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According to the information on file at the California State Controller’s Office, Aromas/San Juan Unified was the only San Benito County education entity to file an acceptable report for 2013 detailing their public employee compensation.

Seven entities, San Benito County Office of Education, Bitterwater-Tully Union Elementary, Cienega Union Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, North County Joint Union Elementary, Tres Pinos Union Elementary, and Willow Grove Union Elementary, failed to file any report with the State Controller’s Office.

Three entities, Hollister Elementary, San Benito High, and Southside Elementary submitted a non-compliant report to the State Controller’s Office for 2013. “A non-compliant K-12 public entity is one that has filed a compensation report that was incomplete, was in a format different than the one requested by the Controller’s Office, or was submitted after the reporting deadline and is currently in the review process.”

It has been long established that the taxpayers have the right to information concerning the compensation paid to public employees. This data typically lags the current date by many months, but it should not lag by years.  It is now May 2015, and the data in question is for calendar year 2013, but there are still no information for 10 of San Benito’s 11 reporting entities.  After some period the data becomes so old that it loses its usefulness.

In fact, the reporting requirements are being ignored statewide by the K-12 education system; of the more than 1,760 education reporting entities, less than 39 percent have reports currently on file for 2013.  This cannot be a coincidence, the problem is too widespread.  I believe it’s a typical government response to public information requirements that have no penalty – they are simply ignored or the work is careless.  Would the education employees consistently accept missing paychecks because the districts could not generate a payroll? Of course not; so, the information is available. 

The local question is, what’s the latest excuse for our county education system that gets the lion’s share of our property taxes for failing to perform even this basic function?