Justice, which is overseen by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, is hoping the payments will help stave off worker shortages that have beset the agency since Newsom announced the division’s dismantling. All of California’s youth prisons are expected to close by June 30, 2023, sending youth offenders to county detention centers. The division is working to place juvenile justice employees in other state jobs inside the department. 

“The stipends … are part of a thoughtful and purposeful process to ensure consistency and public safety throughout the transition,” Vicky Waters, a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, told CalMatters in an email.

Click here to read the full article in CalMatters

CalPERS Board Restores $99,000 Pension for CHP Officer Convicted of Molesting Daughters

The CalPERS Board of Administration voted Wednesday to restore the $99,000-per-year pension of a retired California Highway Patrol officer who was convicted of sexually molesting his two daughters. Johnnie Swaim, 56, of Imperial, was convicted of four felonies by a jury in 2013 in Imperial County Superior Court for molesting the two girls when each was under 10 years old. He maintained he was innocent. Swaim was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In 2016, while in corrections department custody, he filed for retirement based on his last day of work for the CHP in 2011, and started receiving a pension, then worth about $93,300 per year.

CalPERS reduced his benefit last year to about $14,000, wiping out service credit for the time he worked after the date of first felony conviction, which CalPERS identified as in 1997. The retirement system cited a state law that prevents public employees who commit felonies in the course of their work from continuing to accrue pensions. Swaim appealed, arguing that his convictions weren’t work-related. An administrative law judge sided with him last month, saying that while his crimes were “despicable,” they weren’t connected to his work as a police officer.

On Wednesday, the board voted without discussion to accept the judge’s ruling and restore Swaim’s pension. With cost-of-living increases that have been applied since 2016, it will be worth about $99,000 per year.

Click here to read the full article in the Sacramento Bee

Can Sanity Prevail in California?

Victor Davis Hanson is a resident scholar at the Hoover Institute and lifelong Californian from the Central Valley.

He recently spoke at a conference of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association members. For the naïve who want an optimistic presentation about how great California is, VDH is not your guy. He gives an accurate, if depressing, view of the current state of the state. In both his writings and speeches, he assesses just how far California has deteriorated; from homelessness, poverty, cost of living, crime, taxes, business climate, etc., ad nauseum.

The decline of California has, as most know, led to an unprecedented exodus out of the state. So much so that for the first time in its history, California has lost representation in Congress. In addition to the 2 million people who have already left California, far more are seriously considering it. Facebook now has a group called “Life after California” with rapidly growing membership.

But most Californians are unlikely to leave, at least anytime soon.

They will stay either because they are willing to tolerate all that is wrong here, or they are not able to leave.

A Central Valley farmer isn’t going to pick up his orchard and move to Texas.

Neither is the retired couple who want to stay close to family members, including grandchildren.

But simply because tens of millions will stay in California does not mean they are oblivious to its ills.

Those deciding to stick it out here in the formerly Golden State are constantly on the lookout for some faint signs that things might get better. Last week’s primary election returns might provide such a sign, although it would be foolish to believe there has been a political sea change.

First, the good news. It now appears that voters in the most liberal city in America have had it with rising crime. Given that you can count the number of Republicans in San Francisco on two hands, the rejection of the city’s District Attorney, Chesa Boudin, certainly wasn’t a partisan fight. San Franciscans of all political stripes simply felt unsafe on city streets as tens of thousands had their cars or homes broken into. It doesn’t take a conservative to want serious criminal acts to result in serious criminal penalties, including incarceration.

As in San Francisco, crime and homelessness are top issues.

Throughout California, even within Democrat-on-Democrat races, the more moderate candidates seemed to be outperforming their more progressive counterparts, although many races remain too close to call.

Whether California’s election results represent a meaningful shift away from radical progressivism or merely a blip in the relentless leftward movement in California is the subject of a national debate. Even the New York Times wrote that the recall of Boudin was “a stark warning to the Democratic Party.”

Issa Slams AOC, Pelosi Over SCOTUS Security Bill Stall: ‘It is Astonishing’

 California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa slammed both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and “Squad” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., over blocking a bill to give Supreme Court justices and their families police protection.

Issa torched Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez as the bill remains stalled in the House after passing the Senate unanimously last month, going after the pair for preventing House members from “voting their conscience.”

