Education spending in Massachusetts is full of fraud. I'm sure this is not isolated and can be found throughout the country.
State Auditor Joe DeNucci issued a scathing report yesterday on the Everett Public Schools that depicts a free-spending superintendent who blew school cash on homecoming, football and questionable consultants with little regard for bidding and other spending laws.
"The results of the audit indicate there are serious problems that need to be addressed," DeNucci said. "I think it's too important to be overlooked for the children of the city of Everett."
The audit found 30 questionable or inauthentic bids covering $520,250 in expenditures.
The audit follows a series of Herald reports revealing how school committee members and their relatives work for the Everett schools and how a contractor installed school-bought plaster board in Foresteire's home.
In one new case, auditors found a bid submitted in 2002 in the name of a company that had been out of business since 1997. In another case, two bids contained the same misspelling: "Hight School."
In one case, $59,000 meant for MCAS tutoring was instead spent on lettering football team helmets, data processing, set-up for a homecoming parade and various painting projects, including a sandwich board sign for Everett stadium.
DeNucci's report questions $180,000 in legal consultant fees, noting the lawyer couldn't provide any documents to back up the bills, and criticizes the use of 50 unlicensed educators and misuse of $830,000 in grants for new teachers that was instead used to bolster existing payrolls.
Created what city officials call a "slush fund" of special education money, as first reported in the Herald last month, where Everett wrongly diverted tens of thousands of dollars of special education money and spent it on newspaper ads ($46,289), homecoming parade bands ($12,000) and other non-special education related items.
Paid $25,560 to a former Everett teacher for copying and printing without soliciting bids or submitting purchase orders in violation of city ordinances.
Spent $135,115 to advertise in local papers over two years, double the amount spent by similar communities.
Split more than $6,000 in bids to circumvent procurement laws, including one bill accompanied by a note saying, "There are two separate prices because I was told the (purchase orders) had to be under $1,000."
Spent $64,240 for two years of football homecoming parades.
Had a "flawed budgetary process" including lax school committee oversight that led to $1.2 million in overspending.
They forgot the untold millions spent educating illegal aliens.
Tipped by: Wizbang