Saturday, October 17, 2009

Giant Food: Not Just for Groceries Anymore

According to the Puchasing Card manual, the 1400 American Express cards issued to Montgomery County Public Schools employees are to be used for very specific purposes; namely, to facilitate low-dollar purchases that are necessary for MCPS operations.

When you think of items necessary for MCPS operations, you think of textbooks, educational supplies like maps, chalkboards, cleaning supplies,computer cables, etc. Instead, the employees in the Office of the Deputy Superintendent of Schools have used their taxpayer-paid American Express cards at a grocery store. And no, they aren't buying supplies for Food and Consumer Sciences class. Below is a list of dates, amounts, and the "purpose" of American Express charges made exclusively at Giant Food for the period of time indicated.

11/29/06 Executive Leadership Team $54.79
12/13/06 Executive Leadership Team $118.66
1/19/07 Lrng Ctrs breakfast $19.10
2/1/07 Churchill C Committee $44.15
2/9/07 Office restocking $39.94
2/12/07 Churchill Advisory Comm $24.54
3/15/07 Churchill Work Group mtg $19.66
3/26/07 Office staff mtg $11.57
4/3/07 Restocking 127 $31.35
4/12/07 ELT BIRTHDAYS $38.67
4/13/07 ACT mtg $12.41
no date no reference listed $22.42
4/19/07 Sodas, Churchill stu.Focus Gp.$5.00
4/25/07 office $99.50
4/26/07 Churchill Work Group $26.07
5/11/07 Lrng Ctrs Phelps $17.36
5/15/07 Churchill Advisory comm $17.99
6/1/07 ACT meeting $36.54
6/8/07 Secondary Lrng Ctrs $19.51
6/18/07 coffee supplies $26.96
6/25/97 Six Sigma $8.98
9/7/07 Staff meeting $44.87
9/10/07 Cheese/crackers, Churchill Adv. Grp. $16.96
9/28/07 ACT meeting $10.67
10/3/07 Coffee supplies for office $26.26
10/12/07 ACT meeting $19.47
11/2/07 Staff meeting $34.86
11/28/07 Office and BSW - painting $16.46

Whatever happened to taking up a collection to celebrate birthday parties in the office? Nope, just charge it to the taxpayers! (see the 4/12/07 entry).

Tomorrow: We already know classroom teachers spend their own money for supplies. Not MCPS Central Office staff! See how much money is charged to American Express cards for supplies from a high-end catalogue and other stores, both online and locally.


  1. According to MCCPTA:

    Executive Leadership Team (which includes representatives of the three unions)

    So the birthday party could have been for MCPS staff or union leaders.

  2. Here is another list of some ELT members:

    Executive Leadership Team

    Dr. Jerry D. Weast, Superintendent
    Dr. Frieda Lacey, Deputy Superintendent
    Jody Leleck, Chief Academic Officer*
    Stephen Bedford, Chief School
    Performance Officer
    Dr. Carey Wright, Associate Superintendent
    Erick Lang, Associate Superintendent*
    Jamie Virga, Associate Superintendent
    Larry A. Bowers, Chief Operating Officer
    Susan Marks, Associate Superintendent
    Dr. Stacy L. Scott, Associate Superintendent

  3. I wonder if the MCPS staff who bought the above items had registered their Giant BonusCards (@ when buying these items so that up to three schools could have benefited from Giant's A+ BonusBucks program. Do MCPS staff participate in this program that gives schools money during ca. six months of each school year when they shop at Giant with a registered BonusCard?

    Please note, this query does *not* condone the use of MCPS-issued AmEx cards at Giant ..... but I'm curious if Central Office staff who shop at Giant bother to help our schools by registering for Giant's A+ program EVERY school year. And are they aware of Safeway's school program, which is run by the eScrip company ( and runs for eight months each school year PLUS five weeks in the summer? As a long-time parent volunteer for these types of corporate/school rebate programs, I hope that ALL MCPS staff take a few moments to support schools in these very easy ways!


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