STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — Stockton residents got the chance to express their frustration after a recent grand jury report found the Stockton Unified School District has poor business practices and that its financial woes could worsen if they don’t change course.
The report found a lack of transparency within the school district, poor district leadership, poor business practices and financial mismanagement.
“It’s funny the motto is proud to be SUSD. Being up there, it was hard to be proud of the district when you see all these angry parents,” resident Charles Udeze.
For district teacher Michelle Rodarte, the report validated everything she and her colleagues saw.
“As a teacher, we come here to teach the kids. When we come here with a different why than our leaders come, it gets really really difficult to stay,” Rodarte said.
The grand jury said the Board of Trustees was not following proper policies and was not using funds in the best interest of students, families, staff and district.
Financially, if the district continues, the report suggests the district could face a $30 million deficit by 2024 and may have to file for bankruptcy.
Some say ending a revolving door of superintendents within the district should go a long way to fix many of the issues. For Dr. Traci E. Miller, the interim superintendent, the town hall was a step in the right direction.
“For me, it was very insightful, a safe place where they can come and share what their concerns are,” Miller said.
“As long as the community and the stakeholders continue to be involved, it’s going to get better because there is going to be accountability demanded,” Rodarte said.