Racial tensions, financial mismanagement and ongoing feuds are adversely affecting students attending the Twin Rivers Unified School District, according to a 24-page report released Thursday by the Sacramento County grand jury.
Twin Rivers district officials fired back, saying they are disappointed in the grand jury's report and questioning the motives behind it.
The report is titled "Lack of Trust + Lost Opportunities = Children's Loss." It questions whether Twin Rivers has lived up to promises made during its unification drive and if past conflicts with the Grant Joint Union High School District are clouding decisions made by current administrators and trustees.
Twin Rivers was created in 2008 when three elementary districts Rio Linda, Del Paso and North Sacramento merged with the Grant high school district. Since the unification, the district has been fighting numerous legal battles, many of them relating to actions taken by Grant trustees before Twin Rivers took over.
"Twin Rivers' Board of Trustees should look closely and honestly at whether a potential victory in these cases at some undefined time in the future is worth the burden on the general fund to pay these costs," the report states.
Twin Rivers' statement calls attention to what district officials see as a conflict of interest. Grand jury member Lois Graham was a principal in the Del Paso Heights Elementary School District.
Grand jury foreman Don Prange Sr. declined to comment for this story.
The report highlighted perceived favoritism toward former Rio Linda administrators and a perception of racial bias affecting African American staff.
The grand jury recommends that the district's trustees not renew current Superintendent Frank Porter's contract, instead asking for a nationwide search for a leader with experience in unification, secondary school leadership and construction management.
Twin Rivers officials say they plan to send a more detailed response to the grand jury by Aug. 1.
"We have actively cooperated with the grand jury and had hoped for a fair and accurate process on behalf of Sacramento County residents," the Twin Rivers statement said. "Unfortunately, we have concerns about whether the grand jury has met their responsibility."