School pays $1,600 for $1,000 fence, spends money to clean director’s home

By Kyle Olson on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 in Uncategorized

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The La Promesa Early Learning Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico is a very small charter school with very serious financial problems, due largely to gross mismanagement and alleged fraud. It also recently received an “F” grade from the state for academics. But somehow state officials were convinced to give the school a […]

Aggressive Pasco, Washington union drives up labor costs in school district

By Kyle Olson on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017 in Uncategorized

PASCO, Wash. – In September 2015, teachers in the Pasco, Washington school district walked out on strike, postponing the beginning of the new school year. The main issue was compensation for teachers. They wanted higher salaries and better benefits. The strike was settled was settled after nine days, with the teachers receiving a four percent […]

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Racism, bigotry at ‘White Privilege Conference’

By Kyle Olson on Monday, May 1st, 2017 in Uncategorized

KANSAS CITY — Just imagine if the word “white” was swapped out for “black” or “Hispanic” in some of the statements that have emerged from the 18th annual “White Privilege Conference.” If that happened, in no time flat, activists would be labeled racists and bigots, a state investigation would be launched and the conference would […]

New Britain, CT school district was desperate for money, but still paid superintendent big buyout

By Kyle Olson on Thursday, April 27th, 2017 in Uncategorized

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – In May 2015, the New Britain, Connecticut school board voted against renewing Superintendent Kelt Cooper’s contract. That came three years after the board recruited Cooper to “salvage its foundering schools,” according to a report from The news report noted that Cooper still had about 14 months left on his contract, […]

Despite lack of union privileges, Mesa, AZ teachers still well compensated in 2015-16

By Kyle Olson on Tuesday, April 25th, 2017 in Uncategorized

MESA, Arizona – Teachers unions don’t care for the system in Arizona, which does not force school districts to engage in collective bargaining with unions. But Arizona teachers apparently don’t have it so bad, despite the unions’ inability to employ pressure tactics at the bargaining table. Teachers in the Mesa school district are a good […]

Voters reject tax increase after school district’s wild spending brought to light

By Kyle Olson on Thursday, April 20th, 2017 in Uncategorized

DOVER, Del. – School boards should probably be more careful when they hire top financial administrators – particularly if they want voters to trust them and approve tax increases. In the late 1990s Patrick Miller served as business manager of the Brandywine School District in Delaware. He resigned in 1998 and “later pleaded no contest […]

AUDIT: KY school district transferred $360,000 to football program without board approval

By Kyle Olson on Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 in Uncategorized

ASHLAND, Ky. – A lot of people love high school football. But when winning football games becomes a higher priority than making sure students have adequately funded classrooms, something has gone terribly wrong. That was apparently the case in the summer of 2015, when a state audit found that the Fairview, Kentucky school district transferred […]

Audit: Missouri superintendent misused more than $100,000 without school board noticing

By Kyle Olson on Monday, April 17th, 2017 in Uncategorized

ARNOLD, Mo. – For years, many “parents, residents and staff” of the Fox C-6 school district suspected that former Superintendent Dianne Critchlow was misusing school funds, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. As it turns out, they were absolutely right. According to a state audit, Critchlow ran up at least $100,000 worth of personal purchases […]

Affton, MO school payroll illustrates why boards hike taxes

By Kyle Olson on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 in Uncategorized

AFFTON, Mo. – Steven Brotherton, superintendent of Missouri’s Affton school district, said in 2015 that “Our largest expense is our human resources, with 75 percent of the budget going toward salaries and benefits.” A little more than a year later, the Affton school board put two proposals on the ballot that would have increased taxes […]