|FOLLOW UP QUESTIONS:
(1) For Terry Fralick, Watertown, New York: Was your $800K shortfall prediction with or
without stronger internal controls in place? If New York taxpayers find a way in this economy
to cough up more money, what assurance do they have that you will be a better steward than
you were before Comptroller di Napoli's audit findings were released? At what point do you
take personal responsibility for the preventable losses that occurred under your watch?
(2) For Texas Lege education chairs Florence Shapiro and Rob Eissler: What steps
are you taking to assure that the technology monies you lobbied for will be better spent than
the $82 million loss Houston ISD has just experienced?
(3) For new Inglewood USD superintendent Gary McHenry: What internal controls will you
put into place regarding discretionary spending by district officials and employees for travel
and meals, and what steps will you take to encourage webinars, etc. in lieu?
|"The Watertown City School District acknowledges that the purchasing agent did
not always ensure that goods and services were purchased in accordance with
the District's procurement policy and regulation and pertinent laws."
|(1) Preventable loss: $4,947
Watertown City School District (NY)
In charge: superintendent Terry N. Fralick
|(L) Terry Fralick, Meria Carstarphen, Alda Benavides, Jack Raslowsky, Barbara Vigil-Lowder, Bob Lee, Pamela Short-Powell, Abe Saavedra
|(7) Preventable loss: $203,000
Bernalillo Public Schools (NM)
In charge: superintendent Barbara Vigil-Lowder
|COACHELLA USD (CA)
|Orange County Weekly:
Capistrano USD supe
Woody Carter at
Llano ISD FOIA conviction
Edgewood ISD PD re FOIA
Progress by March 2007
1st year ann'y: Oct. 2007
Gov.Perry & Comm.Scott
|WHO'S ATTENDING YOUR
SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS?
Follow the money in our
15 vendors & special
interests at board meetings
|The nation's 1st & only daily conservative public education commentary - Solutions, not Fear
|P E Y T O N W O L C O T T
How we take back our children's
one person, one question,
one school at a time.
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NOTICE: All individuals mentioned on this site are presumed innocent unless they have been found guilty in a court of law.
|Copyright 1999-2009 Peyton Wolcott
and carry a big stick."
-- Teddy Roosevelt
"Trust but verify."
-- Ronald Reagan
|Just because you can
doesn't mean you should.
|H o w w e t a k e b a c k o u r c h i l d r e n ' s e d u c a t i o n: o n e p e r s o n , o n e q u e s t i o n , o n e s c h o o l a t a t i m e.
|AZ CA KS MD MO OH OK
KeyWest CreditCards SLAPP
TX Senator John Cornyn
Edgewood 1 2345 CleburneISD
KatyISD BremondISD LlanoISD
|Check Registers US TX Flyer
Ask your district Set goals/organize
Ask lots of questions
School Board Ethics Pledges
Watchdogs: AngryActivist Alert PR
|"Gloria from Luling" on
Walsh Anderson party at
Austin's Iron Cactus
with unnamed man who
was shy about
revealing his name
(TASA Mid Winter, 2007 )
|Soghra Najafpour (L) was
sentenced to death at age 13 for
the first time in Iran; she's now
31 -- more here. Did principal
Robin E. Lowe (L) mention
Soghra during her 'Islam 101'
day May 22 at Friendswood JH?
Will she mention Soghra at her
new gig running Houston ISD's
Pershing MS? Wouldn't that be a
step towards "raising [her
students'] awareness of the
culture" -- of the true culture -- in
Iran? That perhaps Robin's
invited speakers from CAIR might
have forgotten to mention?
UPDATE: As of today no
response yet from Robin to
telephone and email queries.
|The American Superintendent
(Leonard Merrell) as Allan
Ramsay's King George III
(Mixed-media collage by Peyton
Wolcott, Copyright 2008)
|6 SIMPLE SUGGESTIONS FOR SCHOOL
1. End discretionary spending.
Set an example for your staff; let them know you mean
business about running a tighter ship: No trips, no
conferences, no meals, no credit cards. If you want to
learn more about something, use Google. Do a
webinar. Read a newsletter. No golf games with
vendors, ever. No chauffeurs, no rental cars. Stay home,
do your work and keep your nose clean.
