Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The Ohio Department of Education(ODE) decided to send their Auditors to the Anthony Wayne School District(AWSD). Why? They believed there were problems. What did they find? Many, many problems. The ODE Performance Audit is an extensive audit into the financial & management processes of the AWSD. It identifies in detail problems from all financial and management aspects. It then makes detailed recommendations for the correcting of these problems. The audit recommendations are to assist the AWSD get back on track with the financial & management requirements, many state mandated. Yet the Board and Administration continue to thumb their noses at the audit and recommendations. Why? Are they that stubborn or arrogant? Why do they feel the AWSD is so special that they don't have to adhere to the ODE guidelines and criteria? Why do they believe they know what's better for OUR kids than the ODE and the voters? When are they going to do what the tax payers continue to tell them to do? No means NO! The Superintendent continually states that the NO voters don't understand. This ODE Performance Audit clearly shows THE SUPERINTENDENT doesn't understand how to manage a school system.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Now that you are reading this & hopefully have obtained & read the ODE Performance Audit findings, help get this message out. Email this site information to everyone you know in the AW area. This info is NOT against the AWSD. It is against the continued serious fiscal mismanagement by the AW Board and Administration as identified by the Ohio Department of Education. Demand the Board & Admin implement the ODE recommendations. Demand responsible fiscal management of your tax dollars. In the end you will be helping the community, teachers and staff and most importantly, our children. More money does NOT fix the major fiscal management problems we have now. It will only worsen them. Please - help get the word out. Email this information and web site to your friends & family in the AW area.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Did you know that the AWSD received a 10% windfall or increase in revenue in the form of property taxes collected in 2008? That's over $3 million dollars they didn't anticipate. Just about what they want in the form of a levy. Where did this money go?
Did you know, according to the data provided in The Blade that student state scores have actually dramatically IMPROVED since the levies have failed and the cuts have been implemented? Yet if the levy passes, most cuts will be restored. Why?
Saturday, October 4, 2008
With all due respect to the person that the Administration uses in an attempt to counter ODE Audit data - he is not qualified to do so. Firstly, this person is a staff member in the AWSD. This obviously creates a conflict of interest and bias towards data in support of any levy. When I asked the Superintendent what qualifications this person had in preparing highly detailed audit findings, he stated none. When I asked if this person had performed any previous audits in the AWSD or elsewhere, he stated none. When I asked if this person had any training what-so-ever to perform detailed audit data, he stated none. So the Superintendent wants the AW community to believe data compiled by their staff person with absolutely no background, experience or training compared to highly trained, skilled, certified and seasoned Ohio Department of Education(ODE) Auditors that do nothing but audit hundreds of school systems per year. That would be like having the neighbor kid perform brain surgery on you compared to a tenured certified brain surgeon. Which would you rather believe or trust?
Thursday, October 2, 2008
When asked more than once, the Superintendent has always stated that their budget forecasts have included the $3-5 million dollars being brought into the AWSD by the new FT Mall. Interesting. The ODE Auditor findings have determined differently. The Auditor faults the Administration for FORGETTING to include this money in their forecasts. Now just how do you forget to include several million dollars in new tax revenue? Yes - you guessed it. You DON'T. And if you do forget, then you should be fired for fiscal irresponsibility. Is this what we are paying this Administration and Board to do? Then you have to ask yourself, just what else did they forget to include? You can bet there is much more. Please remember that this is NOT my opinion. This is fact as determined by the extensive audit findings of the Ohio Department of Education.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
According to the Superintendent in one of first public levy meetings, he stated that many more levies are to come. He further stated that he would never stoop to levy games such as pay-to-play, limited busing, etc. I guess he forgot what he said back then since he has brought up both of these issues as of late in order to sway yes votes. He also stated that he would work to balance the AWSD budget. So do it. The voters have stated repeatedly to make the cuts and balance the budget with the funds available. What doesn't the Administration and Board understand? If they continue to NOT understand the word "NO" then it is time to get some people in these positions that will do what the tax payers are telling them to do. Are they deaf?