“The House legislation I authored already passed the Senate 100-0 and I don’t know of a single Member of Congress who will end up opposing it,” Issa said in a press release first obtained by Fox News Digital. “It is astonishing that Speaker Pelosi and AOC are not only blocking this bill, but also bragging about it on social media.”

“Enough is enough. President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, Senator Schumer, and AOC need to tell their shock troops to stop breaking the law and cease threatening people in their homes,” Issa continued. “And Speaker Pelosi should let my Democrat colleagues vote their conscience on this vital bill.”

“This essential security needs to happen before somebody gets killed — because it almost happened last week,” the California Republican added.

Issa’s statement came Monday, two days after Ocasio-Cortez touted her blocking of the bill that didn’t see a single “no” vote in the Senate — even from the top Democrat, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

“Fly-out days are also days of maximum high jinks from party leadership, both Democratic and Republican Party leadership,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a Saturday Instagram Live video.

“I wake up this morning and I start to hear murmurs that there is going to be an attempt to pass the Supreme Court supplemental protection bill the day after gun safety legislation for schools and kids and people is stalled,” she said.

“Oh, so we can pass protections for us and here easily, right? But we can’t pass protections for everyday people?” the New York Democrat continued. “I think not.”

Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow “Squad” members have actively pushed “defund the police” rhetoric while simultaneously paying thousands of dollars in campaign funds for private security forces.

Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., and other members of the far-left “Squad” collectively spent over $325,000 on private security in 2021 despite promoting the “defund the police” movement during the George Floyd unrest of 2020, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records reviewed by Fox News Digital. 

Click here to read the full article at FoxNews

David Shribman: California’s Trailer for November’s Blockbuster

e a 435-part series — one episode for every congressional district — and the contours of the plot became clear in a much-ignored Tuesday primary fight in the state’s 41st congressional district. One of the victorious nominees believes the 2020 election was stolen — and he has the endorsement of former President Donald J. Trump. The other is casting the fall contest as a proxy vote about the future of American democracy.

It is a collision of two implacable positions.

It also is the theme of the debate over the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol spawned by the congressional hearings that began Thursday night. It is the theme of fights within the Republican Party. It almost certainly will be the theme of historians’ examinations of our troubled 21st century passage.

“The state of our politics is the most important question in our politics,” said Bruce Cain, a Stanford University political scientist. “This is a preview of the November election.”

Other preview elements of the fall campaign swiftly became apparent in recent days here in California. Despite its reputation for idiosyncratic politics — it elected Ronald Reagan and Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr. in the same decade — California often speaks with a stentorian voice. The primaries showed a distinct impatience with Democrats, especially on crime, in a state that has voted Democratic in the last eight elections.

But nowhere in the country has the future-of-democracy theme been set out as clearly and as early as it has been in an aptly named “jungle primary” — a raucous procedure where the top two candidates regardless of party advance to the November general election — that played out here.

One of the finalists is a Republican, Rep. Ken Calvert, 69. He has been in the House for 30 years and has steadily drifted rightward since his days as an intern for the 1973 Senate Watergate hearings; indeed, in an assessment less than a decade ago, the respected Almanac of American Politics described him as “less conservative and outspoken than many of his firebrand colleagues from California.” No more. The man who once drew far-right opprobrium by criticizing radio host Rush Limbaugh voted with Mr. Trump 97% of the time and won enthusiastic backing from the 45th president, who said “Ken has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

The other is a Democrat. He is Will Rollins, 37, a former federal prosecutor whose internet home page begins with a trumpet blast on the democratic-rule issue: “Let’s kick out extreme politicians like Ken Calvert who spread the big lies and elect a new generation of leaders willing to save our democracy.” Mr. Rollins, who stresses his experience in terrorism and national-security cases and who prosecuted Jan. 6 rioters, rolled out an introductory video this spring that bid voters to “elect a new generation of Americans willing to save our democracy.”

The two are competing in a redrawn congressional district and most analysts believe Mr. Calvert has an advantage from his incumbency and having about three times as much campaign money at his disposal, though Mr. Rollins in recent weeks has kept pace in the money race.

Mr. Calvert’s election-night statement emphasized moving the country “in a different direction from the constant state of crisis and inflation we have found ourselves under President Biden” — a theme that resonated throughout California in Tuesday’s primary, where the once-impregnable Democratic advantage seemed to crack.

