Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Educational! St. Joseph School Board Members Reflect on Audit Findings and More!

If you're not already following Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich's tweets about the St. Joseph School District audit results that were released to the public on Tuesday February 17, 2015, you should be.

Our state auditor's office has been posting links to many of the news stories that have been posted online as a result of the SJSD state audit. You can read State Auditor Schweich's tweets using the following link:

Reading the news stories pouring out about the results of the SJSD state audit are very educational and very much a reminder of what happened here in the Fox C-6 School District.

Fox C-6 is currently undergoing a state audit just as SJSD did last year. Hopefully the Fox C-6 state audit will be released later this year so the community can learn more about what went on in our school district during former superintendent Dianne Brown-Critchlow's tenure. I have a feeling that many more surprises will be uncovered when Fox's audit is released and that there will be many similarities to the SJSD audit.

SJSD School Board Members Reflect on Audit Findings
One of the yesterday's news stories had reactions from some of the St. Joseph School District school board members. Several of the board members couldn't understand how the annual audit being performed by a local firm didn't throw up any "red flags" or uncover any problems going on in their school district. It sounds awfully familiar to what happened here at Fox regarding our annual audit. The Fox C-6 school board and community were told every year that things were going great.

One of the main points in the story is the fact that SJSD board members didn't ask more questions about what was going on when they weren't getting information that they thought they needed.

That point hits home with respect to the credit card statements that weren't being supplied to Fox's school board members and the lack of details being supplied in the monthly Bill Payments Report in the board meeting packets. Fox's board members approved monthly payments to the credit card companies and other vendors without having all of the details behind the payments. It made it very easy for some of Fox's administrators to purchase things they shouldn't have with taxpayer money. Hindsight has shown us why that information wasn't being supplied even though I asked for it to be provided numerous times and was refused by former superintendent Dianne Brown-Critchlow.

Another issue was that a lot of the decisions needing approval by the SJSD administration right away without much time to review the information ahead of time. 

It clearly demonstrates how a lack of oversight allows administrators to get away with things that should have never happened in the first place had there been a culture of integrity and honesty rather than deception and retaliation.

The articles and comments below should be read by everyone in the Fox C-6 community. 

I really liked the following story because it has a very good graphic showing some of the things that could have been purchased for the $25 Million Dollars that was spent in stipends that weren't approved or authorized by the SJSD school board. A parent mentioned how their weren't enough books in their district as well. Fox has had the same book shortage problem for years despite former Superintendent Dianne Brown-Critchlow's public denials. 

Some of the purchase examples from the SJSD article, the district could have purchased 95,785 Google Chromebooks or 10 million school lunches:

Below are some additional stories about the St. Joseph School District Audit Results: