It's about those fees that the Fox C-6 School District has been collecting for years for everything under the sun where you felt like you were being nickel and dime'd to death at the beginning of each and every school year.
"This year Ridgewood Middle School is requesting a $6 fee for a locker combination and a school planner. I thought the lockers were already in the building."This year the charge for a locker combination at Ridgewood cost $8.
You're probably now thinking that by charging all of those extra fees that perhaps former Fox C-6 school superintendent Dianne Brown-Critchlow was able to help funnel more of our taxpayer dollars towards paying for her outrageous salary and you may be correct. There had to be some way to "balance" the budget and afford to write your own ticket to wealth and prosperity on the backs of a demographic that in no way supported the amount of salary that she was receiving for all those years.
Her sons are not currently employed by the district. We'll have to discuss the issue of her sons being employed by the district as "student workers" without a contact in a future article. I don't want anyone's blood pressure to rise too high while reading this!
"We've also confronted an issue with regard to fees. As you know the Missouri Constitution requires that we provide a FREE education. But for many years we've been assessing fees for certain courses like lab fees, shop fees, art fees, etc.. We solicited a legal opinion on that practice and we've been advised that those fees are not allowable. So we've directed the buildings to stop collecting those fees.
At first glance, those discontinued fees appear to replace a greater burden on the budget. However, generally those supplies were being purchased from budget accounts that were tax supported. While the fees were being posted to revolving accounts. There was a disconnect there.
Going forward we should be able to sustain the necessary expenses in the budget. And, uh, the revolving accounts may have less discretionary funds in them."You may have to read through Mr. Brazeal's remarks a few times to catch the fact that the supplies were being purchased from budgeted accounts that were tax supported while the fees were being posted to revolving accounts. The main point being that Missouri Constitution Article IX states that public schools must be free and the district cannot collect fees for supplies that are required for a course.
Click on the following link to listen hear John Brazeal's comments at the September 16, 2014 Fox C-6 school board meeting during his Financial Report. The good news was that Governor Nixon released money last week to Public Education. Mr. Brazeal also discussed some of the policies and procedures that the district has been working on to improve internal controls. Those controls cover petty cash, credit cards, gift cards, scholarships and more.