Daily Archives: February 20, 2013

Is Delaware College Preparatory Charter school in a pickle with Red Clay? #netDE #edude @dedeptofed

The district Accountability Committee is recommending that the Red Clay Consolidated School District Board of Education place Delaware College Preparatory Academy (DCPA) on probation in accordance with 14 Del.C. Sec. 516(2) effective November 15, 2012. 

Motion by Kenneth J Rivera, second by Faith R Newton.

Final Resolution: Motion Carries

Yes: Leah F Davis, Martin A Wilson Sr, Faith R Newton, Kenneth J Rivera, Catherine H Thompson

DMA’s situation might make it hard for state board to give a favorable vote for Pencader

DMA’s audit gives charter schools another black-eye. DMA was warned about the reimbursement issue at the center of the audit.

The Pencader community is asking the Delaware State Board of Education to vote on keeping the school open knowing there is no board approved final FY2013 budget. That’s a tall order folks! Many of the other issues cited in the review are not an easy fix but more manageable. How can the SBE vote favorably if they don’t know the actual financial position of Pencader? Sorry to say DMA’s mess puts the SBE in a different spotlight. Their vote is being watched by even folks in Washington D.C.. I hope somebody writes Pencader a check for a million dollars with stipulation the SBE vote in favor of Pencader.

Only for Pencader parents and student I hope “your” school stays open with a favorable vote by the SBE. But I am tell you, though you won’t be permitted to address the SBE at their meeting tomorrow but you need to be there in force. It’s going to be hard for them to vote against you if 100 sets of eyes are staring at them. The SBE is a public meeting and your are allow to attend! The DMA thing could be a game changer against you.

I support charter schools as a Choice option parents and students deserve! However, I am a strong supporter and advocate for transparency regarding our public schools. There was a letter to the review committee taking pot-shots at Kilroy and that is O.K.. People took pot-shots at Kilroy in 2011 for being part of the rally to keep Pencader open! Where was Frank, CSW and the others in 2011? Parents and students I am with you and do hope Pencader stays open! It doesn’t change my mission in regards to transparency. New laws will come and strengthen transparency and perhaps $$$ fine charter and traditional public school district for not posting the required data/reports on their webpage!

The state board of education meeting will be recorded thank’s to me and those legislators who supported the law I requested. No, I am not bragging, I am saying one person can make a difference. If Pencader is spared please demand their public board meetings be recorded and posted on Pencader website within 7 days of the meeting. The recordings will not represent the board meeting minutes but rather enhance communications to the parent, students, legislators, DE DOE , SBE and  the community! Don’t you think you deserve that?

Good luck tomorrow and make yourselves present during tomorrow’s SBE meeting. 

Red Clay poised to put DMA on review

UPDATE 8:15 p.m. 

BREAKING: Red Clay Board just authorized a procedural and financial accountability committee for Delaware Military Academy

Red Clay added action item on tonight’s school board meeting in regards to DMA state audit finding.  The board could vote to setup a charter school accountability review committee. Odds are they will.  

The best thing for all charter schools and traditional public schools is to limit reimbursements to travel related expenses and to use state issued P-card / credit card for all other purchases. And in case you didn’t know, just like the online checkbook registry there is Delaware Online Credit Card Transactions  Governor Markell made this an executive order in response to complaints (yes from Kilroy too) to make this feature available because credit card transactions wasn’t on the checkbook registry because the state does an internal debit back to the districts for their credit card purchases.

Transparency folks! Don’t be a Publius and let schools do what they $$$ want as long as students are meeting the standards!

My hunch is you’re going to see some command changes at DMA next year.   

Lois Lane has the full scoop on DMA

Auditor: School chief pocketed $26,000 Delaware Military Academy’s leader repays double payments after audit Written by Nichole Dobo The News Journal

According to the audit, Wintermantel received double reimbursements 12 times. The audit explored about $255,293 in reimbursements made to Wintermantel from July 2009 until November 2011. Another $349,481 in reimbursements to Wintermantel from an earlier period spanning from about 2003 to 2009 were not investigated, but the auditor’s office has offered to do so.

