In an attempt to avoid going into receivership and being taken over by the state, the Portola Valley School District is seeking a loan from the county education office to cover a projected budget deficit after auditors found evidence of the possible misappropriation of funds, according to a letter from the district's interim superintendent.
The financial crisis comes on the heels of the resignation in January of former superintendent Tim Hanretty, who has since been charged with three felony counts that include misappropriation of public funds -- allegations of misdeeds that stem from his earlier employment with the Woodside School District.
In addition to possible funding misappropriations, the financial irregularities uncovered by auditors called in after Mr. Hanretty's resignation include underestimated costs of employee benefits, according to the letter.
In her May 1 letter to district parents, Portola Valley district Interim Superintendent Carol Piraino said the school board has authorized her to seek funds from the county "for the purpose of ending the fiscal year with a positive cash flow."
In a message on the district's website, Ms. Piraino said current projections show the fiscal year ending with a deficit of nearly $845,000.
"We have been warned by the county superintendent that if this situation is not corrected, the district risks going into receivership and being taken over by the state of California," she wrote in her May 1 letter.
The Almanac will report on more details as they become available.