2. Reduce administrative costs.
Go through your administrative staff roster and cut every
other job, starting with getting rid of all PR and
marketing. No advisors, no consultants. Learn how to
really read a budget. Put your check register and all wire
No nepotism. Let your wife and kids earn a living in a
field other than education. No board members' spouses
working in the district. Conduct all discussions with
vendors and potential vendors in the open; invite your
public to watch and ask questions. Throw away your
contract and work year by year. Move your chair off the
dais at board meetings. You're not a team member with
your elected trustees. You're not equal to them. They're
4. No construction.
If you're the rare district truly experiencing sufficient
growth to justify building new schools, splinter off that
population and let them start their own new school
district or charter school. They might be able to take over
an abandoned church or office building for much less
than the Taj Mahal you had in mind.
5. Back-to-basics curriculum.
Math table (1st grade: add, 2nd grade: subtract, 3rd
grade multiply, 4th grade divide) daily drill. You made
sure your own kids learned the basics at home or with
tutors; why shouldn't all children have that same
opportunity? Ditto for phonics. Classical literature.
History, not social studies. No more block scheduling.
Daily P.E. for all. Emphasize individual effort and
You're a public servant, not a Third World dictator.
Practice humility and gratitude. Remember when your
employees laugh at your jokes or tell you you're cool or
vendors marvel at your every utterance that they're all
sucking up to you. Remember why you got into
education to begin with. Sell your house in the gated
community and buy one in the middle of a real
subdivision like your average parents and taxpayers can
afford. Let yourself be driven not by the latest platitude
you picked up at the latest education conference but by
the same wonderful noble desire to educate kids that got
you into this field.
|More "Best Practices"
|U.S. FEDERAL TAXPAYER DOLLARS
2000-2001 $ 121,951,145
2001-2002 $ 137,745,786
2002-2003 $ 169,103,740
2003-2004 $ 188,618,903
2004-2005 $ 188,838,330
2005-2006 $ 215,068,567
2006-2007 $ 217,970,686
DOLLARS TO DISD
2000-2001 $ 204,116,731
2001-2002 $ 180,097,229
2002-2003 $ 254,465,426
2003-2004 $ 199,905,502
2004-2005 $ 199,940,243
2005-2006 $ 198,907,113
2006-2007 $ 305,839,277
|Ethics pledges Corruption
Team of 8 Nationalization
NCLB/Pearson $1.4 B (TX)
Transparency 2006 Lax oversight
Lobbyists 1 2 3 PassTheTrash 1 2
|Edu-Monopoly EduInc Internal Controls
Tech Audits ERDI Financial Exigency
Laptops Credit cards Supes travel/meals
Edu-Conferences TASA MidWinter
GORGE-ous Supes/Golf/Vendors 1 2 3
|Terms & Conditions: Sorry to have to
include this; some groups--God bless
them--have copied my research and
published it as their own.
|Robin Hood & 22 'equity'
failures: MALDEF's 22
Edgewood districts cost
Texans billions in failed
academics & extravagance.
|How to persuade your
district: Friendly works
best-- take the Golden Rule
with you when asking your
schools to post checks.
Testimonials: issues &
|Leonard Merrell Center
Katy ISD, Texas (PHOTO--Peyton Wolcott)
|Welcome, America -- glad you're finding this no-ads
website useful! #1 on Google & Yahoo of 256,000,000!
|Looking for older commentaries?
Click here, see if you can find what you're
looking for; if not, try Googling whatever it
is in quotes along with my name in quotes,
as this example:
"embezzlement" "school" "peyton wolcott"
As of June 1, 2009, there were 290 reports
to choose from for this one category.
Thank you for reading,
and thank you for your interest in our
schools and our schoolchildren.
|Texas Hill Country - Mesquite and Wildflowers
|WELCOME, Washington state! Public school checks now online in 34 states, 600+ school districts, in 3 years!
|Mon., Nov. 30, 2009
Holocaust Museum (NYC)
more info re
Key West, Florida
|N E W C O M M E N T A R I E S
|Not just because it's one
of America's most beau-
tiful locales, and certainly
not because their school
superintendent and his
wife are being prosecu-
ted for their alleged roles
in the abuse of the
including credit cards.
|The very structure of the
American political system is at
the heart of these failures. For
example, thwarting Obama on a
regular basis is an
unrepresentative senate where
"minority rule" prevails and
undermines what a majority of
the country may want. With two
senators elected per state,
regardless of population,
California with more than 35
million people has the same
number of senators as Wyoming
with just half a million residents.
