Former Newark Charter School board of director is trying to box Rep Williams in the corner

Delaware lawmakers spar over charter school audit bills , The News Journal

State Rep. Kim Williams, D-Newport, and Sen. Dave Sokola, D-Newark, have proposed differing bills over how charter schools are audited.

State Rep. Kim Williams, D-Newport, wants the state auditor to select and oversee the firms that do the annual financial reports of charter schools. Currently, charter school boards work out those contracts themselves.

“We should be doing everything we can to ensure that the taxpayers’ money is not being misused,” Williams said.

But state Sen. Dave Sokola, D-Newark, has instead proposed a bill he says would strengthen the existing laws to clarify and tighten up the expectations for charter audits.

Expectations for charter audits ??? What find a better way to steal from the taxpayers? Rep Williams is on the mark, independent audits.

 “It just seemed to me that the high-performing charters that are doing a very good job with their finances are going to have to spend more money, and they’re already doing what they’re supposed to,” Sokola said. “The charters who might be struggling need more guidance and clarity.”

Dave , the law is fucked up! DE DOE has representatives as participating members of the CBOC per law! And yet even with them at the table the taxpayers are getting robbed! Moyer when unchecked, their AMX card! And then there was the shady land deal!

Hey Dave Sokola, many people don’t know you were one of the first board of directors for Newark Charter! Dave, you don’t give a shit about traditional public education! 

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79 responses to “Former Newark Charter School board of director is trying to box Rep Williams in the corner

  1. Private education with public money. Who is being served?

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  2. Josiah Andrews

    Kim’s bill makes sense! These charter schools have gotten away with outright thievery! Kim’s bill is a checks and balance system to make sure these charters are bilking the taxpayers, and unfortunately, THAT is the cost of doing business. Get the fuck over it! GOOD JOB KIM WILLIAMS!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Publius e decere

      Josiah,

      I have read about and heard about SO MUCH on this issue.

      HB-186’s intention — if true — is to improve accountability. BUT the bill’s method in Code is fatally flawed, A decent lawyer could see it a mile away. If the intention is tru, then the means shoudl be flexible. But the sponsor appears to be intransigent on this topic.

      Sokola’s inclusive counterproposal is EXACTLY what is needed to address his-and-her.concerns. “his” being Sokola — “her” being Williams. Sokola’s interpretation withstands legal muster. Willizms’ does not.

      Why is Rep William opposing a bill which does exactly what she wants but isn’t “her’s”? The sin of Pride?

      I thin

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  3. How exactly does his role on the Newark Charter Board or pointing out that the extra costs associated with Williams’ plan mean he doesn’t care about traditional public schools? Sokola’s Bill makes more sense, with required guidelines for the contracted auditors to follow.
    Maybe the headline should be more about your love of Kim Williams because she was Red Clay and opposes charter schools. She is your new Kowalko.

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    • Publius e decere

      Kim Williams had a short term on the Red Clay board. A yeoman term at best. Possibly novice. And based on the legislation she is introducing, her “experience” (a few years) was lost on her.

      A MAJORITY of people in Red Clay support the charters, magnets and intra-school achievement programs which she claims to oppose. She is not representative of the Red Cay district.

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    • Publius, you are a complete asshole. Pure and simple. Your disgusting bias for charter schools is shining through for all to see. The State Auditor’s office agrees with Kim. Why are the charters so desperate to protect themselves? What are they hiding? Why are they fighting this like they will all shut down if it goes through? I think we BOTH know the answer to that. If you had 1% of the conviction Kim Williams has, I would consider you a real person, but as it stands now you are an insanely evil monster.

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    • Kevin, I’ve heard that federal funds meant for lower-income & spec needs children (e.g. Title I) are used for other purposes at at least one of our “higher performing” charters (this from a parent with both spec Ed and non-spec Ed children in the school; unwilling to speak out yet due to fear of repercussions that would result in the removal of both children). Is that the sort of misdirection of funds that might come out in a public audit but be overlooked by an unscrupulous private auditor?

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    • Eve, I do believe our State Auditor’s office did indeed find issues with Academy of Dover some years back in how they were spending federal funds, so yes, they would. I have seen some very nominal issues surrounding this in regular charter audits, but nothing to the level of which you are speaking.

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  4. Wasn’t it just a short time ago the democrats in the GA were trying to strip the auditor of his powers?

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  5. Publius, I assume you were down there yesterday, so one can put the pieces of the puzzle together. I support choice, I have written bills to support choice House Bill 90 and House Bill 337 making it easier for parents to apply and to make all choice dates the same for charter, magnets and votechs. I am representative of the Red Clay School District. My two kids were choiced into Conrad. My audit bill, House Bill 186, is supported by superintendents, The Women League of Voters, DSEA, the DE School Board Association etc. The only people who do not support my bill is the Delaware Charter Schools Network. Sen. Sokola’s bill was drafted by the charter schools which Sen. Sokola disclosed during the education committee last week. My bill protects tax payers and Sen. Sokola’s bill does not. Academy of Dover auditor was there yesterday testifying on charter schools behalf. She claimed they are the ones who discovered Academy of Dover’s fraud. She did not mention to the committee yesterday that they had been auditing Academy of Dover for three years and never discovered any fraud. The only reason the fraud was discovered because an anonymous tip was called into the Auditor of Accounts office. I did point this out to the Senate Education Committee yesterday going on record. Publius, you can sit there behind your anonymous name and call everyone out like you have done for years. I truly care about tax payers and their dollars. I do not want to see millions of dollars stolen or mismanaged by anyone. I want the money to stay in the charter schools for the students and the teachers and not in someone’s wallet. Why don’t you try working with people instead of being so judgmental of everyone who has a different opinion than you. I have received emails from charter parents, charter teachers, and charter leaders stating that they agree with me and what I am trying to accomplish.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for responding, Rep. Williams and I appreciate the fact that you sign your comments with your name. There seem to be two types of commenters on this site and others. Both camps hold different ideologies. Want camp wants a wild wild west of charter schools with minimal accountability. Those folks comment anonymously. The other camp wants accountability for all schools. We comment and put our names on everything.

