Bell has led the district’s financial arm through a recovery period where its reserves have topped $120 million in recent years, ending furlough days and re-establishing salary steps and signing bonuses for some hard-to-fill positions.
Approved budgets in recent years have been set at just above what the district looked to receive in revenues and tax collections, using reserve funds to make up for any shortfalls. The district also is behind on submitting information for annual state audits, with its 2018 data nearly a year late and its 2019 data due at the end of December.
A judge could soon find the district liable for paying employees millions after it abruptly halted contributions to a retirement fund in 2009 with less than the required amount of notice.
For most of 2019, parents and local advocacy groups have been calling for a forensic audit, saying the audit would provide better transparency in how the district spends money.
Bell's departure is the eighth cabinet-level change of the nine positions, not counting regional superintendents, since January 2018.