Thursday, February 1, 2018

Who Stole the Cookies?

If you were listening very carefully to the recent testimony of Colleen Morris, HCEA President, you just might have caught the answer to today’s 64 dollar question. The question?

The answer:

That perennially “leaky” Health and Dental Fund? It didn’t just spring a leak all by itself. It was raided to fund other, completely unrelated projects.

Is that even legal?

That money is specifically dedicated to Howard County teachers. Please tell me that our school system doesn’t decide to bankroll unfunded pet projects by sticking their hand in someone else’s cookie jar. Any of us who handle our own personal/family budgets know that robbing Peter to pay Paul will eventually have dire consequences.

But this, my friends, is far bigger than Sister dipping into the egg money to buy new nylon stockings.

The Superintendent serves at the pleasure of the Board of Education. The Board of Education is elected by the community to serve the people of Howard County. Where was the oversight here? I recall certain former board members saying that she “is doing everything we have asked her to do.” Really?  Did you ask her to take away contractually earned Health and Dental money from teachers?

Our school system is built upon trust. As parents we entrust our children to our school system. The teachers who work with our children every day must trust that the professional and financial agreements they have entered into will be honored. Quite simply:

If this is the kind of information the forensic audit is turning up, I sure wish we had been able to do it a long time ago. Like maybe 20 million ago, before the midnight cookie jar raiding got so out of hand. Shenanigans like this go a long way towards explaining why current Superintendent Martirano is #NotHappy .

One last thought: some of us still haven’t gotten over the sting of the former Superintendent publicly suggesting the teachers could be thought of as “greedy” for asking that the school system honor already agreed upon raises. That she could say that while knowing that she was draining their Health and Dental Fund makes it all the more offensive.

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