      The camp that continues to post anonymously has issues with traditional public schools and the idea of unions as an agent for advocacy for students and educators. Why not sign your names? Why not peg your name to the ideologies of continued segregation of our schools and and your support for shutting down schools in regions with majority Black and Brown students?

      I know why you don’t sign your names. Your comments are so odious, offensive, and off-base that you wouldn’t want anyone to know you believe them.

      Sunshine is the best disinfectant. Come out from behind the pseudonyms and enjoy the light!

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  6. Herbert Evans

    I find it interesting that the main focus of Pubicless and the other commentators ” if they are actually not one and the same” is on those that wrote the bills and not the legislation itself. That is always a huge RED FLAG. It’s the oldest and laziest trick in the book designed to deflect from the issues at hand and make it about something else. The something else in this case is not the Legislators but the proper management of tax payer dollars which is all this is about, nothing else. For someone supposedly so “wordy” and intelligent you show your lack of common sense and intelligence by posting inane comments made to take focus off the issues. The news papers have been rife with stories of mismanagement to outright theft of monies earmarked for the classrooms of these charter schools. Money that comes out of the tax payers pocket. It is incomprehensible that anyone can attempt to justify fraud at worst or incompetence at best as a rational plan of action. You sir and your ilk are the reason why these things have been allowed to flourish for so long. Kill the messenger so the message can’t be heard. If you aren’t intelligent enough to debate the issues on their legal and legislative merits then you have already proven your point is biased and flawed. At this point I have to fall back to a Korean War gunnery Sargent I once worked with who was eloquent and poetic and had such an amazing ability to weave the the English language into a beautiful tapestry of understanding and clarity. As he would say if he were here today “Son your a dumbass and don’t know what the hell your talkin about so quit while your behind.” I really miss Sarge.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. And in such a small state, anonymity isn’t really possible. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has almost inadvertently called “Publius” by that pseudonym in public. It can be hard to remember what name individuals with multiple handles prefer to use in which contexts, esp. when everyone in a gathering knows them by multiple names!

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  8. Anonymity is the last refuge of the cowards and liars and the uninformed losers who would even dare to attack the legitimacy and thoughtfulness of dedicated public servants like Kim Williams. Pubie, some free advice for you. Before you come out of your mud wallow to squeal so annoyingly and plaintively about matters you know nothing about remember those squealing hogs aren’t any more recognizable or respected when they’re in a package of Oscar Meyer bacon.
    “Not anonymous” John Kowalko

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  9. Have there ever been any criminal charges and prosecutions?

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  10. I support oversight to be the same, I support oversight by our state auditors who have more knowledge of our state, federal and local laws/regulations, not by “CPA’s”.
    Has anyone read an audit report that was conducted to verify special education funds, {state, federal, local} were used for the purpose provided?

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  11. It is my understanding, lack of documentation prevents charges.

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  12. If it is Special Education funds, those are Federal and State. When you mess with Federal funds, guess who gets to eat you first? The Feds. Could be why we haven’t heard about any state prosecutions yet.

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  13. I love to see the clearly “unbiased” people like Mr. Ohlandt attack someone for being biased. Typical of the hypocrisy on this site. One only needs to look at the reactions of college students to those who “offend” them by having an opinion they oppose to see why some non-liberals remain anonymous, especially in a state like Delaware. Some wouldn’t feel safe publicly criticizing the DSEA ( some may even be members), while Mr. Matthews would be protected and praised for towing the party line.

    I would ask Rep. Williams to explain why her bill is the better option simply because it is supported by so many organizations that oppose charter schools in action, if not in words. I would also ask if the costs of the audits will be proportional to the size of the school as compared to the size of the districts. It is clear that large districts have significantly more funds and documents than a single school would. A progressive charge would seem to fit the ideology of so many on this site.
    Class Act, John! You are clearly worthy of the office you hold as you refer to another citizen as “Pubie”

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    • Publius is the J.R. Ewing of Kilroy’s Delaware. And I do believe, and I will say this on my son’s life, I would never out him.

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    • The Auditor of Accounts has stated that the cost for the audits could actually cost less — it really depends on the charter school. If the charter school does not have all the necessary documents in place when the audit is done –it could cost the charters more money which is typical of any audit. I actually do care about the teachers, students and families at charter schools. I was supportive with keeping Gateway Lab charter school open — I thought it was best for the students and their families. I went and spoke publicly at the Public Hearing and went on record with the State Board. I wrote a letter asking for the school to remain open and many of my colleagues in Dover signed onto the letter. This bill is not about charter vs public school —it is about stopping the fraud, it is about protecting the taxpayers! I am supportive of all schools that are open, accountable and transparent. My bill is actually supported by charter families and staff because they see the fraud that has occurred. They realize the money that was stolen or mismanaged was taken away from their school –from their children’s classroom.