This constitutional arrangement
greatly favours low population
states, many of which tend to be
conservative, producing what
one political analyst has called "a
weighted vote for small-town
whites in pickup trucks with gun
|Muammar Gaddafi and NYC tent
|October 1, 2009
|Byron Area SD (MI)
|(Left) BASD supe Daniel L. Scow;
|Posted October 1, 2009
Updated October 7, 2009
Photos: Copyright Keynoter
Publishing Co. Inc, 2009.
Reprinted by permission of the
Keynoter Publishing Co. Inc.
|FACT OF THE WEEK: Texas school districts spent $ 12,165 per student, not the $ 7,495 usually reported, during 2008-2009 school year.
|(L) 2007: Raul Lopez with new
BusRadio satellite system
Enterprise); Foch "Tut" Pensis (AP)
BusRadio Bob Davoli
|Shirley Riley, Business
Manager was in fact [the
person] who pointed out the
ment) to me. We immediate-
ly placed the employee
executive Scott Turpin] on
administrative leave and
investigated further. Over the
course of several years he
had been making small
purchases and charging
them to the school district.
He ended up resigning from
his position at the school in
lieu of a likely termination.
He has made full restitution
as part of a plea bargain with
the prosecuting attorney.
In response to this situation
we increased our efforts to
monitor revenue and
expenditures in all depart-
ments. In direct response to
the situation in transportation
we separated the duties of
mechanic and supervisor so
supply inventories and
expenditures are monitored
are also monitored and
approved by the business
superintendent. I believe we
have made significant
improvements in this area.
Total expenditures for
2008-09 were $10,273,203
plus $850,423 for food
service and athletics
|Sean Kinney's Oct. 1, 2009
photo of Monique Acevedo's
3rd trip to jail; she's at far
right, holding hands with her
husband, former supe and
former boss Randy Acevedo.
|CHICAGO PS CORRUPTION
Developing . . .
Nov. 23, 2009
|o Talk to people outside
....the Washington bubble.
o Position yourself as the
....voice of the many.
|How would Jon Meacham do as his own cover girl?
|On October 30, 2009 Newsweek parent The Washington Post Company
reported a "48% and 38% reduction in advertising revenue at Newsweek
for the third quarter and first nine months of 2009, respectively, resulting
from fewer ad pages at both the domestic and international editions. In
February 2009, Newsweek announced a circulation rate base reduction at
its domestic edition, from 2.6 million to 1.5 million, by January 2010."
|"Look, we're such good stewards of your hard-
earned tax dollars that we're opening our books to
you. We have nothing to hide, come take a look."
|(2) and (3) Preventable losses: $21K+ and $81K+
St. Paul Public Schools (MN)
In charge: then-superintendent Meria Carstarphen
|James Elwood (L);
Meria Carstarphen (R) is now
Austin ISD in Texas
|(4) Preventable loss: $20,000+
La Joya ISD (TX)
In charge: superintendent Alda T. Benavides
|Jimmy Gonzalez (L);
Alda T. Benavides
|Bernalillo Schools director of
finance Denise Irion (L), supe
|(10) Preventable loss: $82,000,000
Houston ISD (TX)
In charge: then-superintendent Abe Saavedra
|(9) Preventable loss: $7,500
Inglewood USD (CA)
In charge: then-supe Pamela Short-Powell
|Trina Williams (L); Pamela Short-
Powell (R) has worked at Pasadena
USD (CA), Okalahom City Public
Schools, and several 501(c) 's
|(8) Preventable loss: $130,000+
Kenston Local School DIstrict (OH)
In charge: superintendent Robert A. 'Bob' Lee
|Geraldine Kanieski (L), Bob Lee
|(5) and (6) Preventable losses: $400 and $244,992
Hoboken Public Schools (NJ)
In charge: then-supe John R, 'Jack' Raslowsky II
& then-board prez Frank 'Pupie' Raia
|(L) Jack Raslowsky,
Frank 'Pupie' Raia
|(L) Lynne M. Wight, CPA,
and Terry N. Fralick
|TAKEAWAY: LJISD's 66-page
2009-2010 District Improvement
Plan doesn't mention
"accountability" or "internal
controls" or money" or "taxes" or
"expenses"; hopefully, in light of the
negativity the arrest has brought to
the district internal controls will be
listed in next year's DIP -- and local
police will take over the
|Did the success of reality
show "Cake Boss" awaken
Hoboken's' civic awareness?
