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The March 10 story in Voice of San Diego about spending at Lincoln High School was misleading and gave readers an inaccurate portrait of district spending processes and oversight of internal spending decisions.
The district took the allegations of misspending very seriously, and even hired an outside law firm to conduct an independent review of the claims last year. The legal review found the allegations were not credible and that no funds were misspent. Those findings were shared with the VOSD prior to the publication of the story.
The legal review did not “confirm the nature of the allegations,” as the story asserts. On the contrary, it showed Mr. Blackmon and the School Site Council “failed to comply with basic requirements, such as identifying a source of funding for approved expenditures, or approving expenditures that included expenses that were not authorized under Title I.”
Also, the email cited in the story does not support Mr. Blackmon’s claims. Rather, it informed the new Lincoln High administration that the site council had approved certain expenses for which there was no available funding. At the time, all Title I funds had already been expended on projects approved by the site council.
These and other facts more favorable to the district were shared with the reporter before the story was published. The decision to reassert these disproved allegations in your Learning Curve feature and the Morning Report, along with your report speculating about a nonexistent federal investigation exacerbates the lapse in fairness and professionalism. In the spirit of transparency, I am sharing with readers the independent review of the allegations that was conducted by an outside legal firm that I sent to VOSD last week.
Maureen Magee is the communications director for the San Diego Unified School District.