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  14. Publius e decere

    I can say with confidence that the comments hereinabove are an entertaining diversion which display grossly inaccurate assumptions. And unequivocal tribalism. In short: Wow are you paranoiacs off base.

    What is a Publius?
    http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/gaynor/090628

    He/she/we is/are something you can not and should not approach with ad hominem paranoia. The We of Publius have ideas and we put them out there. Deal with the ideas.

    Publius (all in)

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    • The We Of Publius put out ideas in the 1970s like the Vega and the Pinto. In the 80s it was New Coke. Probably came up with Milli Vanilli as well. In the 90s we had Pogs. In the last decade, it was “specific interest”, and it looks like this is the “rob ’em and hide it” decade in the We Of Publius world…

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    • Publius e decere

      If I’ve said anything to insult you, please believe me.

      I’d like to leave a thought with you … but where should I put it?

      You shouldn’t go to a shrink … you are small enough already.

      (courtesy of Milton Berle)

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  15. Questions (since I’m an idiot, nitwit, and uninformed based on Mr. K’s generous descriptions, and do not know the answers.):
    Do TPS’s pay for their own audits from their own budgets or does the state pay for these audits? Kind of a trick question given the fact that the districts are fully funded by state taxpayers.
    Do Charter’s pay for their own audits from NON-state supplied revenue or does the state offer these services to allow the charter to focus more of its money into their actual education? If they have to pay for it with their own revenue, will the new proposals relieve the charters of this financial burden in some way?

    I know of NO (REPEAT NO!) Charter supporting parents that want ANY misappropriation of educational funds. With that said, there is no question that our TPS’s are inefficient with the funds they are provided. Contributing Legislators here, can and should investigate charters when charters are negligent, but your intellectual honesty and investigations towards the conditions, effectiveness and practices of our traditional TPS’s should be just as focused. This is not a defense of negligent financial handling at charters. Rather, it is a clear opinion that financial management at ALL taxpayer funded institutions is paramount. So this issue of financial accountability with taxpayer funds needs to extend to the repeated problems in all our schools. If proposals being considered force more tax dollars away from classroom education, particularly partially funded charters, and towards biased levels of scrutiny, then that is not taxpayer beneficial.

    To Reiterate: Taxpayers want accountability with tax dollars. It is hardly uncommon knowledge that the never ending educational reforms are not truly helping education in the classroom. And they are at taxpayer expense. Are our esteemed legislators calling to the carpet all the participants who wasted over 100 million in federal tax dollars on RTTT. Has the former Christina District superintendent and his financial managers who mishandled 17 million ever been charged with dereliction of duty or misappropriation of funds(17 million)? Please note it was only when the incoming superintendent requested an audit, that the problem was fully realized. Shouldn’t the state or school auditors have found this problem before the perpetrator left the state along with his financial people?

    Rep Williams; accountability is good and it should be the responsibility of all publicly funded institutions. The list is too long to post all state agencies that have been fiscally irresponsible but DelDOT, HHS, and DOE are but 3 where our State officials have been negligent or just plain incompetent to the tune of MILLIONS of dollars. Just be mindful of whether or not the intent of the proposal is a anti charter BIASED scrutiny and whether it is taxpayer beneficial. A piggyback proposal could be one that requires a full disclosed audit of a Traditional school district BEFORE any proposed referendums by said district.

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    • Public school districts pay for their audits out of their budget which is funded by local property taxes and the state. Charter schools pay for their audits out of their budget which is funded by local property taxes and the state. The bill is about keeping the dollars in the charter schools -helping students and teachers –it is about protecting tax dollars.

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  16. State auditors are required to verify funds were used for the purpose provided. Where are these audits?

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    • Publius e decere

      Someone please show us the annual audited income statements, balance sheets, and statements of cash flows for a single school district, along with the MD&A, the findings and the annual status of resolution to past findings.

      The answer is zilch. They don’t exist.

      Great job (not) by the state auditor of accounts. Enabler of Red Clay, Laurel and Christina colossal wastes of public funds over the past 10-15 years So why would anyone interested in accountability give monopoly control to an office with no record of capability? An office who’s incumbent politician couldn’t manage his own home mortgage until it went to sheriff’s sale? Really?

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  17. Delawarecitizen

    Please show us an audit
    For a single school from any district. Does that even exist?

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  18. I note no audits to verify funds were used for purpose provided have been produced. Why is that not of concern to those interested in changing our laws?

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    • lastDEconservative

      Because keeping you distracted with the appearance of “doing something” is the only hope of keeping you from finding out “what’s really going on.” Relatively new to the game, Ms. Williams seems to have done quite well on this part of her indoctrin-, er, induction to the fraternity exam. Sure has Kilroy and the denizens believing.

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  19. CPA look at number, not how funds are used. Why are we using CPA and not auditors?

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    • lastDEconservative

      Jack, your question answers itself.

      As I said above, if the truth gets out, the elected elites will have to pay. It won’t happen.

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  20. Rep Williams , (are u still with us) do you recognize that taxpayers want accountability but when there is a set of blinders on or a bias, then the argument for the increased scrutiny in only one area becomes less convincing.

