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Castellanos Clears Up Measure V

Problems stem from accounting errors, not foul play

William S. Hart School District Superintendent Jaime Castellanos went on air with KHTS AM 1220 Thursday morning to talk about recent criticism the District has faced over alleged misuses of Measure V funds.

Measure V was a $158 million voter approved bond that was to be used on construction or modernization of local schools. Recently, an audit reported that the District did not do as good of a job as they could have when reporting which expenditures measure V funds were used for.

At the time, KHTS reported that Castellanos maintained no wrongdoing had been done, just that some accounting measures didn’t provide the proper paper trail. And to this day, that is the case. “What it is really is an accounting situation,” said Castellanos. In fact, he says that the 6.6 million dollars in funds were used for furniture, fixtures and expenditures for Golden Valley and West Ranch High. However, Castellanos admits that the expenditures were not properly documented at the time the audit was done.

The District has now made some changes to the way they account for fund usage. Castellanos told KHTS that one accounting position was split into two, and new practices and tools have been set in place to help correct the accounting process.

The District has been working on taking care of fifty four audit exceptions that have been found against them since 2002. So far, forty one of those have been closed out and eleven are in the process of being fully corrected.  

That progress has Castellanos feeling optimistic about the next audit. “We have responded immediately to those audit reports and I feel confident when we do our 06/07 audit that it will come out that we have no exceptions because we have taken care of business.”