Between the issue of the Pre-K mission study junket and the appalling action (or lack thereof) on the issue of the Garfield field trip rape case, it's hard not to feel very angry.
As you may recall, in the e-mails about the Pre-K mission study, there was a lot of back and forth over where the money - about $2700 per person - was going to come from to pay for the trip.
Well, I found out where the "temporary" money came from. I say temporary because there were funds used from one pot that will now have to be paid back to that pot by finding another pot of money.
Here's how it breaks down (from SPS Public Disclosure):
Budget codes that were charged
Charles (Wright) - baseline funds (meaning not grant-funded) from the Office of Strategic Planning
Keisha (Scarlett) - South Shore funds (Title I, I believe), “borrowed” due to the time crunch to get good flight prices, meant to be paid back
Laurie (Morrison )– ditto
Cashel (Toner) – Teaching and Learning, “bridge fund” until another source of funding could be found
Flip (Herndon) – Capital Projects (originally, XXXXXA was identified, but it didn’t have enough $ to cover, so they changed to a different one)
Conference costs and flights for each person were billed to the funds specified above.
We did not receive a refund for Charles’ costs.
Apparently there was a bit of a time crunch to book tickets before prices went up, so “bridge funds” were used until proper funding could be located. I have not located any records that indicate that funds were paid back, although it sounds like Accounts Payable staff are working on it right now.
So Title One funds were used. Baseline funding was used. Not even sure which "Capital" funds were used.
And we still don't know where the final funds will come from. Will the district - as Finance head Ken Gotsch suggested - raise the deficit for this junket?
It's a disgrace. There is/was NO good reason for this kind of ridiculous use of staff time and district funds.
They could have sent two people, that would have been reasonable. But they wanted to send five and only four staff went (but Board member Blanford also went and I'm still checking to figure out who paid for his trip).
As to the Garfield rape case, besides the story in Aljazeera America, there are now stories at Jezebel and Addicting Info. The Stranger also has a story, that provides a link to the Aljazeera story.
Someone, somewhere in this district has to be held accountable for the issues around the rape case and the junket funding.
I can only say, "Dr. Nyland, a city turns its lonely eyes to you."