    I am being quite serious when I request a law that all distracts provide a FULL AUDIT before submitting referendums for public vote. This level of transparency is what kilroy argues for all the time. The taxpayers deserve a full audit before our biased districts make false accusations and defame residents who are unwilling to support the wonton waste that is rampant in our districts.

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    • I note again NO audits have been produced conducted to verify funds were used for the purpose provided.
      WHY?

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    • lastDEconservative

      ” … all distracts provide … ”

      M does it again. By slip of the finger or with biting intent, this new word and various derivatives thereof, I predict will enjoy a long and full life among those of us who know “what’s really going on”. Huzzah!

      One need look no further to the brilliance of the coin than Kwacko’s childish response. What a misery life around him must be!

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  21. Yes M Ryddenout,
    I think you are quite serious about requesting a law that “distracts” all

    John Kowalko

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  22. It seems that Rep. Williams has gone underground rather than answering the questions presented regarding her bill. I’ll try one more time – why not create a law that requires Independent Auditor’s Reports to include specific information regarding appropriate use of funds? Allow charters and districts to accept bids with those specific requirements. In order to protect taxpayer dollars, an independent auditor can only be contracted if they are less expensive than the State Auditor’s Office would charge.
    If that won’t work, allocate funding to the State Auditor’s Office to conduct audits for all public schools.
    I would love to see TNJ start printing some of the responses from Kowalko on these blog sites rather than kissing his @ss. I have to think his district has someone with more class to represent them. His responses to those who disagree with him are reprehensible.

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  23. Take a look at the school websites. I went to three charter schools and was easily able to find Independent Auditor’s Reports. Have you looked at them? Is there something different from those reports in comparison to districts? If so, please provide specifics and evidence.

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  24. I found a “Financial Statement” on the RCSD’s website dated June 30, 2008, this is the only report I could locate.
    The Federal Grants for 2014-2015 show $11,008 earmarked for audits, total grant $11,219,817. Grant information for 2015-2016 not posted.
    I strongly support audits of all districts, charter schools, DOE to verify funds were used for the purpose they were provided and the funds for these audits be provided to the Auditor of Accounts.
    Last year $2.4 billion dollars was expended for the education of our children, I find it outrages that NO audits are being conducted to verify that these funds were used for the purpose provided.

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  25. Guest,
    Anonymous bloggers and commenters forfeit their right to respectful dialogue especially when (behind their cowardly mask of anonymity) they issue demands and unsubstantiated challenges to honest and intelligent public servants like Rep. Williams. Get a grip on your own feeling of self importance and accept the reality that maybe you are not so important or informed. Most of the anonymous commenters on this site have an agenda of disruption and ego driven self-regard. If you (or they) wish to be respected I’d suggest that you drop the facade of some “author unknown” or “unwilling” to take credit or suffer the embarrassment of their own thoughts and pronouncements. I owe friend and foe, ally or opponent total respect and give it willingly and ungrudgingly. I do not owe one ounce of respect or regard for the graffiti artist who spray paints his or her philosophical whimsies on the nearest bare wall in the middle of the night. If you choose to email or call me with your list of requests I will certainly attempt to address your concerns in a respectful manner as will almost all of my colleagues.
    Representative John Kowalko

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  26. lastDEconservative

    Reminded of the days when the new Sears Roebuck catalog arrived in the mailbox, I am giddy with excitement (minus the effect of touch) as I start scrolling online through the new Rodel propaganda piece, 2015-2016 Delaware Education at a Glance! Have you gotten yours? Check your inbox!

    The spin doctors continue to amaze and amuse, and they never disappoint. The first section of the report lays the foundation for spinning away the pathetic results of Rodel itself and the government schooling (not education) system it promotes. “Achievement Gaps” galore. This one, that one, why, how could the edustablishment be expected to do better than 15% or 33% proficiency in English or Math … but look, Maude, they did! Those are only the lowest ranked “distracts” (h/t M), the averages Republic-wide are staggering; almost 40% and *gasp* over half!!!!

    C’mon Kil, old man, put this one up for us to bat around.

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    • lastDEconservative

      Next section of Delaware Schooling (not Education) at a Glance:

      After how many years and how many speeches and how many promises, 19% of students Republic-wide hit 1,550 on the SAT, the accepted minimum level of college readiness. Less than one in five.

      “C’mon, last, did you forget “Achievement Gaps” already?”

      I’ve closed my browser window for a while. Someone else take a bite out of it. I’m sick imagining how bad it really is, and sick-er watching the elected preen about “doing something” about three or four bad actors while legions of fellow government pre-pensioners who daily and for decades inflict this punishment on the young without recourse and without accountability. C’mon Kwacko, take another shot at anonymity. That’ll fix it.

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  27. LastDEconman,
    Close your browser and don’t forget to close your basement door. All that smouldering resentment you harbor might spontaneously combust and shutting the door to your room could prevent rapid spreading of those flames
    John Kowalko

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  28. ” to assure that all expenditures have been legal and proper and made only for the purposes contemplated in the funding acts or other pertinent regulations.” This requirement for AOA to conduct these audits is stated in De. Code, Chapter 29, Section 2907 {a}.

    I cannot locate these type audits on AOA web site, I would appreciate anyone helping me locate audits conducted as required by this Delaware Law.

