Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Fiduciary Responsibility of School Administrators

An excerpt from a recent story in Beyond Chron by Katy Franklin:
Jill Tucker’s recent Chronicle article regarding District employee's credit card charges only touches the surface of the problem. When it is revealed that Board of Education President Kim-Shree Maufas and other San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) administrators misuse public monies, it casts great doubt upon their capacity to oversee how SFUSD spends its funds. Ms. Maufas and others on the Board of Education (BOE) recently approved a 3.2 million dollar professional development contract of questionable value. Are these decisions good for the students of SFUSD?

Last year, the principal of Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, Sandy Leigh, and teacher Kelly Clark, walked 109 miles to Sacramento to bring attention to the fact that their school site had only 32 dollars in the budget for school supplies for the whole year. 32 dollars for all the paper, pencils, erasers, markers, and everything else the 215 children at their school would require for an entire year. So Ms. Leigh, Ms. Clark, and a few parents walked, for 5 days, with blistered feet, in 90-degree heat, to let our governor know that this situation was unacceptable.

To read the full story click here.


  1. Doesn't anyone audit the expenses?

  2. I work for the government. If travel expenses fall within the rules, you have to reimburse them. It idoes not mean that unnecessary spending is ethical.

  3. Good explanation, 4:50.

    It's absolutely inappropriate for this administrator to be spending lavishly on room service and Godiva chocolates while our kids' teachers are begging for paper. She needs to resign now, and if she won't, Garcia needs to fire her. Any good ideas for creative protests to achieve this necessary goal?

  4. I agree that what she did was wrong, but personally, I think we've got much bigger fish to fry...
    (Think: next year's huge budget cuts coming down the pipes)
    I'd rather all put my energy into raising money to help my kids' struggling school than going after a gov't official. I imagine she'll be voted out soon in the next cycle anyway.

  5. 6:09
    This article isn't about an elected official, it's about an SFUSD employee.

    Yes, of course put your energy into raising funds for your child's school, but we can also battle central office cuts to school site budgets, can't we? One way of doing that is looking at their own wasteful spending.

  6. Problems with school budgets are administrative problems. As such, oversight of school administrators--especially those who hold the purse strings--is essential.

  7. I would like to add here that although public schools have bigger fish to fry than going after the excessive spending of a few employees, the spending described does sound very excessive.

    Many publicly operated companies would also gasp at such an expense. Most of the executives of small and medium size companies have been flying economy for a number of years now. Employees and even most executives at companies such as Intel and Research in Motion (of Blackberry fame) have cancelled or drastically paired down their Christmas parties in the last several years.

    Sure, there are the excesses of the banks, but look at the mess that has caused.

    The excessive spending of several school board employees and representatives is symtomatic of a belief in impunity.

    That is the last think we need right now!

  8. the last think???

  9. 12:43 PM

    oh, a typo! heaven forbid that we don't all have our commentary magazine ready!

    it is a blog, largely a parent blog, with parents multiplexing their many tasks while typing. i for one, i'm getting a little tired of seeing people rag out others here for minor typos and grammatical errors. like the goof that corrected somebody the other night because they spelt "who's" instead of "whose."

    it is rather declasse.

  10. I like "the last think"

    we all have too much in our brains anyway :)

  11. I was more offended by the "paired down" part anyway...

  12. Those of you with this much time on your hands, there are many volunteer tasks you could be doing to improve our schools.

    Please take the energy you're spending sniping over typos and go set up an e-scrip program for your nearest underfunded school, or start a parent newsletter, or call PPS about doing volunteer tasks in the office -- something of value to the children in our community.

  13. and those of you who have the time to snipe at us for sniping over bad writing, you could also volunteer ! But hopefully not doing anything that involves written communication

  14. A typo is not the same as "bad writing." Sniping at typos in comments on blogs has nothing to do with promoting high standards in writing.

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