The UTLA hired an independent auditor to document that charter schools in LAUSD were siphoning $600 million a year from the public schools. It is probably more now.

A reader who signs in as “Scisne” left this comment:

A big problem that teachers’ unions locals have is that they are managed by teachers who lack a background in accounting, and especially in forensic accounting.

After a career in business that included being a CEO, I joined my wife in the teaching profession. I was soon elected to the union board and eventually became president and led a strike and a school board recall that resulted in four trustees being recalled. I did it with accounting. I knew forensic accounting from my business career, and a quickly learned about the accounting methods and laws that applied to the school districts.

It was easy to find where and how the district I was in had stashed money, often illegally, and I published a 60-page analysis of what was going on and distributed it to the media and to parents and went on a district-wide public-speaking campaign at social clubs and churches where I also distributed the analysis.

The local media were hostile to teachers unions, so they ignored the analysis — but the parents, especially the professional accountants among them, were outraged at how the district trustees were lying to them and were withholding money from educating their children.

The recall was historic and left the city and county political power structure stunned. Teachers unions at the local level critically need to acquire the accounting know-how and an thorough understanding of applicable state law so that they can competently challenge district budget claims and can educate parents and the general public about the games that school boards play with the money that should be spent on educating children.