    The following appeared in a Press Release published by our Office of Auditors of Account dated February 2014.

    Historically, I’ve taken an active position of doing more with less as demonstrated by my reduction in staff from 57 full-time employees when I took office in 1989 to 42 through attrition. Despite my own efforts to downsize the Office and to my objections, my staffing was further cut down to an all-time low of 25 by the General Assembly in 2008. No other State Office historically has taken such a drastic hit in staffing levels.

    During my tenure as State Auditor the State budget has more than “tripled.” In fiscal year 2013 the State recorded more than $7.5 Billion in revenue. It goes without saying there is plenty of risk and opportunity for fraud, waste and abuse and the need for non-partisan audits and investigations.

    Comment: Why did our state legislators slashed the staffing in our Auditor of Accounts while they tripipled the State budget.?

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  29. I have seen you on the legislative floor, John, and you are just as classless to those who oppose you in person. I would love to see TNJ’s Albright remove his lips from your posterior long enough to show exactly the kind of person you are.

    Jack,
    My question for Rep. Williams still stands. Why does the SAO have to conduct the audit if the requirements in her bill can be met in a more cost-effective way through a contracted auditor? That is not an option in her bill. Will the same be required by districts? Will the SAO charge the same amount for a district with thousands of students as they charge a charter school with a few hundred? These are legitimate issues, as are your concerns, that have not been answered.

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    • Gee Guest, maybe because they got caught red-handed stealing money from the public education cookie jar? Cause they don’t have the controls in place to make sure this never happens again. Like Rep. Williams has said countless times, Academy of Dover had a contracted auditor. They supposedly found something three years into their leader bilking the state for well over $100k. Family Foundations Academy had an independent auditor. For all the good that did. The “oh my God, all hail Kuumba Academy” had their Head of School and a friggin’ custodian taking more money than they should. Shall I go on? Delaware College Prep. Providence Creek Academy. Delaware Military Academy. Pencader. And the latest to play spin the bottle with the state auditor: Delaware Met. That’s 1/3rd of the charters in the state. Not sure about you, but that is a very high number. And that’s just the stuff they have found. How do we know there aren’t more charters playing “go on take the money and run” with their Steve Miller Band greatest hits playing while they milk the Delaware taxpayers? Besides, don’t all the charters get all that extra money from the charter school transportation fund? Some get tons of money from that. Which has the smell of audit all over that, but I digress. Surely they can use those funds to pay for any extra audit costs. The fact that the Delaware Charter Schools Network, which once had Family Foundations Academy’s Sean Moore as their friggin’ treasurer, and currently has two heads of charter schools that were either nabbed on a recent audit, or put on their board minutes that they were in the middle of an investigative audit, makes them highly questionable in my book. We can sit here and talk about what you think the districts are and aren’t doing, but it is painfully obvious 1/3rd of the charters, if not more, have taken full advantage of the holes in the current law. In the battle of William’s bill vs. Sokola’s bill, Williams bill wins it.

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    • Publius e decere

      Well well, Otto. Would HB-186 have caught schools wasting public dollars by hiring “teachers” who’s prior work experience was debt-collection? Since all charter schools appear to be the same to you, shouldn’t all debt collectors be considered the same also?

      Guest is no different that Willie Sutton — he/she is just pointing where the real money is (wasted). Your reaction, by contrast, has all the essence of a red herring.

      How about this — CSD taxes the public and buys an empty solar panel factory, and more than a decade later is still sitting on the EMPTY property without a shred of accountability or embarrrassment. If all charter schools appear to be the same to you, shouldn’t all district schools be considered the same also?

      Or how about this — Laurel district has an employee who for TEN years was embezzling payroll money when the State Auditor “finally” caught him. If all charter schools appear to be the same to you, shouldn’t all district schools be considered the same also? And then there is the obvious about the State Auditor — slow but eventual. Just like his payments on his home mortgage with slowed to zero but we’re miraculously made “eventually” when this home was put up for sheriffs sale and reported in the newspaper. The State Auditor was simply confused over the payment schedule and decided to not pay anything for a couple of years until his confusion subsided. Maybe he was distracted the the Laurel Case.

      Maybe it is time for you to get over being last pick at the ball field. You can’t make your collections quota on this topic. Charter schools are popular, full stop. The ones with problems get dealt with (unlike districts) and they even get shut down (unlike districts). When you start to understand the ball game — autonomy held accountable — you might make second string. Until then, try to avoid splinters on your good side.

      Publius

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  30. Hey Kevin,
    How many of those were caught as the result of independent audits vs. SAO. Check your information, most were the result of those audits.
    Have you checked the numbers of districts that have had the same thing happen? You’re looking at the same ratio over the past 15-20 years (approximate length of charter schools existing in DE.)
    I guess you’re OK with districts spending 100x more for those audits due to all that pesky capital funding they get from the state.
    How’s CSD doing with that building they bought and can’t use? Remember Joey Wise? Do you really think it should take $100 million to build a high school in Dover?
    How long did it take the SAO to catch on to the mismanagement at DelDOT? Nobody caught Minner’s influence in there until after she left office.
    I completely support measures to protect taxpayer funds from those who would misuse it. The issue here is that the bill focuses solely on charter schools and will significantly add to the costs. I proposed an idea that should work for both sides. Make more stringent guidelines that auditors must follow. Either allow districts & charters to contract with bidders or provide a budget for SAO to audit at no direct cost to either. Hold independent auditors financially accountable if they miss anything due to incompetence.
    You and the rest of the anti-charter mafia here can’t accept anything that not designed to make it harder for charters to stay open.

