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AUSD to Finally Investigate Alameda Point Pass-Through Funds

After months of ignoring us, the Alameda Unified School District has finally agreed to verify that redevelopment pass-through funds from the Alameda Point Improvement Project are actually being transferred from the City of Alameda and accounted for correctly on AUSD’s books.

We’ve been talking about these redevelopment pass-through funds to the school district for a couple of years now, and earlier this year, we presented to both AUSD and City Council questions about the District Capital Outlay Fund and District Housing Fund (funded by the local redevelopment project ‘Business and Waterfront Improvement Project’) and the separate pass-through funds for AUSD from the Alameda Point Improvement Project. Evidently, AUSD didn’t want public knowledge of these funds to impact their Measure H parcel tax campaign, because they ignored us. However, in October of this year, AUSD finally – but quietly – got the City of Alameda to cut a check for just over $1 million to transfer the funds in the district capital outlay fund from a City account to an AUSD account.

And now, we have received a communication from the AUSD board indicating that they are finally going to go back and verify that a separate stream of revenue from the Alameda Point Improvement Project is actually hitting AUSD’s accounts and being recorded on the books properly. This is important simply because a) it’s AUSD’s money and b) they need all the money they can get their hands on with the state education funding cutbacks, and the California Redevelopment Associations attempts to block the state from transferring redevelopment funds away from developer subsidies and towards education funding.

Here is an except from the letter we received from AUSD Board President Mike McMahon:

Due to current transition of the current administration and on behalf of the Board of Education, I am responding to your request for information regarding redevelopment funds. Attached in a PDF is an accounting of all of the checks that AUSD have received from the City of Alameda related to redevelopment. The check received prior June 30, 2008 will be reflected on AUSD books in the annual 2007/08 audit report released in early 2009. The checks received after June 30, 2008 have been booked in the 2008/09 accounting period.

The new CFO is reviewing the redevelopment agreements to determine the dollars owed to AUSD and what course of action is needed to acquire them, if appropriate. The CFO plans make a recommendation to the new Superintendent in the first quarter of 2009. In addition, the CFO is working with the Alameda County of Education to insure that received redevelopment funds are properly reported to the State.

Note that the attachment received with the letter (not included here) does not report all of the pass-through funds we identified in our communications with AUSD, a copy of which is available here. We hope this internal audit will identify where the missing money has gone.

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