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SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO : Schools Want Money Back From County

The Capistrano Unified School District board has approved a resolution calling for the county to return 100% of $74 million the district had in the county’s investment pool before it collapsed.

Like other public school districts, Capistrano Unified was required by state law to deposit all its funds with the county treasurer. Trustees voted unanimously Monday to approve the resolution.

Trustee Paul Haseman questioned whether the resolution should have gone into greater detail on the predicament school districts face and the task of educating children.

“My gut tells me we should be looking out for ourselves,” Haseman said, adding that a more personalized approach might better separate school districts from cities and water districts, which also had money in the county pool but by choice.

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However, Supt. James A. Fleming warned: “The one thing we do not want to happen is have public agencies against each other.”

Trustee Sheila Benecke said that the district should remain vigilant and not be lulled into a false sense of security by what county supervisors might say in newspaper interviews. Some supervisors have said they support returning 100% of school districts’ money.

“We’re not going to pussy-foot around,” Benecke said.


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