Clerical error costs San Diego Unified thousands meant for homeless students

Posted at 4:48 PM, May 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-12 01:34:59-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A clerical error means the San Diego Unified School District will not have federal funding available for its homeless students in the coming years.

Local investigative news group inewsource reported the district will likely lose out on up to $750,000 in funds due to a missing signature on its application for the Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program.

California Department of Education spokesperson Scott Roark confirmed with 10News that the SDUSD submitted an application that was “disqualified and was not read” because of the missing required signature.

"Yes, it is correct that San Diego Unified School District submitted an Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program application that was not complete and missing a required signature. Due to the missing signature, the application was disqualified and was not read."
These specific instructions are made clear in the instructions of the RFA. In addition, the date for applicants to appeal has passed.
The district will not be able to apply for funding until the next three-year grant cycle which is 2021-24."

SDUSD said in a statement to 10News it regrets submitted the application without the needed signature and is addressing the issue:

"The San Diego Unified School District regrets that the grant application was submitted with a missing signature. The district tried unsuccessfully to appeal the California Department of Education’s decision to reject the application. The district is putting measures in place to make sure this doesn’t happen again. San Diego Unified is committed to ensuring that the needs of homeless youth continue to be met."

Jennifer Coronel, who manages the school district’s Children and Youth in Transition, told inewsource that the district was “disappointed” in what transpired, but said the support it offers its homeless students would continue despite the setback.

According to inewsource, San Diego Unified enrolled the third-most homeless students in California in 2017. In 2018, said about 5.3 percent of the district’s students, or 6,767 kids, were declared homeless.

An approval would have meant a possible $250,000 per year for the next three school years. Funding from the program would be earmarked for transportation, school supplies and staffing specifically for homeless students.

For the 2017-2018 fiscal year SDUSD received $230,820.40. 

The inewsource report said San Diego Unified received $725,000 from the program in the last three-year cycle.

The missed signature was "human error". There is not a designated LEA's