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    • Publius e decere

      “anti-charter mafia”. Pretty much on message, although this “mafia” keeps trying to take us back in time to the days of running boards. I think it might be more accurate to describe this one as a sordid mix of Fear & Loathing, Cheech & Chong and Dumb & Dumber. Or maybe it’s just a South Pole Elf gone rogue.

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    • I love how the charters are now screaming about “equity” with traditional school districts. When it comes to money, they want that equity, but when it comes to things like enrollment and special education, they look the other way. As they get desperate, they start with the personal jabs at those who oppose them. Are they bored, or just upset from getting the boot from the board?

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    • Publius e decere

      After your post? Bored.
      Back to the topic. Accountability.

      The very premise of HB-186 is wrong. It establishes no standards for audits, and it sets up explicit conflicts within the law. Had the sponsor been less concerned with ideology and more concerned with actual law the bill could have been at least worth voting on to defeat it.

      SB-171 enhances the law, the State Auditor, and the standards. A much better law for accountability.

      If accountability is what you are after. Somehow I doubt it.

      Publius

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    • HB186 wouldn’t even exist if there weren’t inherent conflicts within the existing law. You want to shift all the blame on the State Auditor’s office. Did the State Auditor make charter schools steal money? Did the State Auditor cause those oh-so-awesome independent contractors to miss finding this stuff on multiple occasions, year after year? Did the State Auditor force Noel Rodriguez to purchase Disney knick-knacks, one each for the school and for home, and to use taxpayer funds to fight off a sexual harassment suit? Did the State Auditor allow Sean Moore at FFA to purchase 76ers tickets for his buddies in his frat? Did the State Auditor make Sally Maldonado do a “oops, shouldn’t have given myself a raise like that”. No, this was all charter. Stop deflecting around the true issue here. As a fierce charter advocate, you should want this. Instead, you want to back Sokola and his “if they don’t see it, they won’t find it” SB171. It’s one thing to play in a little house in the sandbox, but when you want to represent the whole damn thing, remember who owns that sandbox Publius.

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    • Publius e decere

      LK. ( ‘Lil xxxx):

      Well now — there’s a small response from a commensurately small voice. Stature matters. Thanks for your vocational perspective. We will give it the appropriate attention. For all of the “homework” you profess to do on topics, it is sorely lacking here. I’ll give you an “F” in every possibly meaning. Please check you own depravity before responding.

      HB-186 is not even legally rational, nor is it remotely effective. It is purportedly about accountability, in an ignorant sort of way. HB-186 will take a bevy of bandaid amendments just to pass. And those bandaids will belie the fundamental flaw in this ideologic idiocy.

      SB-171 is also about accountability. The difference is that SB-171 actually gets the job done within the DE Code while building upon the strengths of the current Code and while calling on the Auditor of Accounts to do his actual elected job. Under SB-171, the PUBLIC charter school — and the State Auditor and the CPA licensed by the state — ALL have to figure out on a professional basis how to audit a school. HB-186 would blindly remove the check and balance on the State Auditor and it refuses to even name the standards under which that Auditor must act.

      You do, understand that the State Auditor (the incumbent) is “”not” a licensed accountant? That neither is his “chief” of staff? You do realize that the State Auditor has selected a firm for “Who Audits The Auditor” who IS NOT LICENED IN DELAWARE. You do realize that after years of KPMG auditing the CAFR (despite their consent letter admitting to gross conflicts and errors) that in the past year a new firm was selected — supposedly with the assent of the State Auditor — and THAT firm is NOT licensed in the state of Delaware.

      So you feel that an elected office — which openly disrespects the state board of accountancy and licensing — knows better that the professionals? The incumbent State Auditor — who could not figure out how to pay his mortgage until caught speeding by the press — knows better than the licensed professionals? The sponsor of HB-186 — who could not admit that the State Auditor ALREADY HAS THE AUTHORITY which she claims to instill — knows better than the lawyers who actually write and assess State Code?

      Pullease. You ask us Who The Fugawi? We are the Rational, The Sensible, and the Pragmatic. Tell that to your wannabe Elvira.

      Since you seem to have endless time away from work (hint: code language alert) to “bias-research things, please publish for us the audited financial statements for Christina District — Income, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow. Also please identify the auditor. Please do the same for Red Clay, Brandywine, Colonial (just to cover off the WEIC domain) and then publish the same for you beloved Capital district. When you discover that these district-level audits do not exist, anywhere in the State, then please provide your commentary on whether they should be conducted or why they should not.

      As an addendum please explain why CSD should continue year-after-year to own a $15 million industrial building — EMPTY and UNUSED after MOR THAN TEN YEARS without any REAL attempt to seek its sale for its market value (admittedly lower than when it was bought on an overpaid basis with taxpayers money) to recover the “recoverable” funds for the State and the District.. I’m sure that debt collectors and payday loan sharks think similarly, so you’ll come up with a compelling rationale.

