A controversial West Oakland private school, now reportedly drawing FBI scrutiny, has padded its roster sheets with public school students, according to an Oakland Unified School District investigation.
The district's inquiry aims to determine whether leaders at St. Andrew Missionary Baptist Church and private school received federal funds based on inflated enrollment numbers, as reported by California Watch and CBS 5. The school, run by pastor Robert Lacy and his family, has faced criticism for requiring students to solicit donations on the street and for the alleged physical abuse of students, which the school denies.
After Oakland Unified demanded proof of the 195 students St. Andrew claimed to have, the school provided a roster listing 169 students for the 2011-12 school year. But the district's general counsel told board members in a memo this week that 59 of those students were enrolled at least part of the year in public schools. Thirty-six of them, according to the district's findings, attended public schools the entire year.
The district sent its findings to the FBI, whose agents have visited district staff to ask about St. Andrew, according to district spokesman Troy Flint. The FBI would not confirm or deny an investigation.