The California State Auditor’s office has released their findings on Bellflower Unified School District (BUSD) June 23 which details the district amassed $83 million in reserves which exceeds the minimum amount required by the State while skimping on services to students, especially students with disabilities.
Bellflower Unified School District (Bellflower) has amassed a significant financial reserve—as much as $83 million in fiscal year 2020–21, which far exceeds the minimum amount the State requires. Bellflower consistently has not spent the amount it and its Board of Education (board) had determined was necessary to provide services to its students. Over the last six years, Bellflower could have used some of its available funding to address students’ needs and ensure that it consistently and adequately provided special education services to its students with disabilities.
Bellflower also has not consistently provided required services and support to students with disabilities. According to decisions the Office of Administrative Hearings issued, Bellflower did not assess students who demonstrated indicators of need or did not provide the services that students’ Individualized Education Programs called for. By not providing these mandated services, the district deprived students of their rights to access equal education.
The audit also addresses the districts attempts to not be transparent about its operations through the denial of fulfilling public records requests and not consistently complying with open meeting laws.
Read the full audit here.