      Publius

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    • Publius – “the strengths of the current code”

      Line of the year, and he won it in fucking January.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. In terms of charters that got caught by their own auditor: let’s see, Academy of Dover…no. They got ratted out prior to their auditor finding anything. Family Foundations was in the middle of charter renewal when their foot massage empire fell apart. Sally Maldonado and the custodian at Kuumba… nope, State Auditor. You can keep bringing up stuff that happened years ago, when Bush was President. I’m more concerned with the here and now.

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  32. If the requirements of the current law were being followed, why would we need all the discussions on charters vs TPS? I believe if audits required by this law were being conducted, they would reveal, fraud, waste and abuse, all of which have been noted.

    How many are troubled that last year, DDOE, our districts and charter schools expended $2.4 billion, yet no one has been able to produce an audit conducted to verify funds were used for the purpose provided. Should audits not be conducted to verify all special education funds, state, federal, local, were used for the purpose they were provided?

    In addition we need far more transparency on how and where funds are being used to enable us to determine “best” practices.

    If those given the privilege of spending public funds for the education of our children, were required to report at the operating unit level by program the cost, would this benefit our children.

    Are funds being used to provide every child the greatest opportunity to receive the best education possible? Is that important?

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  33. Jack, I completely agree with many aspects of what you wrote. On Delaware Online Checkbook, merely putting “Consultants” or “Other Professional Service” is an injustice. All schools should post exactly where all money is going (without violating FERPA): through State funds, p-cards, and any other accounts they have that are paid for through taxpayer money. I can safely answer your last question: it is important funds are being used to provide every child the greatest opportunity. They aren’t. Standardized tests and bloated salaries do not make children better learners.

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    • lastDEconservative

      ” Standardized tests and bloated salaries do not make children better learners.”

      “Only because we haven’t really tried them (tests, salaries) to the extent we should have.”
      – Educratic Everyman

      Like

    • Kevin & Rep. Williams & mr. k :”All schools should post exactly where all money is going”
      BUT THEY DON’T so before we collectively claim its derelict charters causing all the problems, lets pull the plank out of our eyes and not be truly distracted by insulting distractions about anonymity. Talk about deflection and cowardice, oh my.

      Accountability should be automatic and transparent.
      Kilroy’s Delaware
      Dedicated to transparent public education.

      Isn’t the above why Kilroy started this blog?

      “it is important funds are being used to provide every child the greatest opportunity.”
      BUT THAT ISN’T what is happening in a lot of our schools. It is one of the key drivers of why Charters are being proposed. We’ve allowed political correctness to focus a higher and higher percentage of resources towards politically correct motives while denying the greater majority of the opportunities they should be presented with.

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  34. lastDEconservative

    “Triage” comes to mind. Angos, Kwacko, Ms. Whims (taking votes on this one), et.al., are railing to high heaven about the splinter in the toe of a mortally wounded system of unaccountable spending for which they are in varying degrees responsible (and thus the distraction techniques). Shouting louder will NOT make the patient bleed less, unfortunately for us whose blood is taken, only to be spilled. The curtain they hold up so they -and we- can’t see the carnage, has a few little peepholes in it thanks to a few stalwarts working hard. Kudos to the observers who brought in some other departments of the Republic as shining examples of the same idiocracy in action.

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    • How the hell do you think I’m responsible for unaccountable spending? This has to be the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard of in my life. I have always valued transparency, as does John Kowalko and Kim Williams (their real names). I like to think, if anything, I’ve lifted the curtain on many, many occasions allowing the public to see many things that are going on financially and politically. I’ve always said there is too much district spending on admins. I’ve also said we could stand to gain a lot of money by consolidating school districts in Delaware. If anything, you and the other commenters on here making so much noise about the “splinter” as you call it are the ones distracting from what is needed. Maybe the “splinter” will open up the need for more transparency. Bet you didn’t think of that one, huh?

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    • lastDEconservative

      Simmer down! Look up triage. Then look up distraction. Then focus on “what’s really going on” in Dover (and DC, and Williamston, and Felton). If enough attention is paid to the real problem(s) with government schooling (not education), in this case just on spending without accounting, the lesser evils would take care of themselves. Think about it, as other commenters have said more or less directly, how is it that we have ANY spending going on by government that is not clearly, simply and unquestionably accountable? Clue: the spenders don’t want it, and they’ve constructed a smokescreen of distraction (accompanied by the omnipresent if not recently mentioned lullaby) that many, many, succumb to.

      Joey’s been brought up. Do all the charter transgressors “stolen” funds, times three, add up to his one Distract robbery? Plenty others come to mind, but even those bad apples are the occasional anomaly. It’s the day to day to month to year to decades long squandering of taxpayer money in the black hole that is govt schooling (not education) that Willie Sutton (I thought it was John Dillinger) would be drawn to … that’s “where the money is.”

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    • Publius e decere

      I find blaming KO rewarding. It’s like prodding a pin cushion with nerves. She never fails to respond with nonsense. She is the poster girl for a misspent youth. All hat, no cattle. An uncollectible debt. An afterthought. When not a nightmare.

      Publius

      Like

    • Kevin: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/education/2015/05/28/school-district-struggles-sell-vacant-building/28124709/

      “So far, the property, which never housed a single student, has cost the state nearly $22 million. The building was purchased in March 2005 for $12.8 million. An additional $9 million was spent to transform it from office and warehouse space into a school.

      Silber described the transaction as “indicative of previous administrations.”

