Paso Robles school district addresses mismanagement, alleged corruption

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District explained its recent fiscal woes, which it largely attributes to prior mismanagement, and possibly corruption, in a memo it recently released.

In response to questions and concerns raised by the public,the memo says it has yet to be determined whether district funds or assets were stolen or misappropriated, according to the memo authored by new Superintendent Curt Dubost, school board president Joel Peterson and board member Chris Arend. The memo refutes allegations of nepotism.

Accounting errors largely explain the district’s reserves shrinking by a few million dollars or more over the past several years. Errors that could have been avoided if adequate protocols had been in place, according to the memo.

The memo also attributes shrinking reserves and district fiscal woes to rising salary and pension costs and the hiring of additional district administrators.

Other issues addressed in the memo include the district’s planned aquatics center and its $113,000 settlement agreement with former superintendent Chris Williams, who headed the agency as its reserves depleted. The memo defends the severance pay as a prudent legal move.

Despite a voter-approved bond measure that partially funds the planned facility, the district still lacks the funds to build the aquatics center that many students and parents want.

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One Comment about “Paso Robles school district addresses mismanagement, alleged corruption”

  1. MikePaso says:

    In April the Paso school district told me I had to pay about $20,000 since I am planning on building a house on my property within the school district. I went in to pay it last week and they told me the formula had changed and now I had to pay nearly $30,000. A 50% increase in a few months’ time. I can’t help but wonder if taxpayers like me are getting soaked because of mismanagement and/or corruption within the school district. If you want to build in SLO county, you have to pay the price. (In addition to an $8400 kit fox fee even though there are no kit foxes on my property and none have been seen in this area for 20 years…)

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