|Fox News mention
|as he called
this one of
meet his own
|Ray Feick, acting superintendent of Owen J. Roberts School District
in Pottstown, Pennsylvania (PHOTO--John Strickler/Montgomery News)
|M. Joseph Brady on the
job in Minersville (PHOTO--
Jason Sipes/Altoona Mirror)
|OJR board awards Feick $8,000 bonus
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
By Laura Catalano, Special to The Pottstown Mercury
SOUTH COVENTRY — Acting once again against the wishes of very vocal members of the community,
the Owen J. Roberts School Board voted 5-4 Monday to give acting Superintendent Ray Feick an $8,000
bonus for his work in conducting a superintendent search. Feick, who was hired by the board in August
at a $600 per day rate, said he was promised the $8,000 before being appointed. It had not previously
been voted on, and several members of the board said they were not informed of that promise. Neither
Feick nor any board members indicated during numerous discussions surrounding the search that he
would be paid extra for it.
Board member William LaCoff said he believed the bonus was illegal.
During the meeting, which was attended by about 200 people, more than 20 spoke out against the bonus.
The crowd was often angry and unruly, shouting periodically for board member Debbie Bissland to
resign. They applauded, sometimes at length, as audience members spoke critically of Feick's bonus
and of the board majority. "You should be ashamed of yourselves," North Coventry resident Lisa
Wasson said to the board majority. "I hope living in this community has become difficult for you because
you have made it difficult for the people who live here." The crowd stood and cheered after her
Speakers once again chastised the board for last week's hiring of Joel T. DiBartolomeo as the new
district superintendent. The superintendent search has been widely criticized by both the teachers union
and district residents who believe the board rushed a decision in order to install a superintendent before
the six members leave office on Dec. 7. DiBartolomeo was present and spoke briefly to the audience.
"Moving forward, I will do my best to begin a dialogue that's respectful and thoughtful on behalf of the
kids," he told the crowd.
His words did little to quell the anger in the room, much of which was directed at Feick's bonus. "To
accept this $8,000 bonus, it's not right," said East Coventry resident Nancy Dempsey. "I hope you have
some guilt taking this money. Most of us can't afford our taxes going up." Board member Barbara
McMeekin also appealed directly to Feick, asking that he forego the bonus. Teachers' union President
Karin Suzadail requested that he donate it to the OJR Education Foundation, which provides funding for
Warwick Township resident Jim Miller stated that the Pennsylvania School Boards Association would
have performed a more extensive search for $11,000. "I don't feel you merit $8,000," he said to Feick.
He pointed out that by eliminating the bonus, along with a $9,000 forensic audit approved last week, the
board could have "had a search that was definitely considered impartial." The board voted 5-4 to
approve the bonus, with all members of the board majority approving it including board President Edward
Kerner, along with Bissland, John Dutton, Eugene Endress and Karen Zelley. Opposed were McMeekin,
Rosemary Bilinski, LaCoff and Eric Scheib.
One resident asked if Feick had been aware he'd be receiving an $8,000 bonus for the superintendent
search. Feick didn't respond during the public comment period, but later McMeekin repeated the
question. "Prior to my coming here, I was asked if I would do a superintendent search for $8,000. It was
approved prior to my employment," Feick replied. He said the $8,000 was not voted on publicly when he
was hired because it was never put on the agenda for approval. The only payment that was approved
was the $600 per diem wage. In response to the criticism from the crowd, Feick stressed that he had
worked many hours on the search. He also stated that surrounding school districts have paid much more
for consultants to perform superintendent searches, such as Great Valley School District, which paid
$25,000. "I honestly believe I did exactly what I was assigned to do. I do not feel one bit I failed in doing
my job," Feick said. "It's unfortunate that when I was approved (the bonus) wasn't on the agenda."
LaCoff called the bonus illegal. "You said it was too bad about this bonus not being on the agenda
when you were hired," LaCoff said. "Too bad for you. Paying you this is illegal. This was a secret deal."