The Cleveland County School Board meeting held February 12, 2018 was relatively dull. No Prayer and no citizens speaking up. Several times board members and Superintendent Stephen Fisher mentioned the need to be “transparent” (not hiding anything). But School Board member Danny Blanton blew their cover. Twice.
During the agenda item regarding an annual CCS audit, Blanton, without support from any other board members, asked if this audit would dig past whether or not the numbers in the audit matched but also into whether or not the money went where it was supposed to go. Blanton stated that someone with a sharp pencil could make the numbers balance and still be way off in catching money being diverted from where it was supposed to go to somewhere it was not supposed to go. For those who have watched CCS audits closely, CCS has been caught directing auditors to audit and report on areas with no problems and skip over areas with well known problems. Like the Credit Card scandal a few years back. Former Board Member Kathy Falls let it slip in one meeting that the auditor had been ordered not to look at certain financial records with known problems but to audit other records without problems. Then this dummied up audit report was later used by the CCS Board to show the auditor could not find any problems with CCS financial records.
Danny Blanton, in regard to the audits, also stated that certain schools were sending out letters to parents that the schools needed supplies such as hand sanitizers and Kleenex tissues and if money was wasted somewhere else that waste should be stopped so that needed supplies could be purchased instead of sending letters to parents. Others on the board as well as Superintendent Fisher went on and on about the never ending need for such supplies as hand sanitizer and Kleenex at school during the flu season. And never mentioning anything about the cost and cover-up ot these phony audits. You don’t have to be too smart to realize that $50,000 wasted on a phony audit could pay for a lot of hand sanitizer and Kleenex. Or a Teacher’s aid or a bus driver. Or all the above.
Later in the meeting during discussion of school policy revision, Policy 3200 as I recall, Danny Blanton reminded the rest of the Board that if they were gong to vote on a policy it was their responsibility to make sure the policy was followed. Blanton stated that that policy required CCS to allow parental access to their child’s instructional materials as well as allowing the parents access to their child’s teacher. Blanton went on to describe how a parent had called him reporting that CCS had refused to provide such access to that parent. Superintendent Fisher flew into his fast talking mode describing how some stuff like a child’s test papers were not instructional material and other such nonsense. All in all it appears CCS Policies mean what CCS says they mean, not necessarily what they actually say.
All I could think of was how the 52,000 voters who stayed home on the 2017 School Board Election Day allowed such nonsense as this at CCS to continue.