The Red Clay Board of Education meeting the other night was one for the record books! The highlight of the meeting was the Charter School of Wilmington renewal discussion. Dr. Sam Paoli, the President of CSW, got drilled and grilled with a ton of questions about CSW’s demographics and recruitment efforts.
The absolute best part of the conversation was when Jose Matthews, the husband of Mike Matthews, the former President of the Delaware State Education Association, told Paoli the following: Continue reading →
Charter School of Wilmington is up for their charter school renewal with Red Clay Consolidated School District. The Red Clay board discussed this charter renewal with Dr. Sam Paoli, the President of CSW, at their meeting tonight. It came out that CSW is breaking state law in a very major way. Continue reading →
After waiting an extra ten days to put up the audio of their June board meeting, the future of the Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security is once again in doubt. Immediately into their board meeting, Margie Lopez-Waite resigned as President of their board and was than voted into the new Head of School position. Continue reading →
A few days ago I put an article up about petty cash abuse in our districts and charter schools. No state agency has yet to give an official response even though they are all well aware of the article at this point. I’m fairly sure if there were an investigation that came out of this the last person they would tell is me.
The interesting snafu in all this is Delaware Academy of Public Safety & Security. They are already on probation from their formal review. While not using a petty cash for fun time at the school is not a condition of their probation, the fact that money was used for fun time and who knows what else is a concern. I’ve heard lots of tales about how that money was used. An auditor would have a field day with this.
Like I said, I’m not too concerned with the folks who did it once or twice. Those can be explained. In fact, one school district made it a point to contact me. It is the chronic offenders I take issue with. Most especially the two that got a letter from Tom Wagner less than two years ago saying “Don’t do it”. No one should be doing it to begin with but when you get a letter like that and essentially flip the bird and do the same thing all over again, I have ZERO respect for you. Sounds like Sam Paoli has more on his plate than just CSW teachers joining the union!
I was really hoping Margie Lopez Waite and the board at DAPSS would act on this immediately. But no, when I go to the DAPSS website I see the SAME person on there who was behind the school’s petty cash splurging. On the taxpayer’s dime. I don’t mind paying taxes so kids can get an education. But I take a very serious affront to school leaders who want to break the rules and treat state money like it is their own piggy bank to play with. Yes, I’m talking about you Herb Sheldon. Margie acted lightning fast last Winter in getting someone off the school website. But I guess playing with school funding is an okay. Gotcha! I understand now!
Will anyone in the state actually do more on this issue than send more letters saying “Don’t do this”? When does REAL accountability start happening?
**UPDATED BELOW WITH NEW INFORMATION ABOUT ONE DISTRICT**
Two years ago, letters went out to five charter schools from State Auditor Tom Wagner letting them know they were in violation of Delaware’s Budget and Accounting Manual (BAM). For the purposes of this article, I looked to see how many districts and charters violated BAM in one area. That was where they write checks from petty cash accounts for more than $500.00. That is a big no-no according to BAM. I looked in both FY2017 and FY2018 up until May 31st. There were many offenders, including two who were included in the 2016 letters! The reason I started with FY2017 was to give the benefit of the doubt just in case districts and charters were not clear of the rule before that fiscal year. This isn’t just a few districts and charter schools. Continue reading →