But Mr. Rollins brushed aside his rival’s characterization of him as “a radical newcomer to our community who supports more of the same failed Biden/​Pelosi agenda” and said that he would seek votes of Republicans repelled by Mr. Calvert’s growing affinity for Mr. Trump. His campaign rhetoric warns of conspiracy theorists who want to “erode our democracy” and “spread the big lies.”

But the integrity of elections is an issue that cuts two ways. Political figures of both parties employ that rhetoric. Trump-aligned Republicans argue that the 2020 election was stolen. Democrats and some establishment Republicans warn that Mr. Trump’s allies will only accept election results that are in their favor, especially in a possible third Trump presidential campaign.

“You can see what the narrative will be: ‘constitutional foundations’ and ‘democracy-in-peril,’” said Claire Leavitt, a Smith College political scientist. “The protesters and the insurrection supporters don’t believe they were overturning democracy. They believe they were fulfilling democracy. The progressives who want to prosecute them feel they are doing the same thing. That is where the problem comes in: Nobody believes that American democracy is something that should be taken lightly — but different groups work out of different sets of information.”

That phenomenon is writ large in the district where Mr. Calvert and Mr. Rollins will be competing — and where pugilists on both sides are primed to mobilize.

“The Republican base is going to be fired up over this, and so will the Democratic base,” said Morris P. Fiorina, the political scientist whose Unstable Majorities: Polarization, Party Sorting and Political Stalemate examines the state of contemporary American civic life. “The Republican candidate will be a Trump supporter because it works for him. The Democrat will talk about the end of democracy because they don’t have any other issues to talk about. The other issues in the campaign are all bad for them.”

The latest Quinnipiac Poll showed that Americans believe that the most urgent issue facing the country is inflation — a condition Republicans will lay at the door of President Joe Biden, whose performance on the economy won the approval of only 28% of registered voters, with 64% disapproving. Overall, the president’s approval ratings are at 35%, with 56% disapproving of how he is conducting his presidency — his lowest figures yet.

Click here to read the full article in Pittsburgh Post Gazette

California Election

California’s Primary Tuesday is over. With sights set on November, candidates had a few brief moments to celebrate or ponder what went wrong, before regrouping and racing toward the general election, now just 150 days away. Winners — and losers — emerged quickly across California and the Sacramento region on a low-turnout Election Day. Here are a few from Tuesday night.

Gavin Newsom — again. Less than a year after California voters resoundingly rejected September’s $200 million all-comers recall effort to replace the governor, Newsom took home 56% of the vote on Tuesday night. He will face Republican state Sen. Brian Dahle in November.

LOSERS

Sacramento stalwarts seeking higher office. Whether Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert’s independent bid to become California’s next attorney general or conservative Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones’ run at Congress, the county’s top two law enforcement officers’ law-and-order campaigns struggled to a rough night at the polls. WINNER Another Jones — Placer County Democrat Kermit Jones, who glided past the Sacramento County lawman to the top of the 3rd Congressional District race with 39% of the vote and will face Trump-endorsed Republican Rocklin Assemblyman Kevin Kiley in November, in a contest that could in some ways test Placer’s reputation as a reliably red enclave.

WINNER

Thien Ho, Sacramento County Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney, with his history-making election win to become Sacramento County’s first Asian American district attorney and the first person of color to ever lead the office. One of the prosecutors hand-picked to put away Golden State Killer and East Area Rapist Joseph DeAngelo, Ho held a strong lead over progressive attorney and former Sacramento County prosecutor Alana Mathews in a race that hinged on public safety in the wake of two mass shootings and spikes in violent crime. “The community has spoken,” Ho said Tuesday night. “They want an experienced prosecutor.” LOSER Davis developers. Voters were on track to reject Davis Measure H, the plan to annex more than 100 acres on Davis’ east side for a planned “innovation center” of research space, offices, housing and retail near Mace Boulevard and Interstate 80.

