Delaware has three vocational districts, one for each county. For this post, I’m combining Polytech (Kent) and Sussex Tech (Sussex). Both have fixed enrollments. In fact, Sussex Tech got in trouble a few years ago for going over that fixed amount of students. The key difference in funding between the vo-techs and the districts and charters is the Delaware General Assembly sets their budget in line-by-line items in their annual budget. As well, their boards are appointed by the Governor of Delaware. Their salaries can be higher than the districts around them in certain areas. And what is up with Sussex Tech’s former Superintendent still making the big bucks? Isn’t he former? Oh yeah, he’s been on paid leave since last June because of inappropriate land deals down there according to the Cape Gazette. Do these two schools really need this many administrators?
Sussex Technical School District
Audit Investigation Of Sussex Tech Slams District Over $4 Million In Shady Construction DealsSussex Technical School District
Delaware State Auditor Tom Wagner’s office just released an audit investigation of Sussex Technical School District. Construction deals that did not meet Delaware State Code began with a bus parking lot for almost $206,000 and continued with over $4 million dollars with the same company. Wagner’s report, which can be seen below, found this to be very egregious. Common Sense Solutions, a construction company owned by Michael Horsey, made a whirlwind of profit from contracts that were not procured by the State of Delaware as required by the law.
The report, in its conclusion, stated the following:
CSS turned their original HS Bus Entrance CM contract of $205,699 into nearly $4,000,000 in payments by piggybacking the HS HVAC Systems, HS Instructional Shops, and District Office Renovations projects onto the original CM contract with Sussex Tech as well as providing other services to the District that were not subject to any contract or required State approvals.
Any attempts at resolving the ongoing situation by district employees was met with firm resistance according to the report:
Through various interviews with employees at Sussex Tech, it has been stated that each time someone began questioning the payments made to CSS, they were pushed out of the decision-making and payment approval processes.
Once again we have a Delaware school district or charter school where serious financial abuse and conflicts of interest are a higher priority than the education of children. Once again, why are we NOT getting annual audits of ALL school districts as required by Delaware State Code?