The follow reimbursements were made in 2012 and not part of the audit 

JACK WINTERMANTEL

ADVERTISING

12/6/2012

$180.49

JACK WINTERMANTEL

ASSOC DUES AND CONF FEES

10/10/2012

$500.00

JACK WINTERMANTEL

ASSOC DUES AND CONF FEES

11/7/2012

$55.00

JACK WINTERMANTEL

ASSOC DUES AND CONF FEES

12/6/2012

$150.00

JACK WINTERMANTEL

OFFICE EQUIPMENT

9/7/2012

$118.98

JACK WINTERMANTEL

OTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICE

7/30/2012

$500.00

JACK WINTERMANTEL

OTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICE

10/10/2012

$197.50

JACK WINTERMANTEL

PERMIT/CERTS/TRANS/MISFEE/LICS

8/28/2012

$250.00

JACK WINTERMANTEL

PERMIT/CERTS/TRANS/MISFEE/LICS

8/28/2012

$70.00

JACK WINTERMANTEL

PERMIT/CERTS/TRANS/MISFEE/LICS

12/20/2012

$175.00

JACK WINTERMANTEL

POSTAGE

10/10/2012

$90.00

JACK WINTERMANTEL

STUDENT BODY ACTIVITY

8/28/2012

$500.00

JACK WINTERMANTEL

STUDENT BODY ACTIVITY

9/24/2012

$360.00

JACK WINTERMANTEL

STUDENT BODY ACTIVITY

12/6/2012

$500.00

Wagner’s office contends that the financial issue at Delaware Military Academy has lingered for years despite state warnings, and there was a culture at the school where others dared not to question any actions by Wintermantel.

The state Secretary of Finance warned the school twice to stop allowing Wintermantel to pay for items with personal accounts, but it continued, according to the audit. Wintermantel had a motto of “I’ll do what I can until they catch me,” according to the audit. Wagner’s office began an investigation in 2011, after state financial officials reported the problem.

Auditors said they questioned the explanations given for the double

The problem is with Governor Jack Markell’s leadership! The DE DOE is a complete mess and failure. Alos, where was Red Clay is all of this? Surely the must of know about the warnings and if the people can go online and see the check board registry why doesn’t Red Clay t he charter oversight agent?

The school already has instituted a policy that all reimbursements must get approval from two people, including the school board’s treasurer, Fulton said. That issue was noted in an audit conducted by the school a few years ago.

To replace the school practice of using an employee’s personal credit cards, the school will obtain a state-issued credit card. Further, the school has hired an outside forensic accountant to do another internal review to examine if there are other instances of double payments.

If they used a state P-card there would have been no reimbursements needed to be made. I guess it all comes down to who get’s the credit card rewards points. Did they go back to DMA or the private staff card holder. Would those points that can be used for even gift cards be consider taxable income in this case? But dam, they should be using the P-card.

“With these steps and others, we hope again to capture the trust of those who have come to expect the best from Delaware Military Academy and its officials,” the school stated in its written response to the audit.

The real question is, is Red Clay up to the task of doing their job as oversight agent but we know DE DOE can’t handle it! 

Red Clay spokeswoman Pati Nash said the auditor’s findings were “a serious concern” and said a formal review will be recommended at a meeting today.

I think DMA needs to have their own Captain’s Mast!

There is no question in my mind that this is a guy who is completely and totally committed and passionate,” Fulton said.

Of course he is! But the concern is fiscal irresponsibility! 

Wagner is not convinced that the school has fully vetted the matter.

“It is ironic that the school develops characteristics in their cadets such as strength of character, individual excellence, and responsible leadership, yet some of the administration is not upheld to the same standards,” the audit concludes.

I think Wagner hit the nail on the head with that comment!  

How can you not know you were reimbursed twice? Red Clay needs to end this $$shell game and order DMA to start using a P-card and DMA needs to do some soul searching for not effectively responding with changes after being warned!