Tough fiscal times in California

26 Oct

Two stories out recently point to the tightening budgets that the

This one isn’t caused by economy. This is mismanagement. In AUDIT: Inland Regional Center must repay $10 million, the Press Enterprise discusses the results of an audit of one of California’s Regional Centers. The Regional Centers are private non-profit organizations which administer funds for California’s developmentally disabled population. Inland Regional Center (IRC) has had problems for the past few years and been placed on probation.

From the Press Enterprise story:

As for the center’s ability to repay the $9.8 million in improper expenses cited in the audit, that would be all but impossible, she said.

“We’re going to have to get direction from the department on that. We don’t have $10 million,” Fitzgibbons said. “We’re really working hard to improve things and do the best job we can do.”

Well, they’ve been audited and IRC has to repay the state $10M. That’s a lot of money, and could mean a reduction in services for the clients of IRC. People who are not responsible for the mismanagement.

The nonprofit agency that serves developmentally disabled residents in Inland Southern California improperly spent almost $10 million and must repay the state, according to a highly critical audit released Friday that found continued widespread problems at the San Bernardino-based Inland Regional Center.

One example of misspent funds was when $1M allocated for services for people with hearing, speech and/or vision impairment was used for the operation expenses in their resource library.

Another recent story: San Diego Unified School District is facing insolvency and possible takeover by the state:

http://www.kqed.org/assets/flash/kqedplayer.swf

California required school districts to budget as though there would be no cuts in funding. However, California also has automatic cuts in place should revenues not meet specific “trigger” levels. If the state misses the revenue levels, they will cut funds to the districts. While special education is not specifically mentioned, Special Education tends to be a focus of budget minded administrators, with comments of “encroachment” commonly heard.

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8 Responses to “Tough fiscal times in California”

  1. Kristina Rodriques October 27, 2011 at 00:09 #

    They didn’t specifically mention Special Education cuts, because SDUSD (San Diego City Schools) begun a while ago cutting costs with regard to special needs. They have carefully veiled it as a push towards “inclusion” and meeting the LRE requirement, but being a parent of a special needs child that attends a school in this district, and as a Special Educator who works on the receiving end (Non Public) of this entity, I can tell you it’s bs.

    They have begun to transition hundreds of students back to their home school into regular ed. classes, sans support staff. Many students who are in the Moderate-Severe range, which is rarely ever appropriate unless they have a 1:1. Never mind the legal implications of instruction coming from a Regular Ed. teacher, and goals being addressed…our fair new Superintendent mentioned a year ago in a local paper that risking litigation was acceptable with making these changes.

    This district has a history of banking on parents of special needs children being unaware of their rights; unable to afford representation, and over all general bullying tactics. Personal experience aside, the stories that have been relayed to me by other parents are horrifying.

    Should we move towards insolvency, it might actually benefit our special needs children served by this district. Maybe the state will consider their legal obligations to these children, and want to avoid litigation, unlike the pervasive sentiment under the current administration.

    • Sullivan October 27, 2011 at 01:15 #

      Kristina Rodriques,

      The way you describe San Diego sounds oddly familiar to me.

      I wonder how things went for Special Ed in Oakland when the state took over that district?

  2. stanley seigler October 27, 2011 at 03:37 #

    [LBRB say] Well, they’ve been audited and IRC has to repay the state $10M.

    this is ridiculous…IRC is 99.99% funded by the state…so they have to return to CA $10M…which means DD/autism programs will pay for IRC mismanagement…

    the mismanagers should be required to repay the $10M…and if fraud involved should be prosecuted…

    such bs…if i am missing something pls advise.

    stanley seigler

  3. Dee October 27, 2011 at 04:20 #

    Yes, it is excruiating here in San Diego. The helpless feeling is nearly paralyzing. Both RC and the SD school district have had to cut to the point where you are lucky to get an eval much less services. Insurance, although a recent victory in prop 946, has denied our OT and speech appeal. My son is paying the price and we are doing everything we can to make up the difference any way we can. It’s a sad and hard time.

  4. Helen October 27, 2011 at 16:25 #

    Re SDUSD, didn’t they try the “dump & run” LRE strategy a while back & how’d that work out for them (never mind the students & their families?)

    Re the IRC, there’s so much MORE to this story, that’s yet to come out! The DDS is just as culpable for allowing these abuses (as well as the abuses NOT mentioned in the 80 page audit report) to not only happen but to continue to happen for so long. It’s time for the DDS to step up and PULL the IRC’s contract since they, at least have the power to do that….but will they? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    Also, here’s a shout out to Gov. Jerry Brown: Thanks so MUCH for vetoing the transparency bill that sailed through the state House & Senate (before the results of this audit were finally released to the public (it took them long enough!) These Regional Centers receive BILLIONS of PUBLIC dollars yet since they operate as PRIVATE non-profits they do NOT have to comply with CA’s Public Records Act. Mr’s Brown’s veto message was a bit ridiculous as well….let’s see, I’m not going to sign this bill and make these organizations more transparent because we’ve already enacted a law that REQUIRES the DDS to develop a conflict of interest policy & since they have YET to do that, we shouldn’t expect them to do MORE (to make these agencies MORE transparent!)

  5. stanley seigler October 27, 2011 at 16:50 #

    @dee

    re: Both RC and the SD school district have had to cut to the point where you are lucky to get an eval much less services.

    know you are aware that if OT, etc, are in the IPP…RC legally must provide…you may have to go a fair hearing…you may want to talk with DDS, Office of Human Rights and Advocacy Services – Vacant 916 654 1888
    http://www.dds.ca.gov/Contacts/ExeStaff_ManagersList.cfm

    tho office vacant, they should/must provide the service…they helped my daughter get 1:1, 24/7 many years ago…intervened in a fair hearing (which she probably would have lost, adm judge was clueless) and got services, RC had denied.

    CA-USA FYI stuff
    Advocacy Training: On October 26TH Pat Napoliello (national and state board member of The Arc) will be providing an IPP training (individual Program Plan) to help advocates know their right under the Lanterman Act. The training will be from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the Rancho Cordova City Hall, 2729 Prospect Park Drive, Rancho Cordova, California.

    too late to attend training…but maybe a call to ARC (Pat Napoliello) would be fruitful…
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DDRIGHTS/message/7480

    stanley seigler

    ps if havent watched cbs 60 mins; “apps for autism” …its very interesting.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7385686n&tag=pop;videos

  6. Helen October 30, 2011 at 03:25 #

    Look for add’l IPP Trainings on the KTLP, Google it, web site.

  7. DDS Strategy November 3, 2011 at 07:26 #

    A triumphant business also desires a brand along with a brand intention to linger in customer’s mentality. At DDS Dental Marketing we offer various services like emarketing, image management/branding and much more.

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