Tuesday, June 8, 2010
DeKalb Schools Forfeit Millions in State Money
I just have no words.
From WSB today:
Lynn Jackson, Associate Superintendent for Business Operations for Georgia’s Department of Education told Investigative Reporter Jodie Fleischer the district repeatedly missed deadlines to submit paperwork and failed to follow state guidelines to qualify for the reimbursements.
“I was perplexed by this. Truly, I could not understand why DeKalb County could not comply," said Jackson.
When the DeKalb County School District built McNair High School, the state was planning to contribute $297,010. However, the district missed the deadline to turn in paperwork, thereby forfeiting the money for that project. The same 18-month deadline was also missed for projects at Stone Mountain Middle and Peachtree Middle.
. . .
Fleischer approached DeKalb County School Board Budget Chairman, Paul Womack, about the forfeited funds for at least nine schools.
"It makes me sick, as it will the rest of the board I'm quite sure," Womack said He said he planned to raise the issue in Executive Session at Monday night’s School Board meeting.
He’s been working to steer the school system through a major budget crunch, during which parents have criticized financial waste and priorities. "I think they would be outraged and rightly so," Womack said.
According to Fleischer, he’s wondering how many more millions of dollars the alleged construction scheme and mismanagement will end up costing.
"I can't comment on whether it's criminal or incompetence, but I'm going to take the latter and say maybe it was a willful disregard," added Womack.
. . .
You said it, Paul. Personally, I think it's criminal - at least to the extent that Pope and Lewis were fearful of the state looking closely at their shenanigans.
For a full listing of the forfeited funds, click here.