SAN DIEGO - $83,000 dollars worth of iPads and tablets vanished from the San Diego Unified School District's 2015-2016 inventory. it was school equipment paid for with your tax dollars. Tax dollars were spent to replace them.
It was information Team 10 wanted to report for our back-to-school coverage the last week of August 2016, but because San Diego Unified claimed it was busy processing other public records requests, the documents were not made available until this week, 219 days after we requested them.
The release came one week after a Team 10 investigation showed the district is not complying with the California Public Records Act, which says public documents should be released promptly.
“There is no excuse for delaying public records for that long a time period, especially since it sounds like these records were available, they were already produced, all they would have had to do is take them to their computer, which they probably were already on their computer, and press send," said Donna Frye, a former San Diego City Councilwoman who is an advocate for open government.
"It is outrageous. It is unconscionable, and it serves nobody. It doesn’t serve the schools. It doesn’t serve the public," Frye opined. "It doesn’t help the students when the people that are supposed to be in charge of this are behaving so badly."
She said if students tried to use the excuse that they were too busy to turn in their homework assignment that was months late it wouldn't go over well with the district. The same is true for the district not releasing documents that the public has the right to see, she added.
Frye recommended the district do a better job of posting public documents on line.
Team 10 reached out to a district spokesperson to find out whether the release of the missing inventory documents was the result of a policy change after our investigation or a coincidence.
We did not receive a response.