Money Intended to Help Poor Students Spent for Other Purposes

The San Diego Unified School District is spending thousands of dollars in federal grants for supplies, rather than using the money for its intended purpose of helping poor students, the Voice of San Diego reports.

The online news source conducted a quick review of district spending and found more than $3,500 in “thermometers, carpet cleaner and other purchases that contradict San Diego Unified guidelines on how schools should spend federal money earmarked to help its neediest students.”

Wangenheim Middle School in Mira Mesa spent more than $1,000 on medical supplies for all students, using money intended to help low-income kids succeed in school. Point Loma High spent more than $800 on exercise balls and other gym supplies, and planned to use more federal funds to buy workout DVDs, including, “Dancing With the Stars: Latin Cardio Dance.” Lincoln High set aside $500 to pay for a steel drum band to perform for students who had perfect attendance. Hoover High spent $424 on rags, vacuum cleaner filters and other supplies. Field Elementary spent more than $100 on jump ropes and tetherballs.

Zollie Stevenson Jr., formerly of the U.S. Department of Education, said: “It takes away from the primary purpose of Title I (federal funds for disadvantaged students) – to have a direct impact on student achievement. Other local funds are supposed to pay for those things. It shouldn’t supersede what already exists.” (Source: Voice of San Diego, July 4.)

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