Saturday, October 17, 2009

Need to make up for unauthorized spending on staff gifts? Just make students pay!

Blake High School, home of the Bengals, has come up with a creative way of filling their till to make up for improper spending of student-owned IAF funds. Students who don't have a parking pass are charged a daily rate of $2, payable each morning in the office.  Students who don't pay in advance are issued a $10 "obligation" that must be paid in order to graduate.

The Board of Education has set a rate of $37.50 per semester for student parking, and the funds that are collected are earmarked for athletics.  All schools are authorized to charge only the BOE-specified rate. 

A $2 parking charge isn't a lot of money, but with hundreds of potential "customers" over the course of a school year, it can represent a substantial amount of unauthorized income.   But at Blake, history shows that the rules don't matter -- at least for the principal -- who used student funds to spend $7,874 more on "staff appreciation" than is allowed.


  1. According to the April 22, 2009 MCPS audit of Blake HS, $16,114 of IAF student funds were spent on staff refreshments, appreciation and recognition.

  2. Good point, Janis. The MCPS Chief Operating Officer authorized Blake principal Carole Goodman to spend $8,240 of IAF funds on staff meeting refreshments, staff appreciation, and recognition. Instead, Ms. Goodman spent nearly double what was allowed.

    Since the audit reports aren't released to members of the public except through a formal MPIA request, no one other than a few MCPS insiders knew about the misuse of funds until the audits were posted on the Parents' Coalition web site.


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