Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Abuse of School Funds - Action Taken against Principal and School Bookkeeper

Imagine living in a jurisdiction where instances of mishandling of school funds results in criminal sanctions.

Here in Montgomery County, Maryland, numerous high schools have audits that reveal disappearing student activity funds, inappropriate expenditures, and other violations of standard accounting principles, all documented by our own internal auditors. What happens? Nothing, nada, see you next year, hope its fixed, but if its not, that's ok too. We'll just make our audit reports shorter and include more boilerplate code language. We're hoping no one would notice.

But if we lived in Tennessee, we'd see something much different. This week out of Whittle Springs Middle School, today's news reports a story about a former bookkeeper who has been indicted on a felony theft charge in connection to fund discrepancies at the school.

If we lived in Alabama, we'd also see different results. Yesterday's news carried a story about a principal who is on probation and lost his job after pleading guilty to felony theft of school property funds - after an investigation.

Don't worry folks, nothing happens in Montgomery County, Maryland. If anything, our administrators receive a promotion, and maybe even an award or two. Our school administrative staff is safe from oversight, so just keep on doing what you are doing - no one has oversight of the MCPS public schools.

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