      Joseph Wise was district superintendent at the time of the purchase. He said in an email the district paid below-market value for the property after an independent appraisal. He also noted the Delaware Department of Education approved the purchase and the funds could not have been appropriated without state approval.”

      So does what we see with some below board charters equate with what one district did (with STATE and DOE approval)? Which individual(s) should we demand be thrown in jail for “Stealing” state and district money? They were ALL involved. Who should be held accountable? Joey doesn’t even acknowledge he worked for Delaware on his LinkedIN page, funny that. 1998-2005? Oh yeah, he was busy bilking CSD and its residents.
      https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-wise-8904b015
      Now he’s in, of all places CHICAGO. They don’t have problems with their schools??. Wait, I just threw up a little in my mouth.

      So let’s agree real accountability from any state run operation is pathetic and agree that while Rep. Williams may have noble intentions of accountability in one area, the bigger picture is our state’s (and most states’) government doesn’t endeavor to be transparent or be accountable (especially ones controlled by one party). They can misuse, waste and mismanage much better that way and those parties who are part of the Delaware Way profit from it. (Sorry LDC, I’m riding some well traveled comments of yours here.)

      Kevin “what’s needed” are ethics and leadership. Both of which are sadly lacking in Delaware.

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    • LDC, talk to us when charter one has paid that shit back, in full.

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    • Hyuk Hyuk, you are so funny Publius. About as funny as Jed! Meanwhile, as the State Auditor releases yet another investigation into the never-ending charter nightmare that is called Finances 101, Sokola continues to NOT bring Kim Williams bill to a vote in the Senate. I’m sure you and the Senator are very familiar with each other Jed. You and your big words. Next time we see each other, please feel free to say those words in public little man. But we both know you don’t have the sack to do that…wouldn’t want you to mess up that pretty hair on your big head…

      Like

    • lastDEconservative

      JY, take a swipe at me when CSD has its sh*t together. Of all people!

      Like

    • LDC, we do, you just refuse to see it. You buy the testing cabal lies. CSD is no worse off than any other NCC district for the insane funding mechanism and poverty levels. Keep buying the lies LDC. Nice non-answer on your charter bull.

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    • lastDEconservative

      None so blind as those who will not see. “Charter” member, JY.

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  35. I have always found it troubling that those given the privilege of determining how our money is used for the education of our children are so willing to provide so much information about our children, to include hiring PIO to tell us what they want us to know, yet the public is kept in the dark on how and where they are spending $2.4 billion annually. If we want information we need to help our children, we must submit Freedom of Information Request, and pay for that information. WHAT A DISGRACE
    Oversight on revenue is not a charter vs TPS issue, it’s about using our money to provide our children with the greatest opportunity to receive the best education possible–we need to keep our discussion on what is best for our children, and not forget how and where funding is used can have a major impact on the education of our children.
    We must NOT forget it is the laws written by our state legislators that allow our education decision makers to keep us in the dark.
    I believe charter schools should have to follow the same rules as TPS, what I don’t understand is the lack of concern that no audits are being conducted to verify that funds {$2.4 billion} are being used for the purpose provided.
    I support the increase in AP courses and offering our children the very expensive IB program, but since the state does provide extra funding for these AP courses and IB program, what is the funding source? Why do we have the money for these programs yet have no funding to support our schools based on the needs of the children in every school?
    What is the cost of each program ? What is the per student cost by operating unit? Are we spending more per student for athletics than we are spending per student in our schools to provide them” extra” help in reading and math?
    Lack of financial transparency results in a lot of questions and no answers–this is wrong and must change.

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    • lastDEconservative

      “We must NOT forget it is the laws written by our state legislators that allow our education decision makers to keep us in the dark.”

      Welcome to last land, Jack. The same is true of every funded agency, crony, department, commission, sycophant, council, etc., ad nauseum. We must also REMEMBER that the legislature itself operates under the same cloak of darkness -that-it-creates- for itself.

      Some people (many) cannot or will not see this truth, some willfully, some (many) having succumbed to decades of the lullaby, exacerbated by smokescreen inhalation. The perversion is that the cycle never ends, as the perpetrators get (re)elected railing against all the wrongs that they themselves created. Witness Kwacko on his mighty steed, broadsword drawn, cape fluttering in the breeze. Ms. Whims on her high horse, calling the rabble to arms. Welcome to the world of the boobus electoratus.

      And the appointed that follow? Only those that will maintain the facade get the gigs — those with discernment, integrity, a sense of right and wrong need not apply.

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  36. LastDEconman,
    I guess that your fitfully ineffective run for public office has embittered you against all of us who are talented enough, intelligent enough, dedicated enough and successful enough to keep getting reelected. Don’t forget to close your basement/bedroom door lest those three blind mice you lead escape.
    Representative (and you’re not) John Kowalko

    P.S. please, please guide the “ferret” to 8th and French and lend him enough to file.

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    • lastDEconservative

      I forget, did I win? Lose?

      I’ll grant your skill set and question its depth … “The perversion is that the cycle never ends, as the perpetrators get (re)elected railing against all the wrongs that they themselves created. … Welcome to the world of the boobus electoratus.”

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  37. Why is it neither of the johns will answer Mr. Well’s questions? Im sure each of you know him. Anyone who has worked in education administration has spoken with him, met him and seen him at various meetings. I think he deserves an answer.

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