Audit states lax oversight on how money was spent at Montebello Unified School District

MONTEBELLO, Calif. (KABC) -- A report by the statewide Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team states in the past there was lax oversight on how money was spent at the Montebello Unified School District.

"I think that's sad. That's so sad for the students and for the kids that are attending the Montebello Unified School District," one resident said.

Last year, hundreds of students from several schools in the district walked out of class and held a rally outside headquarters. They were angry the district was laying off hundreds of teachers in the face of stiff budget cuts.

The students also wanted a thorough review of the district's financial books, which is exactly what the new report did. It found there were problems in the way the previous administration spent money.

It also alleges the former superintendent changed the system and there was misappropriation of funds. Some of that went to overtime for a few teachers in the adult education program.

Between 2012 and 2017, the former superintendent received more than $1.4 million and several teachers received about $1 million each. That comes out to about $200,000 a year.

A parent said she is trying to send her daughter to another school district.

"I just want to get my daughter out," the resident said. "Problems with money, the kids could be getting a lot more...there's always issues with getting school supplies."

On Wednesday, the district said it is studying the report and will make changes. Some people will be placed on administrative leave.

"We welcome the audit because our district wants to move forward to make sure that our students have the best possible education," said Bebe Alvarado, interim assistant superintendent.

The report said it now is up to school administrators to look at the evidence then it could be sent to the district attorney's office to determine if a crime was committed.
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