Another ODE Audit finding - Boards members lack any type of training what-so-ever. And they wonder why they continue to make poor business decisions for the AWSD. And lets not forget what the Board President stated at the beginning of the very first public levy meeting. He told everyone in attendance that they should not blame anyone else but the Board for the present fiscal mismanagement mess. The Board was at fault. Fine. If the Board got us into this mess, then let the Board get us out. This should not be through a BAILOUT by more taxpayer money. Remember that old sayinig about throwing more gas on an already burning flame?
Did you know that the Superintendent allows a select few private citizens to use AWSD equipment, such as copy machines, postage meters, computers, etc.? We are talking hundreds and possibly thousands of tax payer funds. When I called the Superintendent to demand this practice of misuse of tax dollars be stopped, he hung up on me. When I called back, he began attacking me and my job personally. Why? What was he afraid of? I also asked if I could use this equipment in the same manner as these other private citizens were and he stated no. I then asked for a copy of the invoices for the mass mailings and such that this group was generating out of the Bucher Rd Castle. The Superintendent took days to finally generate some invoices and mail me copies. To date, he has NOT supplied me with receipts showing ANY of these invoices have been paid or reimbursement has been made to the AWSD. Tax Payers! WAKE UP! THIS IS YOUR MONEY BEING MISUSED!
Did you know that according to the ODE Auditor AND the AW Treasurer, the AWSD will emerge from fiscal caution status shortly. All without the passage of a new levy or income tax. Now I wonder why the Superintendent continues to use fiscal caution in his statements to generate support for a new levy? Only one reason. More money!
Obtain a copy of the most recent(May 08) Ohio Department of Education(ODE) Performance Audit of the Anthony Wayne School District(AWSD). You can obtain a copy from the AW Treasurer for a minimal copy charge of around $5. Within this audit you will find over 100 pages of detailed items regarding fiscal mismanagement and lack of accountability by the Board and Administrators. Page after page of insufficient budget processes and the lack of fiscal accountability. Don't take my word for it as a past Budget and Accounting Manager. Read it and judge for yourself. It explains in detail the lack of proper accountability from school bus purchases, to Human Resources, to capital expenditures and the contracting out of these, to purchasing authority, to competitive procurement practices, to wages and salaries. In regards to ODE fiscal caution status the Superintendent continues to mislead the tax payers. Originally he stated that in order to be removed from fiscal caution, new money in the form of a levy passage was required. This is false according to the ODE Auditor AND the AW Treasurer. When brought to the attention of the AW Treasurer, she stated that she would suggest to the Superintendent that he no longer use this statement. Most recently the Superintendent is now stating that the AWSD does not have the 2% carryover in their budget in order to be removed from fiscal caution. He is correct in stating that part of the requirement is a 2% carryover, BUT according to the AW Treasurer when asked, she stated that the AWSD has met this requirement months ago. I could go on, but whether you plan on voting Yes or No, you owe it to yourself to become educated with the facts from reading this Performance Audit. I will leave with a few quotes from this audit. "AW LSD has almost four times the monitor staff as the peer district average, ..."; AW LSD has more clerical staff per 1,000 students....than the peer average."; "Reducing staffing......would save the District to approximately $800,000....and bring it in line with peer district staffing levels."; "....history of poor quality forecasts."; "revise Treasure's forecast to include revenue from new commercial/industrial construction. ....will result in approximately $800,000 annually in additional revenue."; AND LASTLY "...poor forecast assumption and analysis errors pointed to the need of additional revenues, when in fact, the District was in much better financial condition than predicted." Yes, you read the quote correctly. Due to the extremely poor forecasting practices in place, AWSD has placed levies on the ballot requesting additional funding when in fact they do NOT need the money. ALL according to the ODE Audit findings.