Advocates for the Davis Innovation and Sustainability Campus, as it would be called, said the 102-acre development on agricultural land would draw ag and tech firms to Davis and keep more UC Davis graduates in the city. Developers offered a smaller footprint — trimming housing and commercial space — but Davis voters, historically finicky on development issues and deeply concerned about traffic congestion on an already-clogged I-80 corridor, weren’t convinced. WINNER The teacher who just may find herself in a November contest with incumbent Tony Thurmond to become California’s next superintendent of public instruction. She’s San Francisco public school teacher and administrator Ainye Long. In an Instagram message from her car Wednesday, she sounded as surprised as any next-to-impossible longshot with no war chest running for state office against a well-funded incumbent would be expected to be. “It’s still early,” Long said, “but we’re officially in second place. It’s still early, though, so keep it coming. Keep it coming.” Long’s bare-bones campaign earned her 11.7% of the vote. That’s enough, so far, for a showdown with Thurmond who, despite endorsements from the California Democratic Party and the powerful California Teachers Association, and despite raising $1.5 million in campaign cash, managed about 46% of the vote as of Wednesday.

Click here to read the full article in the Sacramento Bee

Secrecy Shrouds Pandemic Spending at Some California Schools

Burlingame schools spent more than $300,000 on Chromebooks. Long Beach Unified spent nearly $13,000 on music recorders. Redding Elementary School District spent about $1,800 on a reading intervention program.

Districts bought hand sanitizer from Amazon, printer cartridges from Office Depot and hot spots from T-Mobile. Schools issued purchase orders for textbooks, counseling services and buses — all detailed in response to CalMatters’ public records requests.

Some California school districts, though, simply won’t say how they’ve spent their pandemic money, courtesy of American taxpayers.

In the past two years, state and federal lawmakers passed an array of measures that allocated $33.5 billion in one-time funds to California’s K-12 schools to address the pandemic’s impacts. With no central accounting for that unprecedented infusion of cash, CalMatters spent three months examining stimulus spending at select school districts.

Oakland Unified and San Francisco Unified both refused to provide spending records to CalMatters. Four other districts, including Los Angeles Unified, haven’t said no — they just haven’t provided any records more than two months after being asked.

Some district officials complain about an overwhelming amount of reporting requirements: quarterly expenditure reports to the state, spending plans for certain funds, special federal audits for districts that receive larger amounts of money.

Even so, the specific vendors receiving massive paydays and the actual items districts are purchasing are often a mystery, education advocates and some parents said.

To begin to understand where the money is actually going, CalMatters submitted public records requests in March to more than 30 California public school districts – including the 20 biggest and 10 random districts that represent the geographic and demographic diversity of the state. We also asked for records from a chain of nine virtual charter schools.

Documents showing how governments spend taxpayer money are among the most basic available under the California Public Records Act. Agencies are supposed to respond to requests within 10 days, although they can delay actual production if they need additional time to compile the records. If they deny a record, the requester can sue.

Some districts responded almost immediately, providing spreadsheets with transaction-level detail and extra records to help interpret the data.

Others proved more difficult. Several districts initially pointed to generic reports with lump sum categories of spending posted online. Another provided a PDF in which the names of vendors were illegible. After being reminded of their obligation under the state’s public records act and notified that other districts had readily complied, most relented.

“Nothing’s more basic to transparency than accounting for how public agencies spend money,” said David Loy, the nonprofit First Amendment Coalition’s legal director. “You’re spending the public’s money. You should be accounting for how you’re doing it.”

The biggest district in the state — Los Angeles Unified — acknowledged CalMatters’ March 14 request but had not provided any records as of this week. Three other districts — Stockton Unified, Elk Grove Unified in Sacramento County and Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified in Humboldt County — also have yet to provide the records months after they were requested. Stockton and Elk Grove are among the state’s 20 largest.

The California Virtual Academies, nine charter schools closely tied to a publicly traded corporation, provided spending records for last fiscal year only. But the schools refused to provide any records for this fiscal year. Francis Burke, the schools’ business official, told CalMatters in an email that the accounting for various expenditures can change over the course of a year. The schools won’t release additional records until later this year, Burke wrote.

Oakland Unified, which refused multiple times to provide any detailed spending records, had been in trouble before on its stimulus spending. According to state records, the district misspent stimulus funds last fiscal year and had to reimburse $1 million from other accounts.

“Unfortunately, The District is unable to locate any document responsive to your request,” Geri Baskind, a district legal assistant, wrote in response to CalMatters’ March 3 request for records.

Click here to read the full article in CalMatters