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State fiscal team reviews Sweetwater Union High School District's finances

Posted at 5:48 PM, Apr 02, 2019

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - A Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team [FCMAT] is in place to review financial decisions in the Sweetwater Union High School District amid a severe budget shortfall.

Michael Fine of FCMAT said Tuesday his team is investigating the district’s spending. The team is currently reviewing documents and will be in the county later this month to interview personnel within the district, Fine said.

The Sweetwater Union High School District is about $30 million in debt for the 2018-2019 school year due to fiscal mismanagement. District officials previously said the shortage was due to expenses from staff raises, including costs of substitute teachers and an unexpected $1 million expense for utilities.

RELATED: Financial failures rouse growing concerns in Sweetwater Union High School District board meeting

School board members took steps to remedy the crisis, including an early retirement plan for more than 300 staff members, along with administrative layoffs.

In early March, the board approved a Fiscal Stabilization Plan in a 5-0 vote, saying it would shave some $20 million from the current school year’s budget shortfall.

In December, the San Diego County Office of Education appointed a financial advisor with the power to stay and rescind any financial decisions made by district officials.