Oakland Unified chided for ‘highly unusual’ and ‘suspicious’ fiscal practices

Oakland Unified has enough money to pay its bills through the end of the year, but the way it has spent its money and reported its budget has raised red flags for an independent agency that evaluated its finances. The agency ran into evidence of “intentional manipulation of the general fund balance” so that it maintained minimally required state reserve levels. These inappropriate transfers in and out of its general fund “hindered an honest and open assessment of the district’s current financial condition by its current leadership and outside agencies,” the report concludes. “These practices are highly unusual, could be considered suspicious and should be further investigated.” The report says the district’s general fund “has substantial off-book interfund borrowing that must be thoroughly audited, quantified and repaid.”

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