Showdown At The Christina Corral

In what is promising to be an epic board meeting tonight, the Christina School District is facing an onslaught of issues, all at once.  These are the biggest items facing them tonight:

-The leave of absence of Superintendent Dr. Freeman Williams and the whole thorny issue over last week’s executive session going over his “competencies” and the legality of it.

-The recent guilty verdict of board member Shirley Saffer’s harassment of a bus driver a year and a half ago.

-Christina’s budget and the unfortunate letting go of over 100 employees, as well as future referendum discussion.

-Declining enrollment due to choice and charters and the impact that is having on the district.

-Tension between board members.  Will the topic of two board members tipping off the state auditor to do an investigation against the district come up?  It should!  As well, reports have surfaced that one board member (could be included as one of the above two) has been acting unilaterally with important matters such as removing a posting for a deputy Superintendent and meeting with local legislators and business leaders on the whole redistricting effort.

-Board Member Elizabeth Paige has an opt-out policy on the agenda which will get into the whole high-stakes testing discussion.

-Tension between the district and the board will surely reach a fever pitch in the coming weeks as school starts and the impact of the budget crunch will be felt in every facet of student’s lives.

-The redistricting effort to remove Christina’s Wilmington schools from their authority and place them under Red Clay Consolidated’s control.

State Auditor’s Office Confirms No Financial Or Investigate Audit On Christina School District

Freeman Williams sent another email to me regarding the “Christina Audit” question.  There are two standard audits that are performed for every school district in the state, but as Obi-Wan Kenobi so brilliantly said, “These are not the droids you’re looking for…”

To
  • Kevin Ohlandt

Kevin,

I have some additional information for you. The State Auditor’s Office, Kathleen Davies, the Chief Administrative Auditor, responded to the following question: Are there any open audits?
Her response was that there are two current Open Audits:
1.      State of Delaware Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) – Christina School District as an Agency of the State is included in this audit.
2.      State of Delaware Fiscal Year Single Audit – Federal and Local Funds

She added that these noted are Statewide Audits that occur this time of year.

She also responded that there are no Investigations or Financial Audits involving the Christina School District.

Freeman

Freeman L  Williams, Ed. D.
Superintendent
Christina School District
600 N. Lombard St.
Wilmington, DE 19801
302-552-2661

Well, this definitely squashes an official investigation into Christina School District, but a call was made to the auditor’s office, which I’m being told is very similar to a recent comment made on here, and it did come from two board members.  The question is, what do the other five board members do about it?  While I can’t reveal the whodunit, I can say this will cause a lot of issues on the board.  If the district needed to be audited, it would have happened.  I don’t take issue with that.  Nor do I take issue with any citizen anonymously reporting to the State Auditor’s office.  What I do take issue with is two board members doing this, and not reporting it to the rest of the board, no matter what the result was.  It is not illegal, what this dynamic duo did, but it comes down to a matter of teamwork and trust.